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MAPS: Which parts of Norway are free of coronavirus?

Cases of Covid-19 have been rising steadily since February, and Norway is nearing 80,000 cases since the pandemic began. But some municipalities have yet to register a single case of Covid-19.

MAPS: Which parts of Norway are free of coronavirus?
Photo by Mikita Karasiou on Unsplash

The latest figures from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health show that there are 12 municipalities yet to register any infections.

Unsurprisingly, island municipality Kvitsøy, which is the smallest municipality in size at just 6.2 square kilometres and one of the smallest by population (531, according to Statistics Norway data from the most recent census in 2014) has stayed completely Covid free.

Although the have yet to record a single case, its inhabitants have still had to live under many strict measures.

“Although we have managed to keep corona away, we have felt its impact nevertheless,” the manager of the only store on the island, Kate Brynlund, told broadcaster NRK.  

It’s not just island municipalities that have not registered any Covid-19 infections since the outbreak.

The mainland municipality of Hattfjelldal in the Nordland county has also not registered a single case.

“We are an outlying municipality in that we have closed the border to Sweden. In addition, people are very scattered about here, and some luck also comes into play,” the mayor of the municipality, Harald Lie, told NRK.

Despite not registering any cases of Covid-19, municipalities like Hattfjelldall, as well as Rindal in Trøndelag have lived under the strict national measures that have applied to the rest of the country.

That means, for example, the children from different classes have been unable to play with one for over a year now.

NIPH senior medical consultant Preben Aavitsland has noted a common theme shared by the uninfected municipalities.

“These are mostly small rural municipalities, which are far from the nearest town,” Aavitsland said to NRK.

He also called the biggest factor behind these municipalities staying Covid-free: luck.

“It is probably first and foremost about luck, but also a little about minimal contact with other municipalities and very small populations”, he said.

READ ALSO: Why there are still reasons to be positive about Norway’s Covid-19 situation

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OSLO

EXPLAINED: What Oslo’s easing of Covid-19 restrictions means for you

Most, but not all, of the Norwegian capital's local Covid restrictions have been lifted to fall in line with national coronavirus rules, with new limits on guests at home and new guidance on face masks. Here’s a rundown of what the latest restrictions mean for you.

EXPLAINED: What Oslo's easing of Covid-19 restrictions means for you
Oslo's skyline. Photo by Oscar Daniel Rangel on Unsplash

Covid-19 measures in Oslo have been relaxed, with the majority of local restrictions being replaced with the looser national rules.

The new rules are a mix of steps three and four of the city’s five-step reopening plan and were introduced after the lowest infection numbers since last autumn were recorded in Oslo last week. 

Last week, 239 coronavirus infections were registered in the Norwegian capital. 

“The gradual, controlled opening of Oslo has been a success. Many of the rules that the people of Oslo have been expected to live with are now being removed, and we will essentially live with the same corona rules as people elsewhere in Norway,” Oslo’s Executive Mayor Raymond Johansen said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Not all local restrictions have been lifted however, meaning there are a mix of local and national rules in place. 

Below we’ll take a look at how the measures will affect everyday life in Oslo. 

At home 

The significant change here is that the ban on having more than ten people gathered at home has been lifted completely. Instead, this will be replaced with the national recommendation not to have more than guests. 

So while it will not be recommended to have more than ten guests, it’s not an enforceable rule anymore. 

READ MORE: What happens if you get caught breaking the Covid-19 rules in Norway

Shopping 

The local rules for shopping malls and stores have been tweaked too. There will no longer be any rule that makes face masks mandatory in shops. In addition to this, the official social distancing measure has been halved, to one metre, and the limit on the number of people allowed in shops has been scrapped. 

However, it’s worth noting that some shops may wish to keep some infection control measures in place if they feel it helps keep staff and shoppers safe, so it may be worth bringing a mask along on your next trip to the shops just in case.

Face masks  

The rule on mandatory face masks in public has also been given the axe, with two exceptions. 

You will still need one if you are taking public transport or taking a taxi. 

Masks will no longer be needed in shops, gyms, museums and galleries, indoor swimming pools, spa facilities and hotel facilities such as pools and dining areas. 

Although, some places may still wish to continue with a mask policy, so always remember to have one handy to be sure. 

Hospitality 

At indoor public places, such as restaurants, 50 people are allowed in venues without fixed assigned seats and 200 people at events with set, assigned seats.

Outdoors, 200 people can gather in cohorts of three, meaning a potential venue of 600 for places with the space and capacity and where there is fixed designated seating.

Soon, when the government changes its rules for events, up to 5,000 people will be able to gather when there is a seating plan in place, provided venues aren’t operating above 50 percent capacity.  

Up to 20 people can book a table at a restaurant or bar when indoors and 30 people outdoors. 

Alcohol will now be able to be served until midnight rather than 10 pm, and this rule will stay in place until July 4th. The cut-off point will remain in place even if national rules change and allow alcohol to be served later. 

Sports, leisure and entertainment 

Bingo halls, bowling alleys, arcades, playgrounds can now reopen.

Oslo’s numbers cap on the people allowed in gyms, museums, galleries, and indoor pools has been lifted. 

Now, 20 people can work out, go for a swim, or take in some art indoors, and up to 30 can do so outdoors. 

Schools 

Restrictions for schools and kindergartens haven’t changed, however. 

This means that schools and kindergartens in Oslo will remain at yellow level. 

Yellow level means that full class sizes are allowed, but mixing between classes must be kept to a minimum. Yellow level also means increased cleaning and hygiene measures are also in place. 

You can read more about yellow level here

Adult education and university are at red level, which means digital learning where possible and minimal contact between students and teachers. 

You can read more on red level here

Work

People are still required to work from home where possible until July 4th. 

Executive mayor Johansen has previously said the home office would be one of the last pandemic measures to go, meaning it could be here for a while longer. 

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