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

Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short round-up of the news in less than five minutes.

Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Wednesday
The Public Health Agency's expert Sara Byfors. Photo: Carl-Olof Zimmerman/TT

New coronavirus rules for flea markets in Sweden?

The Swedish Public Health Agency has proposed new coronavirus rules for flea markets, which would exempt them from the eight-person limit for public events.

Unlike shops and malls, where customers should have at least 10 square metres’ space each with an absolute maximum of 500 people allowed, flea markets are (due to legal quirks) regulated under the same rules as public events, which are more restrictive.

But the Public Health Agency proposes that they should instead follow the rules for shops. If the flea market is held outside, there should be no square metre rule, but tables would have to be placed at least two metres apart, and crowding must not be permitted.

The new rules could come into force on May 17th.

Swedish vocabulary: flea market – loppmarknad (or, colloquially, loppis)

Foreign-born pensioners cash in less after retiring

People who were born outside of Sweden and recently retired get on average 5,000 kronor less a month compared to Swedish-born retirees, according to statistics by Sweden’s pension authority reported by public radio broadcaster Sveriges Radio.

On average, pensioners who were born in Sweden earn 17,823 kronor a month after tax, and foreign-born pensioners earn 12,663 kronor, according to the pension authority.

The difference is partly due to the fact that a lot of foreign-born people haven’t worked in Sweden for as many years. If you instead compare the pensions of native Swedes and foreign-born who earned a Swedish salary for over 30 years, the gap is much smaller.

Another reason is that a lot of foreign-born workers perhaps initially struggled to find a job, or worked in industries that were hit harder by unemployment and lower salaries.

Swedish vocabulary: to retire – att gå i pension

Covid-19 cases rise among children and teenagers in Sweden

Sweden continues to have the EU’s most serious spread of Covid-19, with the Public Health Agency reporting an increase in cases among children.

“What stands out is that cases among children and young people are increasing, among those between 0-19 years,” said the Public Health Agency’s Sara Byfors at yesterday’s press conference, adding that this could be partly due to the fact that guidelines around contact tracing have recently changed so more children are being tested for the virus.

In the oldest age group, there was a much clearer drop in new reported cases, which the agency believes is largely due to the impact of the vaccination rollout.

Looking at the country as a whole, there was a small week-on-week reduction in newly reported cases, although the rate was still extremely high.

Swedish vocabulary: children – barn

Record number file their Swedish taxes online

More people than ever filed their Swedish taxes online this year. By May 3rd, which was the deadline, around 6.7 million people had submitted their annual tax declaration to the Tax Agency (Skatteverket) digitally, an increase of around 180,000 people.

Most of them, more than 4.5 million people, filed their taxes online via the agency’s e-service, and 1.2 million filed them in the app. It’s also possible to approve your tax declaration by telephone (either call or SMS) and more than 900,000 people did this.

Around 487,000 tax declaration had been sent in in paper format by May 3rd.

Swedish vocabulary: tax – skatt

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