Swedish News, July 28:

Åre worst affected by unemployment / Increase in hand alcohol poisoning / The Nobel Banquet canceled / Major cities are losing tourists / Mail delivery every other day / Significantly fewer asylum seekers 

  • A painting by Swedish artist Emil Österman depicting the founder of the Nobel Prize, Alfred Nobel. Image from nobelprize.org
  • Åre worst affected by unemployment
    Of all Sweden's municipalities, Åre municipality has been hit the hardest by unemployment during the corona pandemic. Swedish radio and the Swedish Employment Administration, Arbetsförmedlingen, have together investigated how unemployment has hit in different regions. Åre, which is one of Sweden's largest tourist municipalities, has an unemployment rate of 10.7% in July, compared with 5.7% in January. Second on the list is Sigtuna municipality, where Arlanda Airport is located.

  • Nobel banquet at Stadshuset.
  • Increase in hand alcohol poisoning
    The number of suspected hand alcohol poisonings has increased significantly during the corona crisis. In April and May, the Poison Information Center (Giftinformationscentralen) received twice as many calls as during the same period in 2019. About 60-70% of the calls come from worried parents whose children have ingested alcohol. The fact that small children ingest hand alcohol is not associated with any great danger, but in large quantities, the children can in the worst case get drunk, according to the Poison Information Center. The increase in the number of cases is clearly linked to the current pandemic.

  • The Nobel Banquet canceled
    There will be no Nobel Banquet on December 10 in Stockholm City Hall, reports Dagens Nyheter after an interview with the Nobel Foundation's outgoing CEO Lars Heikensten. What the award ceremony for this year's Nobel Prizes will look like is still unclear. You can not gather so many people crowded next to each other, and it is uncertain whether people can travel to Sweden to the extent they would want to.

  • Major cities are losing tourists
    The Swedish tourist industry has been hit hard by the pandemic - and it is especially bad in the major cities. Occupancy at hotels in Stockholm was 15% in June, compared with 75% in the same month last year. One reason why tourists choose nature over the capital may be that they do not feel safe from an infection control point of view according to the organization Visit Stockholm. In Gothenburg, the hotel occupancy in July is about 40%, in Malmö 45-50%.

  • Mail delivery every other day
    Due poor finances Swedish postal servioces, Postnord, will try to only distribute mail every other day in parts of Skåne in southern Sweden.“The number of letters decreases by 10-15% every year. It affects us financially when we need to deliver the mail every day, regardless of whether we have letters to hand out or not, ”says Tomas Lilja, area manager in Lund. In September, the pilot project will be launched in the towns of Kävlinge and in Nöbbelöv north of Lund. The idea is that the project will then be extended to the whole of Scania, Stockholm and Gothenburg and then the whole country.

  • Significantly fewer asylum seekers
    The travel restrictions during the corona pandemic have stopped the flow of refugees during the spring. The Swedish Migration Agency significantly lowers the forecast for asylum seekers. Labor immigration and foreign students are also expected to decrease. The number of asylum seekers is expected to be between 10,000 and 17,000 this year, 8,000 lower than the forecast in May and a historically low number. You have to go back to 1999 to see similarly low levels according to the Swedish Migration Board.