Bergen: Norwegian city to lock down as coronavirus restrictions tightened

Bergen: Norwegian city to lock down as coronavirus restrictions tightened
Bergen. Illustration photo: Nathan Van de Graaf on Unsplash
A strict new round of coronavirus restrictions are to be introduced in western city Bergen after 103 new cases of Covid-19 were detected.

Museums, gyms and grass roots sport are among areas facing shutdown as Bergen heightens measures to restrict coronavirus infections.

Bars, cafes and restaurants will be banned from serving alcohol after 9:30pm, NRK reports.

Other measures, which come into effect on Saturday, are as follows:

  • A limit of 20 people at any public gathering. Events without fixed seating are banned. Funerals are exempted and allowed a limit of 50 attendees.
  • Restaurants, cafes, bars and similar must close by 10pm and stop serving alcohol by 9:30pm.
  • Grass roots (organised) sport (breddeidrett) and amateur culture for adults over 20 is banned.
  • Swimming pools and gyms to be closed.
  • Sports training for children and youths under 20 allowed, but no competitions.
  • Bingo halls, museums and similar to be closed.
  • Libraries closed to activity and public use, but open for loaning and returning of books.
  • Shops and malls must ensure number of customers does not prevent two-metre social distance being maintained.
  • Passengers and drivers in taxis must wear face masks.

The measures, which are in force until November 23rd, apply in Bergen and neighbour municipalities Alver, Askøy, Bjørnafjorden, Osterøy, Samnanger, Vaksdal and Øygarden, NRK reports.

“This is now about stopping the spread of infection so we don’t get a large, uncontrolled outbreak. Not least to avoid a breakdown in the health service,” Roger Valhammer, head of the city government in Bergen, told NRK.

The measures announced Friday come in the wake of the following, which were presented on Thursday:

  • Maximum of five people in private homes. Exceptions for homes where more than five people live, and where children have guests from their regular school or childcare cohorts. The previous limit was ten people.
  • Working from home now a requirement (previously a recommendation) wherever possible.
  • University and folk high school classes to take place online.
  • Adult grass roots sports and leisure activities to close.

“We must stay at home for the next weeks. Limit who you meet and how many you meet. Now is not the time to take chances,” Valhammer said.

Norway has seen increasing Covid-19 numbers in recent weeks, particularly in the cities, but the situation remains less severe than in many European countries.

A total of 88 people were reported hospitalised with Covid-19 in Norway on Friday, the highest number in the country since April.

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


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