Norway extends coronavirus restrictions into January 2021

Norway extends coronavirus restrictions into January 2021
Illustration photo. Mika Baumeister on Unsplash
National Covid-19 restrictions are to be extended into the new year, Norway’s government has confirmed.

Health minister Bent Høie confirmed at a briefing on Tuesday that current restrictions would continue into the new year, NRK reports.

“We are strengthening measures to ensure better compliance with quarantine rules after Christmas and we are therefore maintaining national measures until the second half of January,” Høie said.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: Norway to make digital record of all arrivals at border

The minister said at the briefing that Norway’s national infection curve was flat, in contrast with neighbouring countries which are currently seeing increasing cases.

“In the autumn, infections increased in Norway. The virus spread quickly and to all counties. We now see the responses beginning to work. Although infection numbers are high, they have begun to flatten. But the decrease has stopped,” he also said according to VG.

The national measures were first introduced at the beginning of November and later extended into December.

Oslo, which has local restrictions in place due to higher infection levels than the rest of the country, registered 38 fewer cases in the last day than its weekly average, according to figures from Oslo Municipality.

READ ALSO: Social lockdown to continue: Oslo announces Christmas Covid-19 restrictions

The last day saw 331 new cases of Covid-19 registered nationally in Norway, standing in contrast with fellow Nordic nation Denmark, for example, which has been posting an average of close to 3,000 new cases daily since the end of last week.

Oslo and the Viken region account together for two-thirds of current Covid-19 cases in Norway, department director Line Vold of public health authority NIPH said at the briefing.

Norway’s national coronavirus restrictions 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
  • Strong recommendation against travelling within Norway
  • Face masks recommended in situations where it is not possible to maintain social distance of 1 metre or “where infection risk indicates it”.

The measures in place in Oslo are summarised below:

  • All indoor events are banned.  The only indoor social activity allowed is gatherings in private homes, where there can be up to ten people, if infection control measures are complied with.
  • Weddings, confirmations and other family gatherings where there are more than ten people are not allowed.
  • All businesses where cultural and leisure activities take place closed, except libraries.
  • Cinemas, theatres, playgrounds, gyms, sports and swimming pools closed.
  • Grass roots sport (breddeidrett) and leisure activities for adults banned.
  • Bars banned from serving alcohol. 
  • Restaurants can stay open but without serving alcohol.
  • Passengers and drivers in taxis must wear face masks.
  • Shops and malls must ensure the number of customers does not prevent two-metre social distancing being maintained.
  • Red' level at upper secondary schools and adult education, with reinforced infection control measures and smaller groups.
  • School grades 8-10 (ungdomsskole) also at the ‘red' level of restrictions used by health authorities for schools.
  • Face masks must be worn on public transport where it is not possible to maintain a social distance of 1 metre.

 

 


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