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

Sweden extends travel restrictions for China, what's happening to sick pay rules, and are property prices about to rise again? Here's Sweden's latest news.

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
Sweden is expected to extend entry restrictions which require some travellers from China to show a negative Covid test. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Sweden extends travel restrictions for travellers from China

Sweden will extend entry restrictions on travellers arriving from China, which at the time of writing are set to expire on Saturday, said Health Minister Jakob Forssmed.

The restrictions mean that third-country residents over the age of 12 who are travelling from China need to show a negative Covid-19 test to be allowed into Sweden – in other words non-EU, non-Swedish citizens resident outside of the EU/EEA and Switzerland.

The entry restrictions were introduced in early January following an increased spread of infection of Covid in China, as well as a lack of data on which variants were spreading.

The Swedish government is expected to formally make the decision to extend the entry restrictions at a cabinet meeting on Thursday, writes Swedish news agency TT.

According to the Public Health Agency, the test should be no more than 48 hours old, and the certificate should be in Swedish or English. Both antigen and PCR tests are accepted, but they will need to be carried out by a medical professional who can provide a certificate, so at-home tests don’t count.

Swedish vocabulary: entry restrictions – inreserestriktioner

Sweden drops inquiry into first unpaid day of sick leave

The government has dropped an inquiry that was looking into whether or not to change Sweden’s current rules on its unpaid first day of sick leave, reports Altinget. The inquiry was launched by the previous Social Democrat-led government before the election.

During the pandemic, the usual rules were changed so that employees could get paid (albeit not a full day’s worth of salary) for the first day of sick leave too, in order to encourage them to stay home if they had symptoms of Covid. Calls have been made for this to be made a permanent rule.

Swedish vocabulary: the first unpaid day of sick leave – karensavdrag

Are property prices about to rise in Sweden again?

After a downturn of nine months, property prices could again be on the increase – at least according to a new survey by analysis company Valueguard’s index.

Its data suggest that the price of property went up 2 percent in Stockholm in the first two weeks of January, compared to the whole month of December, and 1.4 percent in Gothenburg. The big cities often lead the way on the property market, said Valueguard’s analysts.

In Sweden as a whole, however, property prices instead fell 1.4 percent, or 0.6 percent when adjusted for seasonal effects.

Opinion among economists is divided in regards to what will happen to the property market in 2023 – read The Local’s recent report here.

Swedish vocabulary: property market – bostadsmarknad

How did a far-right extremist derail Sweden’s Nato application?

Turkey this week pulled out of upcoming Nato accession talks with Sweden and Finland following a far-right activist’s Koran-burning stunt at the Turkish embassy.

But who is Rasmus Paludan and why could Sweden not prevent him from burning the Koran? How did it come to this and who benefits from throwing a spanner in the works of Sweden’s Nato membership? The Local explains in this article.

Swedish vocabulary: membership – medlemskap

How many people got Swedish citizenship in 2022?

Last year, the number of new Swedish citizens reached 89,967 – an increase on 2021.

This figure includes secondary applicants – children who were granted citizenship in a joint application with their parent – as well as people whose application was rejected by the Migration Agency but approved by an appeals court.

The Migration Agency received a total of 88,968 applications in 2022 (not including secondary applicants), and 94,292 were processed, including applications received in previous years. Of these, 78,201 were approved, 13,230 were rejected, 572 were listed as “invalid” and 2,289 were in the “other” category.

Read more citizenship stats in The Local’s article.

Swedish vocabulary: citizen – medborgare

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

Two women charged for Vetlanda murder, Swedish princess's husband to get 'no special treatment' and 200 households get 100,000 kronor in electricity subsidy. Here's some of the news on Friday.

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

Two women charged for murder of 21-year-old woman in Vetlanda

Two young women have been charged in connection with the murder of Tove, a young women who disappeared and whose body was later found by a search party on November 22nd in a forest south of Vetlanda, near Jonköping. 

The disappearance and the discovery of the body has been heavily covered by the media in Sweden. 

The two women have been held in pre-trial custody since October 20th, suspected of murder and desecration of a body. 

Tove was reported missing when she did not return home after a night out, and an investigation for suspected kidnapping was launched on October 17th, with the two women who have now been charged held the same day. 

“The police have carried out a thorough investigation and I consider that I have picture of the sequence of events and the participation of the accused,” prosecutor Adam Rullman said in a statement. “The investigation suggests that the dead 21-year-old and the suspected 20-year-old had a conflict-filled relationship, but we have not been able to find a closer motive.” 

Swedish vocab: händelseförloppet – the sequence of events

Swedish princess’s British husband ‘will have to wait in line like everyone else’

Chris O’Neill, the British-American husband of Sweden’s Princess Madeleine, will have to apply for a residency permit like any other non-EU national moving to Sweden, the Migration Agency has said. 

”Princes and princesses, kings and queens – what are the rules for family members for royals who are non-EU citizens and want to move to Sweden?,” the agency wrote on its Facebook page

”There are no exceptions for third-country nationals applying for residency on the grounds of a relationship with royalty,” the agency said. “The Migration Agency also does not have any simplified processes for that and the case will be handled according to the ordinary process.”

Swedish vocab: inga undantag – no exceptions

More than 200 households got more than 100,000 kronor in electricity compensation

At least 234 households received more than 100,000 kronor (€90,000) in compensation for high electricity prices last year, according to numbers provided to the Dagens Nyheter newspaper by the Swedish Social Insurance Agency. 

To have been able to receive so much, these households must have used more than ten times as much electricity as the average detached house in Sweden. As has been previously reported, the biggest payout to an individual was 773,000 kronor. 

Almost all (98 percent) of the compensation has now been paid out.

Swedish vocab: en genomsnittlig villa – an average detached house