Covid-19: Municipalities in Oslo region to tighten restrictions

Covid-19: Municipalities in Oslo region to tighten restrictions
Illustration photo: JENS SCHLUETER /AFP
Municipalities near Oslo said on Monday have said they will follow the capital in introducing tighter Covid-19 restrictions.

The senior local politician from one of the municipalities, Lørenskog, said that new measures in the area would be agreed on Wednesday.

“The municipal director (kommunedirektør) recommends that we fall into line with Oslo,” Lørenskog mayor Ragnhild Bergheim told VG.

“The reason that we are waiting until Wednesday is that the city council in Oslo must process amendments on Monday and we want to be sure about what is decided there. It is important to be as coordinated as possible even though it might not be exactly the same restrictions here,” Bergheim explained.

That could mean the closure of gyms and shopping centres in the outlying municipality, VG writes.

Oslo announced tighter coronavirus restrictions on Sunday including mass testing of high school pupils and the closure of shops, cafes and restaurants.

Despite an easing of restrictions being announced in Oslo just eleven days ago, Norway’s capital is back to tighter restrictions, after an announcement by the city’s council leader on Sunday evening.

Oslo has had various restrictions in place since 10th November. But last week saw a spike in infection rates.

READ ALSO: Covid-19 restrictions tighten again in Norway’s capital

The mayor of Lillestrøm Municipality, Jørgen Vik has meanwhile proposed the closure of shops, restaurants and gyms, VG reports. Supermarkets, pharmacies and Vinmonopolet alcohol stores will be allowed to remain open.

“We have to introduce drastic measures because the situation with infections in Lillestrøm is like that in Oslo. We have 20 percent unknown (origin) infections and 50 percent are with the (more infectious B117) variant, and that is terribly infectious,” Vik said.

The municipality could also introduce curbs on public assembly both inside and outside, according to the report. As with Lørenskog, a decision is expected on Wednesday.

Two other areas, Nordre Follo and Nesodden, are not reported to be considering tighter restrictions at the current time. The two municipalities currently have relatively low infection numbers. Rælingen, located between Lørenskog and Lillestrøm, also has no current plans to tighten measures.

Ullensaker, the municipality in which Oslo’s Gardermoen Airport is located, has postponed plans to lift restrictions but is also not adopting Oslo-level measures, Mayor Eyvind Schumacher told VG.

“But I can already say that we encourage limited travel into Oslo for example through working from home. I would also ask people from other municipalities not to come to Ullensaker when shops in their own municipalities are closed,” Schumacher said.

The Norwegian capital has registered 1,856 new cases of the coronavirus during the last 14 days. Several areas of the capital have high infection rates and increasing infection trends, official data from the municipality shows.


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