Oslo eases restrictions but ban on gyms and alcohol remains in place
Norway’s capital Oslo Wednesday announced a slight easing of coronavirus restrictions, despite an increase in cases. And residents will still have to wait before going to the gym or ordering a beer at a bar.
The newly announced restrictions are scheduled to last from Thursday February 18th to March 3rd. They were presented at a press conference one day after the government announced lifting of the regional restrictions in the Oslo area.
The easing is happening even though the capital last week recorded a 28 percent increase in new Covid-19 cases compared to the week before, according to a report by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH).
“Several outbreaks and more testing due to new variants led to an increase in the number of reported cases in Oslo last week,” the institute concludes.
“We are in the midst of a challenging situation where we on the one hand are seeing that the rate of transmission has increased somewhat lately, while we on the other hand are aware of the heavy burden that residents in Oslo carry under long-lasting and strict measures,” Oslo’s governing mayor Raymond Johansen said in a statement.
“We therefore have to balance the need for protective measures against the need for easing restrictions. It’s a challenge, but I’m happy we can continue the gradual and controlled opening of our city,” he continued.
Here are the new restrictions:
- Schools have returned from ‘red’ to ‘amber’ level according to the national traffic light model. This means pupils will be able to receive more physical teaching.
- Children and young people under the age of 20 are allowed to participate in organised leisure and sports activities indoors.
- Adults may participate in organised leisure and sports activities outdoors, as long as they maintain at least one metre social distance and groups do not exceed ten people.
- Libraries, shops and restaurants can open.
- Gyms will remain closed.
- Malls and department stores will remain closed. Exceptions are in place for grocery shops, pharmacies, restaurants and cafés, etc.
- The ban on serving alcohol will remain in place.
A full overview of recommendations and restrictions is available on the Oslo municipality website.