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COVID-19

IN DETAIL: The Covid-19 restrictions at each level of Norway’s ‘letter’ scale

Norway has introduced a new tiered system for heightened local Covid-19 restrictions using letters to denote each level.

IN DETAIL: The Covid-19 restrictions at each level of Norway’s 'letter' scale
Photo: Macau Photo Agency on Unsplash

The pre-existing system of ‘rings’ of restrictions in and around outbreak areas is now only a geographical designation which will be used alongside the lettered measures, the government announced this week.

READ ALSO: Rings 1-2 and levels A-D: What are the new Norwegian Covid-19 local restrictions?

“There are four levels of measures which can be taken into effect. These are: A (very high); B (high); C (quite high); D (slightly high),” the government said in a statement.

The system has been criticised and called a “number and alphabet soup” by the opposition Labour party. Health minister Bent Høie has said that measures have been shown by surveys to be generally well understood.

Here is a guide to the restrictions which will be used at each of the four levels. Recommendations – for example in relation to guests in private homes, travel and use of face masks (when not mandatory) – are covered in a separate article.

Level A: Very high

Childcare, schools, higher education:

  • Schools and childcare facilities at ‘red’ coronavirus alert level, meaning measures including reinforced infection control measures and smaller groups.
  • Upper secondary education closed with classes moved online.
  • Universities and other adult education, including folk high schools, postpone classes or move them online.

Events:

  • All public events banned, regardless of whether they take place inside or outside. Funerals and burials are exempted.
  • Up to five people, in addition to production staff, may gather in order to produce digital events.

Sports and leisure:

  • Sports and leisure activities may not be organised for children or adults.

Work:

  • Working from home mandatory wherever possible. Employers are obliged to facilitate this.

Shops:

  • All stores must close with the following exceptions: shops primarily selling food (including convenience stores); supply stores for pets; pharmacies, optometrists, Vinmonopolet stores; hair salons, skincare and tattoo parlours; physiotherapists, chiropractors, chiropodists; petrol stations; and supply stores for agriculture, construction and home renovation, etc.
  • Shops and stores are allowed to open for collection of pre-ordered goods once a safe system for collection is in place.

Restaurants, cafes and bars:

  • All business which serve food closed but may operate takeaway service.
  • Ban on serving alcohol applies.

Other businesses which must close:

  • Gyms, amusement parks, bingo halls, bowling alleys, museums, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, swimming pools, spa facilities, libraries, all other indoor cultural leisure or entertainment centres.

Face masks:

  • Generally required in all public places, including public transport and taxis, when it is not possible to maintain a 1-metre distance.
  • This does not apply to children under 12.

Level B: High

Childcare, schools, higher education:

  • ‘Yellow’ level at schools and kindergartens in line with the national traffic light model.
  • Upper secondary education at ‘red’ coronavirus alert level.
  • Universities and other adult education, including folk high schools, postpone classes or move them online.

Events:

  • National restrictions apply.

Sports and leisure:

  • Organised sports and leisure activities allowed for children and young people under 20, but not for adults. The same applies to cultural activities.
  • Swimming pools and similar may open for this purpose as well as for use by professional athletes and for rehabilitation and similar treatments.

Work:

  • Working from home mandatory wherever possible. Employers are obliged to facilitate this.

Shops:

  • Free-standing stores may open except for stores in shopping centres and malls, with the following exceptions:
  • Shops primarily selling food (including convenience stores); supply stores for pets; pharmacies, optometrists, Vinmonopolet stores; hair salons, skincare and tattoo parlours; physiotherapists, chiropractors, chiropodists; petrol stations; and supply stores for agriculture, construction and home renovation, etc.
  • Shops and stores are allowed to open for collection of pre-ordered goods once a safe system for collection is in place.

Restaurants, cafes and bars:

  • Business which serve food may open if they are not part of a shopping mall.
  • Ban on serving alcohol applies.

Other businesses which must close:

  • Gyms, amusement parks, bingo halls, bowling alleys, museums, cinemas, theatres and concert halls.
  • Swimming pools, spa facilities, libraries, all other indoor cultural leisure or entertainment centres if not encompassed by exceptions (see above).

Face masks:

  • Generally required in all public places, including public transport and taxis, when it is not possible to maintain a 1-metre distance.
  • This does not apply to children under 12.

Level C: Quite high 

Childcare, schools, higher education:

  • ‘Yellow’ level at schools and kindergartens in line with the national traffic light model. Local authorities may introduce ‘red’ coronavirus alert level based on assessment locally.
  • Universities and other adult education may open if classes or training required for students to complete programmes cannot be conducted online.
  • Other classes at universities and other adult education, including under integration laws, are closed. University and adult education classes to move online.

Events:

  • All public events banned, regardless of whether they take place inside or outside. Funerals and burials are exempted.
  • Up to five people, in addition to production staff, may gather in order to produce digital events.

