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COVID-19

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday

Found out what’s going on in Norway on Wednesday with the Local’s short roundup of important news.

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
Trolltunga, one of Norways most famous hikes. Photo by Dong Zhang on Unsplash

Government press conference at 1pm

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg will hold a press conference on the Coronavirus situation at 1pm.

In addition to this, she will provide an update on the progress of Norway’s “corona certificate” or vaccine passport.

The government hopes to launch the passports this month but are yet to outline how exactly they will be used.

The version of the certificate they launch will not be the full one, that will come in June and will launch alongside the EU’s vaccine passport.

Minister of Health Bent Høie, Minister of Culture Abid Raja, Director of Health, Bjørn Guldvog and Director of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health Line Vold will be present.

Press conference about Coronavirus restrictions in Oslo at noon.

Oslo’s mayor, Raymond Johansen, will hold a press conference on Coronavirus measures at midday.

The city council will reveal whether Oslo will be moving to stage two of its five-step plan for lifting restrictions in Norway’s capital.

Step two would see shops, cafes, restaurants, gyms and museums open. It would also see the return of alcohol being served in hospitality settings.

READ MORE: ‘Life as we remember’: Oslo reveals five-step plan for lifting Covid-19 restrictions

Record finder’s fee for metal detector enthusiast

The National Heritage Board has paid out a 200,000 kroner finder’s fee for a gold haul found using a metal detector.

The haul was discovered in 2016 by a metal detector enthusiast in Skaun, central Norway.

The enthusiast unearthed a gold hammered spiral ring with several rings hooked on, weighing 392 grams.

The piece dates back to the Iron Age and is one of the most significant finds of its kind.

The average finder’s fee from the National Heritage Board is 1,500 kroner.

Health authorities to hold test concerts

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health will run test concerts with a capacity of 5000 people, state broadcaster NRK are reporting.

It is trialling whether it is safe to carry out large public events with mass testing of the audience.

The trial events are being held with the aim of having events with a capacity of 5,000 by the summer.

The test events will only include participants aged 18 and 45 with no underlying risk factors.

Norway exports 8.6 Billion kroner worth of seafood in February

Norwegian fish exports rose by 338 million or 4 percent compared to the same time last year.

“Even though the seafood markets are still strongly affected by the pandemic, the value of seafood exports is the second-highest ever,” CEO of the Norwegian Seafood Council, Renate Larsen, said.

The CEO of the seafood council added that the rising price of snow crabs and salmon contributed to the increased exports.

484 Coronavirus infections registered

On Tuesday, 484 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded in Norway. This a rise of 85 cases compared to the 7-day average of 399.

READ MORE: Are Norways Covid-19 numbers on track for reopening?

This is an increase of one compared to the day before.

Total number of reported cases. Source: NIPH

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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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