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

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 Friday
SKB's capsule laboratory in Oskarshamn, where capsules for nuclear waste storage are being developed. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

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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For members


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