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

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Sami people living in northern Sweden are now able to access culturally-adapted healthcare in Norway. Photo: Heiko Junge/TT
Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short roundup of the news in less than five minutes.

Tegnell: New Covid outbreaks in Europe are “a warning signal” for Sweden

Swedish state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell said that new Covid-19 recommendations could be rolled out in Sweden this winter as he described the new wave of the pandemic in several European countries as “a warning signal”.

In neighbouring Denmark, both new infections and the number of Covid-19 patients in hospital have increased in the past month.

Tegnell told Swedish news agency TT that if Sweden gets a major outbreak like the one in Denmark, the Public Health Agency may introduce new recommendations to encourage social distancing. Sweden lifted nearly all of its restrictions at the end of September.

He said that such recommendations could include renewed advice to work from home, or limiting crowds at events, but would not confirm exactly what they would entail. He said: “It has to be based on the situation we’re in.”

See The Local’s article on this story for more details.

Swedish vocabulary: varningssignal – warning signal

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Government wants to make it possible for over-12s to change their legal gender

The Swedish government has announced new proposals to change gender identity laws for transgender people, updating laws originally created in 1972.

The new proposals would replace the current law on determining gender identity, which currently requires that people wishing to change their legal gender or have genital surgery must apply for approval from the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) first. 

The new laws, if approved, would allow anybody over the age of 12 to apply to change their legal gender without having to prove their gender identity first. A second law would allow over-18s to undergo genital surgery without having to seek approval from the National Board of Health and Welfare.

The government said it hopes that these suggested laws “will give trans people more power over their lives, their bodies and their identities”.

Swedish vocabularykönstillhörighet – gender identity

50 percent of Swedes want Magdalena Andersson to be new Prime Minister

According to a Novus survey conducted on behalf of public broadcaster SVT, 50 percent of respondents would rather have Social Democrat Magdalena Andersson as Prime Minister than Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson.

Of the 1,080 interviewees, 50 percent preferred Andersson, 40 percent preferred Kristersson, and 10 percent were unsure.

Support for Andersson was greatest among Social Democrat, Green Party and Left Party voters, with Kristersson the preferred choice for Moderate and Christian Democrat supporters.

Three quarters of Sweden Democrat voters preferred Kristersson, with 13 percent unsure.

Centre Party voters were most split, with 62 percent in favour of Andersson and 28 percent unsure who they preferred. Ten percent preferred Kristersson.

Torbjörn Sjöström, CEO of Novus, said to SVT: “At the moment, it looks like Swedes are leaning towards Magdalena Andersson, but it’s not completely clear. It shows how split the electorate is. There’s a clear right-left view on choosing a new prime ministerial candidate.”

Swedish vocabularyväljarkår electorate

Sami in northern Sweden now able to access culturally-adapted healthcare in Norway

Starting on November 9th, all Sami living in northern Swedish regions Norrbotten, Västerbotten and Dalarna will be able to access healthcare from SANKS – a Sami centre for mental health and addiction issues, based in Norway, reports P4 Jämtland.

The three regions will be joining northern region Jämtland-Härjedalen, who has had an agreement with SANKS since 2015.

Studies have previously shown that Swedish psychiatric and psychosocial healthcare services lack the necessary knowledge to provide the same standard for Sami patients as for Swedes.

This agreement means that Sami living in these regions will now be able to receive care from SANKS clinics in Norway, as well as SANKS providing training for healthcare providers in Sweden to better treat their Sami patients.

Swedish vocabulary: beroendeproblematik addiction issues

Egypt appoints new ambassador to Sweden

Egypt’s ambassador H.E. Ahmed Adel Sobhy Ahmed handed over his letter of credence – a formal diplomatic letter issued by a head of state designating a diplomat as ambassador to another sovereign state – to Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf on November 9th.

Now that the letter of credence has been handed over to the Swedish head of state, the ambassador is able to represent Egypt in Sweden.

Swedish vocabulary: kreditivbrev – letter of credence


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