Oslo tightens restrictions at schools and kindergartens as Covid-19 infections rise
Oslo is to introduce new restrictions on schools and kindergartens in an effort to stem increasing Covid-19 infection numbers in the city.
The measures, which will stay in place until Easter, include the closure of indoor leisure activities. Schools will not be closed but more classes will be attended online from home, broadcaster NRK reports.
Executive mayor of Oslo Raymond Johansen called the infection situation in the city “very serious” as he announced the new restrictions.
“The interventions we have made now longer look as though they are effective,” he said.
According to the city council, the spread of the more infectious B117 variant is related to the increase in the prevalence of the virus in Oslo since January, NRK reports.
Infections are increasing in all age groups, including amongst 10-19 year olds.
“I’m asking you to see as few people as possible, have as few visitors at home as possible. Social gatherings indoors should now be avoided completely,” Johansen said.
“We cannot risk having the worst period of the whole pandemic in front of us,” he added.
The measures put forward by the Oslo government are as follows:
- ‘Red' level at schools and kindergartens, meaning reinforced infection control measures and smaller groups. To take effect from Thursday.
- ‘Red’ level to remain in place at upper secondary schools.
- Youth activity clubs (fritidklubber) remain closed.
- All indoor leisure activities banned.
- Maximum outdoor group size of 10 people.
Prime Minister Erna Solberg noted in parliament on Tuesday that around 70 percent of Covid-19 infections in Norway over the last two weeks had occurred in Oslo and neighbouring Viken county.
The leader of the municipal health council, Robert Steen, told NRK that hospital admissions had increased by 450 percent.
Official data shows the city has seen 2,642 cases of the virus in the last two weeks, including 293 in the last daily update.
Local restrictions in the capital were first introduced on November 10th.