Oslo relaxes Covid restrictions with shops and malls to reopen
Retail and shopping malls will reopen in Oslo from Thursday while bars, restaurants and gyms will reopen later in May, the city’s mayor announced on Wednesday.
The Norwegian capital will adopt a phased approach to the second step of its five-step plan for reopening and relaxing Coronavirus measures. This means that only a few of the measures mentioned as part of step two would be introduced for now.
“I am pretty sure that the population of Oslo does not want us to take big risks with the reopening,” Mayor Raymond Johansen said.
"If we have to close down again as soon as we open, then the reopening would have been for nothing. Many other cities have had to do this," he added.
The first phase of step two includes:
- Shopping malls and stores can open from May 6th.
- Kindergartens and primary schools will move to yellow level from May 10th.
- Oslo municipal library will gradually begin reopening.
- Cultural activities will be moved from step three to later during step two.
- Elderly homes will gradually begin easing measures and returning to normal operations.
Stores have been closed in Oslo since March 2nd while shopping centres have been closed since the end of January.
If infections stay low, the city will look at implementing the remainder of step two, which includes reopening hospitality with alcohol service, gyms, museums, and more.
“If the situation with infection, hospitalisations and vaccines continues positively, those who run restaurants, bars, museums, cinemas, theatres and other cultural venues can start preparing for a gradual reopening in a few weeks,” Johansen said.
The second phase of step two will be assessed around May 20th, the mayor said. Step two would see:
- Cafes and restaurants reopen
- Alcohol service in hospitality until 10pm.
- Gyms and sports centres
- Organised sports outdoors for adults
- Cultural sites like museums, galleries and libraries reopen
- Leisure clubs for up to 20 people
- Worship services with fixed designated seating for 20 people at a time
On Tuesday, 123 new corona infections were registered, 24 fewer than on the same day last week.