Norway presents revised Covid-19 vaccination plan

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) has updated its roadmap for the country’s vaccination programme. The authority expects all adults over the age of 18 to have received their first dose by mid-July.

Norway presents revised Covid-19 vaccination plan
(Photo by STR / AFP)

Previously, the NIPH best case scenario aimed to have offered everybody their first dose of the vaccine by the end of June.

“There are small differences in this vaccination scenario compared to what we (previously) presented on March 12th. The updated scenario shows that there will be approximately a couple of weeks of delay, both for when the age group 45-55 receive their first dose, and when those over 18 have been vaccinated”, NIPH director of infection control Geir Bukholm said in a statement.

The Norwegian health authority also plans to use the single-dose Janssen vaccine from Johnson & Johnson to help vaccinate people between the ages of 18 and 44.

“For many in the age group from 18 to 44, this (the first dose) will probably also be the last dose, because we plan to use the Janssen vaccine from Johnson & Johnson on this group,” Bukholm told national broadcaster NRK.

The NIPH conservative vaccine schedule. Screenshot: NIPH

Last week, Johnson & Johnson announced that they could deliver 52,000 doses in April, far less than the 310,000 doses the NIPH had estimated that Norway would receive during the month. Bukholm is nevertheless confident that the vaccines will be delivered.

“We have no evidence that the vaccine will not be delivered as agreed. In the first scenarios we posted, we did not have an agreement on exact delivery dates. We have that now,” he said.

READ NORE: Norwegian prime minister hopes to reopen most of the country by September 

The AstraZeneca vaccine, which has had its use in Norway suspended while links to serious suspected side effects are investigated, is still included in the plan.

The new plan stipulates that the break will last for five weeks. If there are further delays or the NIPH decides to drop the vaccine, that will delay the rest of the program.

In the revised roadmap, health authorities are planning to use the four vaccines that have already been approved. These are the Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines. If more are approved, the plan could be sped up.

Many people will be vaccinated during the summer holidays under the current schedule. Last week, NRK reported that several municipalities had to cancel vaccination over the Easter period as so many had refused the vaccine due to it being the holidays.

Bukholm hopes to avoid similar postponements in the summer.

“We hope that people accept the vaccination slot they are offered. Especially during the summer holidays when we are nearing the end of the vaccination programme,” he said.

To date more than 620,000, or around one-in-ten, people In Norway have been vaccinated. The vaccine will be free and accessible to everyone in Norway, including foreign nationals who reside in the country.

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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


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. 


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. 


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


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.