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

Find out what’s going on in Norway on Friday with The Local’s short roundup of important news.

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
Trollfjord Norway. Photo by Pascal Debrunner on Unsplash

Norwegian government to hold a press conference on reopening

Norway’s government will hold a press conference on Friday on the Covid-19 situation and on the further reopening of society.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Education Minister Guri Melby and Minister for Families Ingolf Ropstad will be present.

In addition to this, Health Minister Bent Høie, Norway’s Director of Health Bjørn Guldvog and the Director of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Camilla Stoltenberg, will also be present.

Previously the health minister and PM have said the plan was to lift more restrictions and open more of Norwegian society in the second half of May.

READ MORE: ‘Step by Step: Norway unviels four-step plan for lifting Covid-19 restrictions 

Step two would potentially see more guests being allowed in homes, loosening of entry requirements and the resumption of grassroots sport.

We’ll have the full details covered in an article later today.

Norway increases aid to Gaza

Norway is increasing its humanitarian aid to the civilian population in the Gaza Strip by 30 million kroner.

“It’s due to the precarious situation,” Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide told state broadcaster NRK.

The 30 million will be on top of the existing 71 million kroner Norway has already pledged in humanitarian support.

READ MORE: Norway fund dumps firms linked to West Bank settlements 

The money will be used to procure food, shelter and medical treatment and will be distributed between UN organisations and international and Norwegian aid organisations.

Oslo press conference on lifting measures on Friday

Oslo city council will hold a press conference at 1:30 pm on Friday.

Executive Mayor of Oslo, Raymond Johansen, is expected to announce restaurants reopening in the Norwegian capital on Friday.

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.

We’ll have all the details covered for you in an article later today.

13,000 reports of suspected side effects of Covid-19 vaccines

The Norwegian Medicines Agency had received 13.365 reports of suspected side effects to coronavirus vaccines.

Over 1,000 of the side effects have been classified as severe.

So far, 9,000 of the reports have been processed. Of these, 1,115 are classified as serious, and 8,060 were not classified as not serious.

The medical agency said that the reports of side effects provide no basis for changing the current recommendation for the vaccines currently in use, Biontech/Pfizer and Moderna.

505 new coronavirus cases registered in Norway

On Thursday, 505 new cases of coronavirus were registered in Norway. This is a rise of 177 compared to the seven-day average, which is 328.

This is also a rise of 28 on the day before.

In Oslo, 109 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded in Norway’s capital.

This is an increase of 44 cases on the seven day average of 65.

Total number of Covid-19 cases in Norway. Source: NIPH

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

Find out what’s going on in Norway on Tuesday with The Local’s short roundup of important news. 

Pictured is Holmenkollen in Oslo.
Read about the interval between doses two and three being shortened and the death of Kåre Willoch in today's roundup of important news. Pictured is Holmenkollen in Oslo. Photo by Michael Ankes on Unsplash

Tributes paid to Kåre Willoch 

The former prime minister and Conservative Party leader Kåre Willoch passed away yesterday aged 93. King Harold, prime minister Jonas Gahr Støre and former PM Erna Solberg were among those to pay tribute to Willoch. 

“He was a very gracious and nice person who was concerned with people and political issues,” Solberg said. 

The former PM pointed to Willoch’s modernisation reform in Norway as his most significant political legacy. 

“The most important thing he did was the modernisation of Norway,” she said. 

Health minister to decide on new Covid-19 measures

New coronavirus measures are on their way in Norway, with the health minister, Ingvild Kjerkol, set to decide on new restrictions following a rise in infections, outbreaks of the Omicron variant and parts of the health service nearing capacity. 

“There will be measures we will notice in our everyday lives,” Kjerkol said to public broadcaster NRK

“The situation is demanding, and that is the reason why we are now looking at new measures. We have a health service that is in full swing, and our goal is to have control of the pandemic, in the form that the municipalities and hospitals are able to provide proper health care,” Kjerkol explained.

READ ALSO: How could Norway’s Covid-19 restrictions be tightened this week?

The minister didn’t reveal any details on what could be announced but said that decisions would be made on Tuesday. 

Coronavirus booster vaccine interval shortened 

The interval between vaccine doses two and three for those aged between 64 and 45 will be shortened by a month, Norway’s health ministry has announced

The interval will now be five months when it was previously six. All adults with serious underlying conditions and those working in the health and care sectors will also have the interval cut. 

One in three think Covid-19 measures are too relaxed

A third of Norwegians feel that the current Covid measures in place in Norway are insufficient and need tightening, according to a survey conducted by Norstat for public broadcaster NRK.

Ten percent said the measures were too comprehensive, and just under 50 percent said that the current level of action was appropriate. 

4,117 new Covid-19 cases in Norway

On Monday, 4,117 new Covid-19 cases were registered in Norway. That is 1,240 more cases than the same day last week. 

As of yesterday, 295 people were hospitalised with Covid-19. 

A graph showing the number of weekly cases in Norway.
The total number of weekly cases in Norway throughout the pandemic. Source: Norwegian Institute of Public Health.