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

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

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
Look who's buck again, it's Sweden's ill-fated yule goat. Photo: Mats Åstrand/TT

Sweden’s ill-fated yule goat is back

A 13-metre straw buck, whose main claim to fame is that it is more often destroyed by arsonists than not, has made its annual return to the Swedish east coast town of Gävle.

Gävle has built the straw goat every Christmas since 1966, but it often meets an untimely demise when it is burned down, stolen or vandalised (some of the more outrageous attempts on its life have included a failed helicopter plot and a gingerbread man and Santa Claus wielding a bow and burning arrow).

Thanks to increased security, and perhaps to waning interest in the illegal “tradition”, it has now bucked the trend and survived four consecutive Christmases – will this year be the fifth?

Swedish vocabulary: a yule goat – en julbock

Sweden brrrrr-aced for cold snap

Large parts of Sweden should expect the weekend cold snap to continue into this week, according to national weather forecaster SMHI.

At 9am on Sunday, Nikkaluokta in northern Sweden noted the lowest temperature of the season so far: -37.4C. That’s not just a seasonal record: it’s Sweden’s coldest November temperature since 1980.

Drivers who haven’t yet changed to winter tyres may want to do so soon. Swedish law states that all cars must be equipped with winter tyres between December 1st and March 31st if the weather conditions require it – otherwise it’s unsafe and you risk a hefty fine.

Swedish vocabulary: drivers – förare

Sweden’s new Covid-19 test guidelines over Omicron variant

Sweden’s Public Health Agency urges everyone who travels to Sweden from South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia or Eswatini (or has been to one of those countries in the past seven days before arriving in Sweden) to get a Covid-19 test as soon as possible after arrival, “preferably the same day”. In addition, travellers are urged to get a second test after five days.

Tests can be ordered via

Travellers including children are also urged to stay at home for seven days, regardless of whether or not they have symptoms.

The new recommendations, which were introduced on November 26th following the WHO’s designation of new coronavirus variant Omicron (B.1.1.529) as “a variant of concern”, apply both to vaccinated and unvaccinated people. The variant has not yet been confirmed in Sweden, but it has been discovered in several European countries, including two suspected cases in neighbouring Denmark.

Swedish vocabulary: preferably – helst

Swedish parliament to vote on Magdalena Andersson again as prime minister

Social Democrat leader Magdalena Andersson will get a second shot at becoming Sweden’s new prime minister, after her first attempt last week lasted just seven hours.

Parliament is expected to appoint Andersson, 54, as the head of a minority government made up solely of the Social Democrats, with just 10 months to go before September general elections. The parliament’s vote is scheduled to begin at 1pm on Monday.

Swedish vocabulary: a minority government – en minoritetsregering

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