New Covid-19 cases make Norway ‘red’ country by own criteria

New Covid-19 cases make Norway 'red' country by own criteria
Bergen is one of the areas to have seen a recent increase in Covid-19 cases. Photo: Tomas Eidsvold on Unsplash
1,126 new cases of coronavirus detected in Norway within the last two weeks mean that the country is now in excess of its own quarantine criteria for incoming international travel.

A key criterion used by Norway’s health authorities in recommending whether people arriving from EEA and Schengen countries should quarantine is the number of new infections per 100,000 residents. The measure must be under 20 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people for the past two weeks.

The number of infections in Norway over the last 14 days now sees the country above that limit at just under 21 cases per 100,000 residents, according to national broadcaster NRK.

Local outbreaks, notably in Fredrikstad, Sarpsborg and Bergen, have pushed the national infection rate for the country above the key criterion.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) said that it did not deem it necessary to divide Norway into ‘red’ and ‘green’ zones for travel as has been the cases for international arrivals.

READ ALSO: What are Norway's quarantine rules and what happens if you break them? 

“But it is very relevant to work with good local responses such as face masks and closure of workplaces or institutions, but not travel restrictions,” NIPH department director Frode Forland told NRK.

Higher levels of infection in Norway could theoretically result in other countries introducing restrictions on travel from Norway.

Finland has already announced such restrictions after Norway passed Helsinki’s stricter limit of 10 infections per 100,000 residents.

READ ALSO: Finland reinstates restrictions on travel from Denmark and Norway

The director of the Norwegian Directorate of Health, Bjørn Guldvog, told NRK that local measures would be introduced in Bergen, potentially including stricter social distancing requirements, control of quarantine or maximum assembly limits. The exact measures were expected to be finalised by the Bergen city council on Tuesday, he said.


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