Norway waits on introduction of new national Covid-19 restrictions

Norway waits on introduction of new national Covid-19 restrictions
File photo: Pierre-Henry DESHAYES / AFP
The government will not announce new national coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday but has said strict central interventions could come into play if local responses to increased infection rates do not control outbreaks.

“I am asking everyone to prepare themselves” for the possibility of new national restrictions, Prime Minister Erna Solberg told parliament.

Solberg also asked for people who live in Norway not to travel outside of the country and called for Norwegians who live abroad not to return home during the Easter holidays.

The government had been widely expected to confirm new restrictions on Tuesday after previously stating it was awaiting health authority recommendations.

Instead Solberg presented an outline of the restrictions that can be brought into effect if current infection rates do not decline in the short term. She also gave local medical authorities increased powers to respond to increasing infections by implementing measures locally.

“If we are successful together in slowing down infections with local and regional measures, we can avoid further reinforcement of national restrictions which would also impact areas with lower infection rates,” she said.

“But if the local, regional and national measures we have today do not prove to be enough to bring infections down, we will have to introduce stricter national measures,” she continued.

“In the last few weeks, numbers have again pointed upwards and the more infectious variants are beginning to take over as the dominant variant,” the prime minister said.

The following measures could be introduced nationally – but will not be immediately introduced as of Tuesday.

  • Recommended one-metre social distance increased to two metres
  • Limit of 10 private contacts per week
  • A maximum of 20 people at indoor events with fixed seating
  • A maximum of 50 people at funerals
  • A maximum of 50 people at outdoor events
  • Ban on indoor leisure activities for adults
  • Gyms and swimming pools could close
  • National ban on serving alcohol
  • Closure of amusement parks, bingo halls and similar
  • Requirement to work from home

If these measures do not have the desired effect, the following more stringent restrictions can be considered, according to NRK:

  • Two-week ban on guests in private homes
  • Postponement of all events
  • ‘Red’ alert level at schools and education institutions, meaning the highest level of anti-infection precautions
  • Online classes at universities
  • ‘Red’ level at junior schools and kindergartens in areas with high infection rates


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