The King and Queen visit Jönköping County
On Thursday 14 October, The King and Queen visited Jönköping County to highlight initiatives being carried out in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The King and Queen's visit took place in Jönköping, and was hosted by County Governor Helena Jonsson and her husband Göran Johansson.
The official residence
At the County Governor's official residence in Jönköping, The King and Queen were welcomed to the county. The County Governor, Regional Council Commissioner Maria Frisk, Regional Director Jane Ydman, Director of Healthcare Mats Bojestig, Infection Control Physician Malin Bengnér and Event Manager Fredric Jonsson spoke about how the pandemic has affected the county, the challenges and lessons of the pandemic, and the importance of cooperation between the county's various actors during the pandemic.
After the introductory meeting at the official residence, The King and Queen visited Elmia Exhibition and Convention Centre where they were welcomed by Elmia's former CEO Lotta Frenssen and Acting CEO Agne Bengtsson.
Assistant Fire and Rescue Manager for Jönköping Municipality Göran Molin described how the county's municipalities have worked together during the pandemic. Anders Jingmark from Skärpfabriken and Per Gustafsson from Gislaved Folie then spoke about how their businesses were transformed during the pandemic, from making leather goods and advanced plastic films to producing protective clothing.
Elmia's former CEO Lotta Frenssen explained how the exhibition and conference centre was hit hard by the pandemic, and how they made their premises available for dealing with protective equipment, Covid testing and vaccination.
Anna Gillek from the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise concluded by giving an overview account of how industry in the county has been affected by the pandemic, and the lessons that have been learnt as a result.
Jönköping County Museum
The afternoon began at Jönköping County Museum, where The King and Queen were welcomed by museum director Johan Gärskog. He spoke about how culture within the county has been affected by the pandemic, and how the museum dealt with the challenges involved.
The visit to the museum concluded with a guided tour of an exhibition about John Bauer.
At Jönköping University, The King and Queen were welcomed by President Agneta Marell who described how teaching has worked during the pandemic, as well as the problems and challenges faced by the university.
The Queen and Queen and the County Governor also had the opportunity to speak with Associate Dean of Education at the School of Health and Welfare Agneta Stenebrand, Chair of Jönköping Student Union Sophia Fröberg Liljenberg, Head of Research at the School of Engineering Salem Seifeddine, Welfare Officer Marie Böwing-Lindström and Dean of the School of Health and Welfare Marie Ernsth Bravell.
Råslätt Health Centre
At Råslätt Health Centre, Operational Manager of Ryhov County Hospital's Infection Clinic Maria Palmérus spoke about staff's initial concerns during the pandemic.
Director of Bra Liv Health Centres Charlotta Larsdotter, physician Ann Söderström, nurse Sandra Lindén and Operational Manager Christina Uppenber from Råslätt Health Centre, vaccination coordinator Jonas Almgren and Health Communicator Mohamoud Suldan described their experiences of the pandemic, all returning to the importance of cooperation and proximity to residents in Råslätt during the pandemic.
Hovslätt Homestead Park
The day concluded with The King and Queen visiting Hovslätt Homestead Park, where they were welcomed by Lennart Lindström from the local history association.
During their visit, The King and Queen learnt about how the pandemic has affected tourism and business within the county.
Robert Glader from Emilkraften Economic Association in Eksjö described the challenges faced by the association during the pandemic in terms of supporting tourism, and how they had created the Emilleden walking trail between Lönneberga and Mariannelund.
Agnetha Karlsson and Anna Eriksson from Tranås Municipality explained how the municipality had created a nature trail for children in Östanå Park, in the centre of Tranås. The aim is to interest children in the natural world, and to enhance knowledge about animals and nature.
Anton Halldén, head of the county administrative board's fishing unit, talked about fishing and water conservation in the county. During the pandemic, the board has seen growing interest in fishing and other leisure activities. He concluded by speaking about the River Tabergsån, which runs alongside Hovslätt Homestead Park, and the board's work to restore the river to create an attractive spawning ground for fish including salmon trout.
The Royal Family visit Sweden's counties
In connection with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, members of the Royal Family will be visiting Sweden's 21 counties at the initiative of HM The King.
The first four visits took place in autumn 2020, but subsequent visits were postponed due to the second wave of the pandemic. The visit to Kalmar marked the resumption of visits to Sweden's counties during autumn 2021.
Through these visits, The King hopes to show the Royal Family's solidarity with those who have been affected and to highlight local initiatives within different sectors of society.
All visits will be adapted in view of the ongoing pandemic, and will be carried out in accordance with the Public Health Agency of Sweden's recommendations.