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

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
A mobile Covid vaccination unit in Malmö. Swedish radio reports that Sweden may be about to cut the interval between the second and third dose. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short roundup of the news in less than five minutes.

Schools close as snowstorm set to batter northern Sweden

Sweden’s weather agency SMHI issued an orange alert for the Lapland mountains on Wednesday and Thursday, where harsh winds and heavy snowfall are expected. A yellow alert (the least serious on a scale of three) meanwhile warns of slippery roads in the Ångermanland region and large parts of Västerbotten, Norrbotten and Jämtland.

Schools in Krokom municipality will close on Wednesday and Thursday, and schools in Åre will close for the rest of the week, for all but children of parents in essential jobs.

Swedish vocabulary: bad weather – oväder

Concern as Covid cases soar in Sweden

Sweden’s big city regions – Stockholm, Västra Götaland and Skåne – last week all reported the highest number of new Covid cases in one week during the pandemic.

Swedish news agency TT reports that Västra Götaland, home to the city of Gothenburg, confirmed 27,044 new cases (up from 7,886 confirmed cases the week before); Skåne, home to cities such as Malmö, Lund and Helsingborg, confirmed 17,268 new cases (up by 55 percent) and the capital region Stockholm confirmed 36,493 new cases – a 90 percent increase on the week before.

Stockholm’s infectious disease doctor said in a statement that more than 40 percent of tests in the region are currently coming back positive, with Omicron dominating.

Although some of the increase could be attributed to limited testing over the holidays, doctors agree that Sweden is seeing a rapid increase in the spread of infection. “We haven’t previously been close to this number of confirmed infections per week,” said Johan Bratt, Stockholm’s chief physician, adding that the region is also seeing a “worryingly large increase of the number of patients with Covid-19 in hospital”.

Swedish vocabulary: worrying(ly) – oroväckande

How Sweden’s Covid rules change today

A range of new Covid measures come into force in Sweden today. The new measures – which include both restrictions and recommendations – are expected to be in place until mid-February, but the Public Health Agency will review them every two weeks.

The new rules include, for example, bars and restaurants being forced to close by 11pm, and all adults being urged to limit their number of “close contacts” in indoor settings.

Here’s a full list of the new measures (in English).

Swedish vocabulary: a rule – en regel

Is Sweden about to shorten booster waiting period to five months?

Swedish public radio broadcaster Sverige Radio’s news programme Ekot reports that the Public Health Agency is about to tell regions to shorten the time period between the second and third dose of the Covid vaccine from six to five months.

The Public Health Agency did not confirm the news when approached by Ekot, but the vaccine coordinator in Västerbotten told local radio station P4 Västerbotten that they’ve been told that the agency will issue new guidelines for the regions on Thursday.

Swedish regions are responsible for healthcare and are in principle able to set their own vaccination schedule, but so far only Kalmar has gone it alone and shortened the interval to five months for all adults. In most regions only people aged over 65 can get their booster after five months, while others have to wait six months.

Swedish vocabulary: responsible – ansvariga


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