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

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Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
OSKARSHAMN 202120 SKB:s kapsellaboratorium i Oskarshamn där man utveklar kopparkapsarna som ska innehålla bla utbränt kärnbränsle från kärnkraftverken. Foto Adam Ihse / TT / Kod 9200

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


Sweden extends entry ban for non-EU/EEA travellers until spring

Sweden has extended its border restrictions until the end of March for non-EU arrivals, and removed visitors from Argentina, Australia and Canada from the list of exemptions.

The government on Thursday extended Sweden’s current entry rules for EU/EEA arrivals until February 28th, and March 31st for people travelling from other countries.

This means that people travelling to Sweden from non-EU/EEA countries cannot enter the country unless they are covered by one of a series of exemptions from the entry ban. Such an exemption could be living in a so-called “exempt country”, having a valid Covid vaccine pass issued by an “approved country”, or being a resident of Sweden.

Some of the people covered by an exemption will still have to show a negative Covid test to enter Sweden, unless they are exempt from this too (for example if they have a vaccine pass from an approved country or are long-term residents of Sweden).

You can read more about the difference between exempt and approved countries in The Local’s guide.

Swedish vocabulary: inreseförbud - ban on entering the country


Public Health Agency decides against vaccinating 5-11 year olds

In a press conference on Thursday, the Public Health Agency announced that they do not plan on extending vaccines to under-12s. The reasoning behind the decision is the agency's conclusion that the medical benefit for the individual child if vaccinations are extended to 5-11 year olds is small.

The agency also states in a press release that it does not conclude that vaccines for this age group would currently have any significant effect on the spread of infection, neither for children aged 5-11 or for other areas of the population.

They further state that children continue to be at lower risk of being seriously affected by Covid-19 compared with adults. Generally speaking, say the agency, the younger the child, the lower the risk.

Since October 2021, the agency have recommended vaccines against Covid-19 for all over the age of 12.

The Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for use in children aged five years and over, and has been recommended since the end of December for children aged 5-11 years old who are extra sensitive for respiratory infections.

Swedish vocabularymedicinska nyttan - medical benefit


Government gives green light to spent nuclear fuel repository

The nuclear waste repository will be built in Forsmark, eastern Sweden.

Nuclear waste will be protected by three layers, designed to avoid radiation from leaking out of the capsules in the 100,000 years needed for the waste to decay. These layers include a copper capsule surrounded by bentonite clay, buried deep underground in bedrock.

Critics of the proposal were concerned that there was not enough research in to how much corrosion the copper capsules could sustain before risking leakage, newswire TT reports.

Although the repository has been approved, new safety tests are required before the system can be put into practice. The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) will be required to carry out a step-by-step test of the project. 

This, in turn means that the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company (SKB), the company in charge of the repository, will have to provide updated safety analysis to SSM for approval before building can commence.

Construction is expected to start at some point this decade, with completion expected at some point in the 2030s.

Swedish vocabulary: slutförvar av använt kärnbränsle - repository for spent nuclear fuel


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