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

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday 
Reine, Northern Norway. Photo by Johny Goerend on Unsplash
Find out what’s going on in Norway on Thursday with The Local’s short roundup of important news.

Oslo City Council to announce further reopening 

Oslo’s executive mayor, Raymond Johansen, will announce the reopening of restaurants in Norway’s capital on Friday, newspaper VG reports this morning.

The capital has adopted a phased approach to the second part of its five-step reopening plan, and it is expected that restaurants will be allowed to reopen, with strict measures in place, around May 27th. 

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

Johansen told the paper that declining infection rates over the past week, fewer hospitalisations and almost all of those in risk groups being vaccinated make solid arguments for the next step of reopening to take place.

The mayor also praised the people of Oslo for their efforts in adhering to infection control measures and collective effort in driving infections down. 

Government to redistribute vaccine doses

The government announced on Wednesday night that it would distribute extra vaccine doses to 24 municipalities. 

Other municipalities will provide the extra vaccines. 

The following municipalities will receive extra doses: 

Lørenskog, Rælingen, Ullensaker, Sarpsborg, Enebakk, Oslo, Lillestrøm, Drammen, Nordre Follo, Fredrikstad, Nannestad, Bærum, Lier, Skien, Eidsvoll, Ås, Vestby, Nittedal, Råde, Indre Østfold, Rakkestad, Asker, Halden and Nesodden. 

They will receive around 60 percent more doses than originally planned until everyone over 18 has been offered a vaccine. 

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health chose these municipalities based on a model that considers the risk of infection, admission risk and progress in the vaccination program. 

We’ll have more detail on this in a full article later today.

Most people in Norway happy with the speed of reopening 

The majority of those surveyed in the latest Corona Monitor from Opinion are happy with the pace of the reopening plan in Norway. 

In addition to this, most people also believed that infections would continue to trend downwards. 

In the latest survey on the pandemic in Norway by the data collection firm, 60 percent said that the reopening was taken place at the right speed, with the rest evenly split on whether it was going too fast or too slow. 

Just over a quarter of those surveyed expected the number of cases to increase in the future, while 43 percent believe cases will fall and three in ten think infections would remain steady. 

The majority also said that if cases were to rise, it would be due to reopening and lifting restrictions. 

Norway has labour shortage of almost 50,000 people

Norway’s labour market is 46,000 people short, according to The Norwegian Welfare and Labour Administration (NAV).

The figure comes from NAV’s business survey for 2021. The labour market shortage is 4,750 fewer than in 2020 and 13,450 fewer than in 2019.

The most significant shortfall is in healthcare and nursing, which is missing roughly 13,500 people. The second-largest is in construction, with that industry being around 9,000 people short.

Six out of ten companies said that the pandemic hadn’t affected their employment, and just over a quarter laid off workers during the pandemic.

478 new coronavirus cases registered in Norway 

On Wednesday, 478 new Covid-19 infections were recorded in Norway. This is a significant jump of 147 compared to the seven day rolling average of 331. 

Typically there is a large uptick in cases following public holidays in Norway. 

In Oslo, 79 cases of Coronavirus were registered. This is 14 more than the seven-day average. 

READ MORE: Norway sees Covid infections fall as R rate rises 

The R-number or reproduction rate in Norway was raised to 1.0 on Wednesday. This means that infections are at a steady level in Norway as for every ten people that are infected, they will, on average, only infect another ten people.

Total number of cases
Total number of reported Covid cases. Source: NIPH

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