Sports and leisure:

  • Organised sports and leisure activities allowed for children and young people under 20, but not for adults.
  • Exemption for elite athletes.
  • Swimming pools and similar may open for this purpose as well as for use by professional athletes and for rehabilitation and similar treatments.
  • Cultural, leisure and sports facilities may open for children and young people under 20, and for outdoors activities for adults.
  • Libraries may open.

Work:

  • Working from home mandatory wherever possible. Employers are obliged to facilitate this.

Shops:

  • As Level ‘B’.

Restaurants, cafes and bars:

  • As Level ‘B’.

Other businesses which must close:

  • Gyms, amusement parks, bingo halls, bowling alleys, museums, cinemas, theatres and concert halls.
  • Swimming pools, spa facilities, all other indoor cultural leisure or entertainment centres if not encompassed by exceptions (see above).

Face masks:

  • Generally required in all public places, including public transport and taxis, when it is not possible to maintain a 1-metre distance.
  • This does not apply to children under 12.

Level D: Slightly high

Childcare, schools, higher education:

As Level ‘C’, i.e.:

  • ‘Yellow’ level at schools and kindergartens in line with the national traffic light model. Local authorities may introduce ‘red’ coronavirus alert level based on assessment locally.
  • Universities and other adult education may open if classes or training required for students to complete programmes cannot be conducted online.
  • Other classes at universities and other adult education, including under integration laws, are closed. University and adult education classes to move online.

Sports and leisure:

  • Organised sports and leisure activities allowed for children and adults.
  • Gyms may open for use of residents in municipality.
  • Swimming pools and similar may open for swimming lessons, training for children and people under 20, as well as for use by professional athletes and for rehabilitation and similar treatments.
  • Libraries may open.
  • Cultural, leisure and sports facilities may open for children and young people under 20, and for outdoors activities for adults.

Work:

  • Working from home mandatory wherever possible. Employers are obliged to facilitate this.

Shops:

  • As Level ‘B’ and ‘C’.

Restaurants, cafes and bars:

  • Business which serve food may open.
  • Ban on serving alcohol applies.

Other businesses which must close:

  • Gyms, amusement parks, bingo halls, bowling alleys, museums, cinemas, theatres and concert halls.
  • Swimming pools, spa facilities, all other indoor cultural leisure or entertainment centres if not encompassed by exceptions (see above)

Face masks:

  • Generally required in all public places, including public transport and taxis, when it is not possible to maintain a 1-metre distance.
  • This does not apply to children under 12.

Source: Regjeringen

The municipalities under stricter localised measures at the time of writing are:

Level A

Bergen, Kvam and Ulvik.

Level B

Alver, Askøy, Bjørnafjorden, Eidfjord, Osterøy, Samnanger, Ullensvang, Vaksdal, Voss and Øygarden.

Level C

Halden, Oslo and Sarpsborg.

Level D

Asker, Bærum, Fredrikstad, Hvaler, Indre Østfold, Lillestrøm, Lunner, Lørenskog, Moss, Nittedal, Nordre Follo, Rakkestad, Rælingen, Råde, Skiptvet, Våler and Ås.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

The UK is set to scrap all Covid-19 travel restrictions in what the government described as a "landmark moment".

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

Testing is no longer required for vaccinated travellers, but the UK government has announced that it will scrap all Covid-19 travel rules on Friday, March 18th.

“As one of the first major economies to remove all its remaining Covid-19 travel restrictions, this is a landmark moment for passengers and the travel and aviation sector,” said the Government in a press release. 

From 4am on March 18th:

  • Passengers going to the UK will no longer be required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form before travel;
  • Passengers who are not vaccinated will not be required to take a pre-departure Covid test, or a Day 2 test following arrival. Fully vaccinated travellers are already exempt from having to do this;
  • Hotel quarantine for travellers coming from ‘red list’ countries, of which there are currently none, will also be scrapped by the end of the month. 

“We will continue monitoring and tracking potential new variants, and keep a reserve of measures which can be rapidly deployed if needed to keep us safe,” said UK Health Minister Sajid Javid. 

The UK has lifted all Covid-related rules including mask rules and mandatory self-isolation if you test positive for Covid.

Some European countries still have Covid restrictions in place for unvaccinated people coming from the UK. 

Until March 18th

Until the new rules come into effect, all travellers are required to fill out a passenger locator form. 

Unvaccinated travellers are also required to take pre-departure test and a test on or before Day 2 following their arrival. 

The UK border officers will recognise proof of vaccination provided with an EU Covid Certificate.

For the UK “fully vaccinated” means 14 days after your final dose of a EMA/FDA or Swiss approved vaccine (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson). 

After a period of confusion, the UK government says that it will accept mixed doses administered in the EU (eg one dose of AstraZeneca and one of Pfizer).

However people who have only had a single dose after previously recovering from Covid – which is standard practice in some European countries – are not accepted as vaccinated by the UK.

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