What restrictions could be on the way in Norway?

What restrictions could be on the way in Norway?
People sunbathing on the Oslo waterfront in the summer. Photo: Odd Anderson/AFP
As Norway's infection rate continues to rise, the country is likely to tighten restrictions. Here's what to expect.

In a press release on Thursday, Prime Minister Erna Solberg warned that restrictions could soon be tightened both at a national and a local level. 

“If the number of infections which can't be traced increases, or local outbreaks do not come under control, we will consider introducing more intrusive measures locally, regionally or nationally,” she wrote.

Local restrictions already in place in Bergen

Bergen, Norway's second-biggest city, is currently the epicentre of Norway's epidemic, with 43 new cases diagnosed in the 24 hours leading up to Monday morning. It has also been the first to bring in a raft of restrictions to control its outbreak. 

“The corona situation in Bergen is serious,” Bergen's mayor Roger Valhammer said in a press release issued on Saturday. “We have already had one new corona death this autumn, now we fear that there will be more.” 

Here are some of the special restrictions put in place on September 8th.  

  • The number of people in private gatherings has been cut from 20 to 10.
  • Public events in Bergen have been limited to 50 people. 
  • Nightclubs, restaurants and bars will have to take details of all visitors
  • Face masks are now mandatory on public transport, if the one-meter rule cannot be complied with.
  • All employees of  Bergen municipality who can will work from home, and all others are recommended to do the same.

No other local restrictions 

The municipalities of Sarpsborg and Fredrikstad are both currently seeing an outbreak linked to a celebration of the Shia Muslim Ashura celebration at the Al-Ghadir Islamic Center in Østfold, but so far, neither have brought in extra restrictions to control the outbreak. 

National restrictions to come later this week? 

In its press release on Thursday, the government suggested the following possible measures.

  • Increased focus on protecting vulnerable groups, preventive measures to avoid infection in health institutions, and strengthened advice for risk groups
  • More home working 
  • Call to avoid public transport if necessary
  • Reduce maximum number at public event to 50
  • Reduce maximum private gathering to 10 or even people 
  • Reduce opening hours for restaurants, bars and cafes 
  • Total closure of all restaurants, bars and cafes. 
  • Full closure can also be considered as a temporary measure depending on the situation.
  • Extend use of face masks, to public transport during rush hour. 
  • Hold events outdoors if possible
  • Return universities to digital tuition 

 

 


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