The head of the Oslo City council, Raymond Johansen, gave an update on the situation in the Norwegian capital on Monday.
Oslo has seen an increase over the last three weeks from 113 Covid-19 infections to 306 infections, broadcaster NRK reports.
Each of Oslo’s 15 districts (bydeler) now has over 20 infections per 100,000 residents during the last two weeks, putting them in the ‘red’ category for current infections, the level at which health authorities advise quarantine for travellers coming into the country.
“The situation in Oslo is serious. We have to stop the trend and we must do it now,” Johansen said.
Measures announced by the City of Oslo on Monday include the following:
- A ban on gatherings of more than 10 people in private homes, effective from noon on Tuesday September 22nd
- The city council “urgently” encourages use of facemasks on T-bane (underground) trains, trams and buses
- The public is also asked to wear facemasks in all places where it is not possible to maintain a minimum social distance of one metre, such as at shopping malls or supermarkets
- Cafes and restaurants are asked to register all customers
- Working from home is encouraged wherever possible
The measures apply for an initial two weeks, NRK reports.
Authorities are also considering implementing a 50-person limit on public events in the city.
“We will assess all types of events in the coming weeks,” Johansen said.
While the majority of Monday’s measures are in the form of recommendations, they could be made mandatory if the trend is not reversed, the head of the city council said.
“If the number of infections increases as it is now, we will again have to introduce interventions in Oslo. The worse we are at following anti-infection guidelines, the harder we will be hit by the pandemic,” he said.
Nationally, 678 new cases of coronavirus have been registered in Norway in the week leading up to September 21st. 23 people are currently admitted to hospital with the virus.
Norway has seen 267 deaths with coronavirus since the beginning of the global pandemic.