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

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
Kiruna, which is being moved to make way for mining expansion in the northern city. Photo: Karin Wesslén/TT
Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short roundup of the news in less than five minutes.

Six-week wait for Swedish Covid vaccine passes by post

People without a Swedish electronic ID must apply for their Covid vaccine passes by post, but delays of up to six weeks can be expected, according to the Dagens Nyheter newspaper. In November, before Sweden introduced a requirement to show a vaccine pass at many public events, the waiting time was between around five and eight days.

EXPLAINED: How to get your Covid-19 vaccine pass in Sweden

The eHealth Agency tells Dagens Nyheter that it has only processed around half of more than 130,000 applications that have been sent in manually. Applying online with an e-ID takes minutes, but the option is not available to large parts of the population, for example people without a Swedish identity number, the personnummer, who instead have to fill in a paper form and send it in by post.

Swedish vocabulary: a day – en dag

IN NUMBERS: Covid patients increase in Sweden over New Year’s period

There are now more Covid-19 patients in Swedish hospitals than at any point since May last year.

More than 610 Covid-19 patients were in hospital on the first day of 2022, according to public broadcaster SVT’s database which collects information from official sources. That’s up from 485 patients the week before.

In addition to that, around 120 Covid patients were in intensive care on Monday, a figure which is at its highest level since June.

According to the latest available data from December 30th, Sweden has recorded 1,314,784 Covid cases during the pandemic. Sweden updates its official data Tuesday-Friday, so the Public Health Agency is expected to present updated figures today.

Swedish vocabulary: today – i dag

Teachers’ union: Mass test schoolchildren in Sweden

One of the teachers’ unions, Lärarförbundet, has called on Sweden to follow in the footsteps of Norway, which is now handing out rapid Covid tests to all schoolchildren. Schools are set to open in Sweden next week after the Christmas break.

“It would be welcomed if we too had a Public Health Agency which says it is better to test your children one time too many than one time to little,” union chief Johanna Jaara told Swedish public broadcaster SVT’s news programme Aktuellt on Monday.

Schools in Sweden are instead told to take preventive measures such as spending time outdoors, emphasising good hand hygiene, informing students and parents that students should stay at home if they develop symptoms of Covid, and avoiding crowding.

Swedish vocabulary: schoolchildren – skolbarn

Cracks appear in school building in Swedish mining town

Several buildings in Sweden’s northernmost city, Kiruna, have been damaged by cracks caused by mining activity. High school Hjalmar Lundbohmsskolan is the latest to receive cracks to its walls, pillars and floors, reports SVT Norrbotten.

Kiruna is in the process of being relocated eastwards so that mining company LKAB – the region’s major employer – can continue expanding underground. The company has therefore bought the school, and will according to the contract with the council continue operating it until a new school is ready for its around 800 students by autumn 2023.

“I am very concerned,” mayor Gunnar Selberg told SVT about the cracks.

Swedish vocabulary: a mine – en gruva

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