Covid-19: Oslo retains social lockdown including alcohol sales ban
Norwegian capital Oslo has extended local coronavirus restrictions, meaning the national lifting of a ban on serving alcohol by businesses will not apply in the city.
Oslo’s city government will extend its ban on sales of alcohol and the tight local restrictions termed a ‘social lockdown’ until February 4th, VG and other Norwegian media report.
As such, the city will sidestep the national lifting of the restriction on alcohol sales set to come into effect on Friday.
Local restrictions in the capital, which put the city under stricter measures than the rest of the country, were first introduced on November 10th.
Some elements of the social lockdown will, however, be eased slightly, Oslo’s mayor Raymond Johansen confirmed at a briefing on Wednesday afternoon.
The restrictions that will be eased primarily affect children and young people.
Indoor leisure and sport activities for primary school-age children will be permitted from Thursday January 21st at 12pm, while a limited number of activity clubs (fritidklubber), attended by children outside of school hours, will also be reopened. Up to 20 people will be allowed to attend with anti-infection rules in force.
The ‘red' level of alert will remain in place at upper secondary schools and higher education, meaning reinforced infection control measures and smaller class groups.
“But if the positive trend continues, we will move upper secondary schools down to yellow level soon,” Johansen said.
The last 14 days have seen 1,804 new infections with Covid-19 registered in Oslo. 117 were registered in the most recent daily update. VG’s running counter of infection rates puts the city’s curve on a slight downward trend.
“The increase in infections has stopped and we can see the trend of increasing infections has been decreasing,” Johansen said according to VG.
The following restrictions currently apply in Oslo:
- 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.
- Outdoor events with up to 200 participants are permitted, but Oslo supports the national recommendation to postpone events.
- All businesses where cultural and leisure activities take place are closed, with the exception of certain after-school clubs.
- Weddings, confirmations and other family gatherings where there are more than ten people are not allowed.
- Cinemas, theatres, playgrounds, gyms, sports and swimming pools closed.
- Grass roots sport (breddeidrett) and leisure activities for young people and adults banned.
- Bars and restaurants banned from 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. Childcare and primary school at ‘yellow’ level.
Here are some exceptions:
- Libraries, galleries and places of worship may open, but no more than 10 people may take part in congregations.
- Organised leisure activities for children allowed.
- Elite sports can be carried out but with the spectators outside not inside.
- Funerals and burials can be held.