The Swedish Writers’ Union guidelines and information during the corona virus
The following guidelines in relation to COVID-19 are currently in force at the Union:
The Swedish Writers’ Union is maintaining its ordinary opening hours as far as possible while following the official recommendations, and with staff working primarily from home.
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Guidelines for the work of the Union in relation to the corona virus, covid-19
Adopted by the board of directors of the Swedish Writers’ Union on 20 April 2020.
The Swedish Writers’ Union will consistently follow the recommendations of the Swedish Public Health Agency (Folkhälsomyndigheten). Hence this document and our guidelines may be amended over time. The current guidelines are as follows:
Covid-19 is a virus that spreads primarily through droplets. Hand hygiene is of utmost importance. It should be borne in mind that doorknobs, handles, bannisters and light switches, for example, are often touched. Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. If you sneeze or cough, do so into your sleeve or a tissue, to prevent possible contagion and to contribute to reducing people’s anxiety. Maintaining social distance also helps stem or slow down contagion. The concept of social distancing refers to lessening normal social contacts as a means of avoiding contagion.
If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms such as coughing, breathing difficulties or a temperature, stay at home.
The Swedish Writers’ Union has also instructed our cleaners to clean doorknobs, handles, etc. adequately.
Meetings and events
Essential meetings are being held as planned, while unnecessary meetings or meetings that can be postponed will be rescheduled after 12 June. It is up to the arranger of each meeting or each respective section to determine what constitutes an essential meeting. Digital meeting participation will always be offered for participants who either do not live in Stockholm or who belong to a risk group. The authorities both advise against meetings with more than 50 participants, and counsel minimizing meetings to no more than a few participants. The annual general meeting of the Union has been postponed until 29 August. During this period digital meetings will replace physical meetings. See Movits for further details.
Staff members, Union members, elected officials and other meeting participants
The Union office, Drottninggatan 88B, will remain open, but in consideration of the advice of the authorities concerning social distancing and in order not to burden the public transport system unnecessarily, most staff members will be working from home several days each week. Until 12 June 2020, the facilities in the building will not be available for external meetings. We are also avoiding having guests in the building.
We encourage everyone to follow the recommendations of the authorities and avoid both domestic and international travel. If you are going to schedule an essential trip, reserve re-bookable tickets. Travel abroad and other travel that can be postponed should be postponed.
Our residential grants
Through the month of April 2020, residential grants were administered according to normal routines, although we encouraged grant holders to reserve refundable tickets. Since then, a general recommendation has been issued by the authorities discouraging people from traveling this summer, for example to Greece, and grant holders who therefore lose opportunities to utilize their grants will be given first priority at the next call for applications.
Cancelled arrangements and loss of income
At the Union, we are cognizant that the current situation in Sweden is having a severe impact on many writers and translators. In collaboration with KLYS (The Swedish Joint Committee for Artistic and Literary Professionals), we are maintaining a dialogue on these matters with the Ministry of Culture. The Union has also established a temporary crisis fund.
Rebates on rental facilities
According to a decision of the Swedish government, cultural enterprises such as literary offices are to be included in the previous proposal concerning rental rebates for particularly vulnerable sectors. The European Commission approved this list of sectors as not being in conflict with prevailing competition legislation on 16 April 2000, and the regulation has now implemented.
According to this form of support, any landlord who reduces the fixed rental cost for tenants between 1 April and 30 June 2020 is eligible to apply for compensation from the relevant County Administrative Board.
The Swedish government and its supporting parties have proposed the establishment of a national emergency service to provide guaranteed loans to businesses. According to this proposal, the state will guarantee 70% of any new loan granted by a bank to a business that is otherwise viable but having problems as a consequence of the new corona virus. Such a guarantee will be issued to the relevant bank, which, in turn, will pay out the guaranteed loan to the business.
There are no formal limits to the size of the company eligible for the program, which is to be administered by the Swedish national debt office. Banks will pay a guarantee fee to the national debt office for the issuing of said guarantees. This fee will be regulated on the basis of the risk classification of each respective borrower, to be established by the credit agencies. Risk assessment will be carried out in accordance with the credit checking processes of the credit agencies.
The Swedish Writers’ Union will remain abreast of developments and prepare for various possible scenarios as the year progresses, in relation to planned meetings and activities.
The Swedish Government:
The Public Health Agency of Sweden:
The Swedish Arts Council:
The Swedish Joint Committee for Artistic and Literary Professionals (KLYS):
1177.se (Swedish health care information)
The Swedish Social Insurance Agency: