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TODAY IN SWEDEN

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

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 Thursday
The number of new Covid-19 cases is on a sharp increase in Sweden. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden’s new Covid-19 measures come into effect

Sweden rolls out new recommendations and restrictions today to curb a rise in Covid-19 infections, with restaurants now only allowing table service. Public events with more than 20 attendees may only go ahead with a seated audience, and in addition they need to either require vaccine passes or limit groups of people to eight and make sure they sit a metre apart.

There are several other new rules that come into force today. Read more HERE about some of the rules and guidelines that Swedish authorities have issued ahead of the Christmas holidays.

Swedish vocabulary: table service – bordsservering

SJ’s new bid to resolve Christmas staffing crisis

Swedish train operator SJ has offered staff to work extra shifts during their time off in exchange for 4,500 kronor per shift, in order to plug staff shortages due to illness, reports P4 Göteborg.

SJ earlier this week cancelled around 20-30 trains per day during the week of Christmas, and cancellations are also expected the week after. But more carriages will be added on to trains that are running, and Christmas travellers will be rebooked onto those trains, said SJ.

Swedish vocabulary: a train – ett tåg

Covid-19 cases increase 30 percent in Sweden

The number of confirmed new cases of Covid-19 increased by 30 percent in Sweden over the last week, said the Public Health Agency at a press conference on Wednesday. This increase was especially noticeable in the major cities of Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.

A record number of people in Sweden were tested for Covid-19 last week: more than 380,000, of which 6.4 percent were positive. Sweden’s 14-day incidence rate stood at 416 new infections per 100,000 people over the past two weeks, up from 313 last week. On Wednesday, 91 Covid-19 patients were being treated in intensive care, with 471 in hospital in other units.

In the Public Health Agency’s worst-case scenario, presented earlier this week, Sweden will have almost 14,000 new cases per day in mid-January. In the middle scenario, 8,000 cases per day, and in the best-case scenario, this number will be 4,000 per day.

Swedish vocabulary: an increase – en ökning

Sweden to launch new vaccine pass tool for foreign vaccinations

Sweden is set to launch a new service next year which will allow residents who got vaccinated overseas to apply for a Swedish vaccine pass.

The Health Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that the service is expected to be rolled out by February 1st 2022 “at the latest”.

The statement said it will initially be available to people who “have moved back to Sweden, got registered in the Swedish population register [this is essentially the equivalent of having a Swedish social security number, the personnummer] and have a digital mailbox”.

Swedish vocabulary: at the latest – senast

New job-seeker visa in Swedish government’s bid to overhaul work permits

Sweden is pushing ahead with new proposals to tighten work permit rules, including measures to crack down on “talent deportation” and a new visa for highly educated job-seekers.

In a draft bill, the government suggests introducing a new residence permit of up to nine months for well-qualified international talent to look for work or explore starting a business in Sweden.

The applicant should have completed the equivalent of a degree at “advanced level” – which in Sweden counts as studies beyond a Bachelor’s degree – and have enough means to support themselves while they look for work. Click HERE to read more about the new proposals.

Swedish vocabulary: a work permit – ett arbetstillstånd

Sweden to bar vaccinated foreign tourists without negative Covid test

Foreign tourists travelling to Sweden will have to show a negative Covid-19 test to be allowed into the country from December 28th, regardless of whether or not they are vaccinated.

International travellers will need to show a negative Covid-19 test no older than 48 hours according to the new rules, which will come into force on December 28th.

The test requirement will apply to adults and children over the age of 12, regardless of whether you are travelling from the Nordic countries, the EU/EEA, or the rest of the world – with a series of exceptions, including for foreigners who live in Sweden.

Swedish vocabulary: adults and children – vuxna och barn

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TODAY IN SWEDEN

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

Airport chaos, cyber ads, Nato's Sweden plans, and tough talk from Turkey: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

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

Swedish airport operator warns of long queues this weekend

Swedish airport operator Swedavia has warned that queues at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport are likely to increase over the long Ascension Day weekend. 

“There is a rather low personnel level at security controls which will mean that it is tight from time to time,” said David Karlsson, the airport’s press officer on Thursday morning. “Together with the fact that travel levels have risen during the spring and summer, and that it’s a particularly intensive weekend, it’s a bit tight out there this morning.”

Jan Eliasson, a former Swedish foreign minister and former Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, criticised the queues on Twitter. 

“The chaos at Arlanda damages Sweden’s reputation in the world more than we realise,” he wrote. 

The press spokesperson for SAS said on Thursday that customers would not be recompensed for flights missed due to the queues. 

Swedish Vocab: bitvis – bit by bit/from time to time 

No need for Nato forces in Sweden: US general 

Nato is unlikely to place ground forces in Sweden or Finland as a result of them joining the Nato defence alliance, the US General Christopher Cavoli has said in a statement. 

Cavoli, who in July takes over as Nato’s highest commander in Europe, was interviewed in the US Senate on Thursday. 

He said that the Ukraine war had shifted Nato’s balancing point towards Eastern Europe, where member states are most worried about Russian aggression. 

Cavoli said that the US already has strong military links to both Sweden and Finland, and that there would be more joint exercises and other engagements in future.

Swedish Vocab: tyngdpunkt – balancing point

Sweden’s Psychological Defence Agency launches major advertising campaign 

Sweden’s new Psychological Defence Agency has launched a new campaign titled Bli inte lurad, meaning roughly “don’t be a mug”. The campaign has been launched on social media, in printed newspapers, and on billboards across Sweden. 

Swedish Vocab: lurad – conned/deceived

Erdogan: Sweden’s contact with Kurdish groups ‘against spirit of Nato’

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has condemned Sweden’s contact with Kurdish groups as “against the spirit of Nato” in a telephone conversation with France’s President Emmanuel Macron. 

On Wednesday, delegations from Sweden Finland and Turkey held their first meeting in Ankara. 

“We communicated in clear language the message that the process cannot move forward until Turkey’s security concerns are met with concrete steps and within a certain timeframe,” Erdogan’s spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin, said after the meeting. 

Swedish Vocab: en tidsram – a timeframe 

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