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

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
Drop-in vaccination offerings, like this one at a Malmö football match, are a key pillar of Sweden's Covid strategy. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short roundup of the news in less than five minutes.

Covid-19 death toll rises in Sweden’s old age care homes

Eight people have died at an elderly care home in Överkalix, northern Sweden following an outbreak in which 17 residents in total caught Covid-19, all but one of whom had received two doses of the vaccine against the virus, the municipality reported.

Meanwhile, statistics from the National Board of Health and Welfare show that the infection rate in old age and nursing homes is now the highest since April, with numbers of deaths rising too. Last week, nearly two thirds (65 percent) of those who died after testing positive were care home residents.

“To believe that you can keep the infection away completely from those who are so vulnerable, that won’t work. They need to come into contact with people to get care. And then it is inevitable that there is a little infection from time to time. When it has been possible to trace back, it is often staff who have brought it in,” state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told TT.

Swedish vocabulary: outbreak – utbrott

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Positive Covid-19 trends in major regions

In society in general, the spread of Covid-19 is decreasing in several regions. Västra Götaland saw a 22 percent decrease in new cases last week, the first decrease in ten weeks, while in Skåne the decrease was 25 percent. Fewer than ten people were being treated in intensive care for the virus in each region.

At the moment, the focus is on increasing the vaccination rate, with drop-in vaccines offered in over 100 locations in Västra Götaland and an SMS sent on Wednesday to every resident of the region aged 16-49, while Skåne is planning to send reminders via postcard to the 16-39 age group.

Swedish vocabulary: decrease – minskning

Sweden extends pandemic law for four more months

Sweden’s parliament voted on Wednesday to extend both the pandemic law and a law regulating infection control measures at restaurants for four more months. Most remaining restrictions in Sweden will be lifted on September 29th and this vote does not change that, but it does mean the government will retain the power to introduce further restrictions — such as limiting opening times or visitor numbers at restaurants, shops, gyms and parks — if the Covid-19 situation requires.

Swedish vocabulary: restrictions – restriktioner

Sweden’s Social Democrats propose limiting work permits to jobs with skills shortages

The leadership committee of Sweden’s Social Democrats has proposed tightening the rules around work permits, so they are only given to immigrants from outside the EU if they have skills or professions that are in short supply.

That would be a big change from current legislation, under which people can move to Sweden to work in any job as long as they have an offer. And the proposals also state that work permit holders should only be able to move for full-time work. But there’s a long way to go before these stand a chance of being passed: they will be voted on by party members at the Social Democrat November congress, before becoming part of the party’s election manifesto if passed. 

Swedish vocabulary: skills – kompetens

Thousands protest against deportation of 3-year-old from Sweden

A three-year-old boy who has lived his whole life in Skåne, almost all of it with a foster family, now faces deportation to Nigeria, and the Migration Agency has rejected an appeal. More than 130,000 people have signed a petition calling for the boy to be allowed to stay after a campaign started by his foster parents.

Swedish vocabulary: to deport – utvisa

Littering with cigarette butts and chewing gum to be punished by fines

From January 1st, 2022, throwing cigarette butts and chewing gum on the street will be punishable with fines after parliament approved a government proposal on Wednesday for even minor littering offenses to face fines.

Today, these smaller items of rubbish are not covered by littering laws because they are usually thrown away one at a time, but the government argued that these small actions add up to have a major impact on the environment.

Swedish vocabulary: cigarette stub – fimp

Member comments

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  1. About time they introduced fines for cigarette litter. I am truly disgusted by the state of the streets in many parts of central Stockholm. I’ve never seen it this bad in any other countries and cities I have lived in.

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