Norway announces strict new coronavirus measures: Here are the details to know

Norway announces strict new coronavirus measures: Here are the details to know
A file photo of Norwegian PM Erna Solberg. Photo: AFP
Prime Minister Erna Solberg presented a significant tightening of Norway’s coronavirus restrictions on Thursday.

Solberg urged the Norwegian public to “stay inside as much as possible, have as little social contact with others as possible” as she presented the measures in parliament, media in the Nordic country including VG report.

Several of the measures impact travel into the country, including for family members visiting Norway-based relatives. Solberg also advised strongly against travelling within Norway.

The measures announced by the government last month were no longer far-reaching enough, she said.

“We do not have time to wait and see if the measures we introduced the week before last are sufficient. We must act now to avoid a lockdown,” she said.

The new restrictions and recommendations are as follows.

  • All residents encouraged to remain at home as much as possible
  • Maintain a two-metre social distance from people in at-risk groups
  • No more than 20 people allowed to attend private events at public places; a maximum of 50 at indoor events without fixed seating. Up to 200 at indoor events with fixed seating
  • Avoid all non-essential foreign travel
  • National ban on serving alcohol after midnight
  • Mandatory negative Covid-19 test requirement for all international arrivals from ‘red’ countries
  • Arrivals with no permanent Norwegian address or without employment reasons must carry out 10-day quarantine at a ‘corona hotel’ and be tested for coronavirus

The last of the above rules means that family members visiting relatives in Norway must quarantine for ten days at a designated hotel.

The new measures will be reviewed before Christmas, VG reports.

“The situation is very serious. If this trend continues as now, we could see the same thing as more and more countries in Europe are doing. The concern is that the health system will collapse,” Solberg said.

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She also said that “parties are over” for the time being, referring to people gathering at home in lieu of closed nightlife.

The government has additionally presented measures which municipalities with high infection rates will be  asked to implement locally. The Directorate of Health and Norwegian Institute for Public Health (NIPH) determine which measures are relevant to apply regionally, according to VG’s report.

The regional measures are as follows.

  • Ban on grass roots sport (breddeidrett) for adults
  • Consider closing grass roots sport for under-20s
  • Additional restrictions on cafes, bars and restaurants including full ban on serving alcohol or closure at 10pm in order to reduce the total number of customers per day
  • Additional restrictions on maximum assembly numbers
  • Requirement to where face masks in taxis when they are already required on public transport
  • Two-metre social distance for indoor sporting activity
  • Mandatory working from home
  • Closure or limitation of businesses and activities with potential for infection spread, including but not limited to swimming pools, gyms, sports centres, bingo halls, museums, libraries, event venues without permanent seating and other public places where large numbers can gather indoors

The Directorate of Health is working on further recommendations and requirements, VG writes. These include an update to face mask requirements, including relating to public transport and places of work. Currently, face masks can be made mandatory on public transport and in public indoor areas where social distancing is not possible.

 


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