Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
Health Minister Lena Hallengren and EU Minister Hans Dahlgren joined virtually by Digitalisation Minister Anders Ygeman at Wednesday's press conference on the Covid-19 vaccine pass. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short roundup of the news in less than five minutes.

Umeå has Europe’s cleanest air

The northern Swedish city of Umeå has Europe’s cleanest air, according to a report from the European Environment Agency EEA, which is launching an interactive tool to compare air quality across 323 cities.

Umeå measured 3.7 micrograms of particles per cubic meter of air, well below the EU limit of 25 and the lowest in Europe. The other Swedish cities included in the list so far (Uppsala, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö) are also among the 127 cities categorised as having “good air”, all on the rights ide of both the EU’s limit and the World Health Organisation’s stricter upper limit of 10 micrograms per cubic meter of air.

Swedish vocabulary: air – luft

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Sweden unveils plans for vaccine pass

The government and eHealth Agency on Wednesday presented plans for a vaccine pass to facilitate travel within the EU. This will be in place across the EU from July 1st, meaning that travellers who are vaccinated can use this to avoid other restrictions within the EU such as requirements for negative tests or quarantine.

Two new things we found out yesterday were that it will be possible to apply for the pass using a samordningsnummer if you don’t have a personnummer (it is still unclear how you get the pass if you have neither, but when The Local asked about this, the eHealth Agency said they would get back to us), and it will also be possible to get the pass if you had your first vaccine dose overseas and your second in Sweden. If you received both doses in another EU country, you should apply for that country’s version of the pass, while the situation remains unclear for people who received both doses outside the EU.

Swedish vocabulary: possible – möjlig

Third vaccine doses needed in winter?

A third dose of the vaccine against Covid-19 may be required as early as this winter for those in the most vulnerable groups (people aged over 80, living in care homes, or with a weakened immune system) according to the Public Health Agency, which produced a report for the government on the expected vaccine requirements over the next two years.

Sweden has currently given a first dose of the vaccine to just over half of all adults in the country, and a second dose to 28 percent, after pushing back its target date for all adults to be fully vaccinated from June to September.

Swedish vocabulary: third – tredje

Sweden extents its Covid-19 recommendations until autumn

Sweden’s recommendations for the general public on how they should act to curb the spread of Covid-19 were on Wednesday extended until at least September 30th, having previously been set to expire at the end of June. These include requirements for individuals to stay at home if they experience symptoms of Covid-19, to work from home to the extent possible, to keep a distance from other people, and to limit their new contacts by only socialising with their closest circle and avoiding environments where there is a risk of crowding.

Swedish vocabulary: closest circle – närmaste krets

Left Party’s ultimatum to the government expires today

Sweden’s Left Party on Tuesday gave the government a 48-hour deadline to throw out its proposal to abolish a hotly-debated rent cap on newbuilds – saying it would try to organise a vote of no-confidence if the government did not either scrap the plans or begin immediate negotiations with the Swedish Tenants’ Union.

Those 48 hours expire this morning, so we should soon find out if the Left Party will proceed with its plan. On its own, the party does not have enough MPs to put forward a no-confidence motion, so would rely on support from the Sweden Democrats at the opposite end of the left-right spectrum. Then, it would need a parliamentary majority to vote in favour of the motion in order for it to pass.

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has not commented on the ultimatum, but Justice Minister Morgan Johansson has called it “unserious”.

Swedish vocabulary: no-confidence motion – misstroendeförklaring

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