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

Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Friday
Water-skiing in the midnight sun -- it's that time of year again in the northernmost parts of Sweden. Photo: Jonatan Stålhös/
Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short round-up of the news in less than five minutes.

Sweden has the EU’s highest spread of Covid-19

While the Covid-19 infection rate is declining in Sweden, the country still has a higher rate of infection than any of its EU neighbours, according to the latest data from the European Centre of Disease Control, in which Sweden reports a 14-day infection rate of 577 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. 

While Sweden’s infection rate has been one of the highest in the EU throughout the year, it is the first time in 2021 that it has been the highest of all EU countries. It is now one of only three, along with Cyprus and Lithuania, in the EU’s so-called ‘dark red zone’ with an infection rate above 500, and was one of four (along with Denmark, Greece and Slovakia) that reported an increase over the past week.

Sweden’s infection rate is nonetheless significantly lower than at its highest point (796 cases per 100,000 inhabitants by the ECDC’s figures). The chart below from Our World in Data compares Sweden’s infection rate to the EU average and the eight other countries covered by The Local, and you can add further countries to the chart for comparison.

Swedish vocabulary: dark red – mörkröd

Some regions aren’t offering Covid-19 vaccine health declarations in English

That’s according to a survey of The Local’s readers, in which several people said no English-language version of the form – mandatory for getting the vaccine – was available either online or at their doctor’s office.

The Swedish Public Health Agency made foreign language translations available in early May, but some regions are still waiting for their own translation, and foreign language versions were not available on Stockholm’s booking app for the readers who responded to the survey.

Non-Swedish speakers also reported difficulties accessing foreign language options when researching or booking the vaccine, for example English-language versions of booking phonelines not containing any information while the Swedish line did. You can read the full report here.

Swedish vocabulary: English – engelska

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See also on The Local:

Long-distance public transport journeys will remain capped at 50 percent capacity

The government has extended a rule that seats on long-distance bus and train journeys may only be sold at 50 percent of normal capacity, until August 14th.

The reason is the continued high spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and delays in Sweden’s vaccination programme that mean the adult population will not all have been offered the vaccine by the end of June, as was the original goal. The virus spreads particularly well in enclosed, indoor environments where people are situated for a long time. 

Swedish vocabulary: long-distance trains and buses – fjärrtåg och långfärdsbussar

The season of the midnight sun begins

It’s that time of year again. Just after 1am on Thursday, the sun went up at Sweden’s northernmost point Treriksröset, and it will stay fully above the season until mid-July.

As of today (just before 1am), the season of the midnight sun has also begun at Sweden’s most northerly inhabited location, Keinovuopio.

In Kiruna, the northernmost town in the country, the sun will set at 00.23 on May 27th, before rising at 00.49 the same day and remaining visible 24/7 until July.

Swedish vocabulary: midnight sun – midnattssol

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