Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Thursday

Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Thursday
People admire the cherry blossoms in central Stockholm. Photo: Carl-Olof Zimmerman/TT
Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short round-up of the news in less than five minutes.

Several Swedish regions have reached maximum intensive care capacity

Health Minister Lena Hallengren called a press briefing on Wednesday to sound the alarm over the current high burden on Sweden’s healthcare sector, where she was joined by the head of the National Board of Health and Welfare and an ICU nurse from Uppsala, one of the worst hit regions.

Uppsala, Dalarna, Gävleborg, Halland, Kalmar, and Västernorrland all currently have more Covid-19 patients in intensive care than at any point previously during the pandemic. Meanwhile, the age of patients needing ICU care has fallen, with around a third of Covid-19 patients in intensive care currently aged under 50.

Although no new coronavirus measures were announced, Hallengren said the government was prepared to introduce them if compliance with existing restrictions (such as working from home, keeping personal contacts to an absolute minimum, and staying at home if sick) did not increase.

Swedish vocabulary: capacity – kapacitet

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New measures proposed to curb male violence against women

The government wants to increase the minimum sentence for the crime of violation of a woman’s integrity to one year in prison, with Gender Equality Minister Märta Stenevi saying the proposal may be presented to the Council on Legislation before the summer. This crime includes repeated actions including physical or sexual violence but also threats, coercion and violation of restraining orders. 

The proposal would also make it easier for workers in the healthcare sector to sound the alarm if they suspect a women is suffering from partner or ex-partner violence.

It comes as Sweden’s political parties prepare to meet on Friday to discuss strategies against male violence, in the wake of five murders of women by men in recent weeks. Increasing minimum sentences is one measure that has broad support across the parties.

Meanwhile, the city of Malmö is looking into whether it can adapt its successful ‘Sluta Skjut’ programme against gang violence to crack down on male violence within relationships, Sydsvenskan reports.

Swedish vocabulary: minimum sentence/penalty – minimistraff

Swedish government launches bid to close Stockholm airport

Sweden’s Social Democrat-Green coalition government has proposed shutting down Bromma Airport and instead using the space north of Stockholm to build homes. Bromma has been the worst affected Swedish airport by the pandemic, with year-on-year traffic down by 98 percent in January 2021.

But it is unclear whether a final decision would come ahead of the 2022 election, and the ministers did not offer a timeline.

Swedish vocabulary: airport – flygplats

Weather warnings as April snow forecast in several regions

Yes, it might have felt like spring was finally here, but the next few days are set to be unusually cold for the time of year.

Weather agency SMHI has issued Class 1 warnings (the least severe on a three-point scale) for snowfall in Västernorrland, Gävleborg, Västmanland, Uppsala, Dalarna and Jämtland, except for the mountainous parts of the latter two regions.

The agency has also warned that roads could be slippery due to ice, so if you have to be on the roads, take care, especially if you have changed to summer tyres.

If you snap any pictures of the April snow in your part of Sweden, send them to [email protected] with the subject ‘Weather’ and we may publish some of them.

Swedish vocabulary: snowfall – snöfall

Several more regions begin Phase 3 of Covid-19 vaccinations

In most of Sweden, the Covid-19 vaccine is currently being offered to over-65s, but a few more regions have opened up to people in Phase 3 this week, which includes everyone aged 60-64 and people in certain risk groups.

Gävleborg, Kronoberg, Västra Götaland, and Östergötland all began Phase 3 this week after Kalmar, Halland, and Värmland were the first to launch it last week. Exactly which people included in Phase 3 are offered the vaccine and how to book it differs slightly between regions, but you can check your regional website,, or our article explaining the system.

Swedish vocabulary: phase – fas

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