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

Find 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
Oslo Operahus. Photo by Arvid Malde on Unsplash

Covid-19 epidemic in Norway could be over by the summer 

The coronavirus epidemic in Norway will be over by the summer, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health have predicted.

An epidemic is an outbreak of disease that spreads rapidly between people in smaller areas, such as a country, whereas a pandemic affects people over a greater geographical location. Covid-19 currently has the status of an epidemic within Norway’s borders. 

“During the summer, we expect that the epidemic will more or less disappear from the country,” Department Director, Line Vold, at the NIPH told state broadcaster NRK

However, this does not mean that Norway will be completely rid of the virus. Vold still expects there to be small local outbreaks of Covid-19. 

“We envisage that there will still be outbreaks in some municipalities, but that there will be a much lower risk of any new regional or national waves,” Vold said. 

We will have more on this story in a separate article shortly.

Clear majority for change of government in next election

There is a clear majority for a change of government according to a joint poll conducted by newspaper Aftenposten and national broadcaster NRK

According to the poll, the Labour Party and Socialist People’s Party will receive 78 out of the required 85 for a majority in parliament between them. Norway’s left leaning parties could receive up to 109 seats between them.  

READ ALSO: What Britons in Europe need to know about hte UK government’s ‘votes for life’ pledge

The four parties currently in government are only on course to receive 60 seats and are 20 percentage points behind the opposition, with three months until the next election. 

The two parties would need to form a coalition with one or multiple other parties to form a government. 

Coalitions are the norm in Norway as there are nine main political parties, and Norway uses a proportional representation voting system. 

Almost 500 wolves in Norway and Sweden 

The population of wolves in Scandinavia has risen over the past two years, and there are now around 480 wolves across Norway and Sweden. 

The wolf population grew by 30 last winter and 100 the winter before that, according to Rovdata

READ MORE: How many wolves are there in the Norwegian wild

Rovdata, which collects data and population figures on wolves, wolverines, bears, lynxes and golden eagles, said that the majority of wolves were in Sweden and border territories; roughly 110 wolves were detected in Norway this winter. 

460 new cases of Covid-19 in Norway 

On Tuesday, 460 cases of coronavirus were registered in Norway. This is an increase of 108 compared to the seven-day average of 352. 

In Oslo, a sharp increase in cases has been recorded. On Tuesday, 140 cases of infection were registered in the Norwegian capital, a rise of 93 cases. 

The R-number or reproduction rate in Norway is currently 1.0. This means that every ten people that are infected will, on average, only infect another ten people, indicating that the infection level is stable.

Number of reported Covid-19 cases. Source: NIPH

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

More than 160 SAS flights from Norway cancelled, three oil fields closed due to a strike and the population set to shrink in rural parts of the country. This and other headlines from Norway on Tuesday. 

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

SAS strike unlikely to be short-lived

Unfortunately for travellers booked with the airline, the current SAS strike looks set to rumble on for a while as there are two large issues pilots’ unions and the company will need to find consensus on before strike action ends, newspaper VG reports. 

“There are no reassuring signs that it will be short-lived. They have been negotiating for several days, with several postponements, and yet they did not agree,” aircraft analyst Jacob Pedersen from Danish Sydbank told VG. 

Pilots employed by SAS’s parent company, SAS Scandinavia, announced strike action because they were unsatisfied with their salary and working conditions.

In addition, the pilots are dissatisfied that instead of re-employing old SAS pilots, priority is given to hiring new pilots on cheaper agreements in the two subsidiaries, SAS Link and SAS Connect.

READ MORE: What the SAS strike means for travellers in Norway

At least 163 flights out of Norway were cancelled due to the SAS strike

On Tuesday, 163 services from SAS out of Norway were cancelled due to a strike, according to an overview from newspaper VG.

Of the cancellations, 79 were overseas departures, while 84 were domestic flights. 

Yesterday 900 pilots in Norway, Sweden and Denmark went on strike after the company and unions failed to reach an agreement by the Monday midday deadline. 

The airline said that up to 30,000 passengers per day could be affected. 

READ MORE: What can SAS passengers do if their flight is affected by pilots’ strike?

Population in rural Norway to shrink by 2050

Most rural municipalities in Norway will begin to shrink in population by 2050, while the cities and suburbs will continue to grow. 

This is according to a projection by national statistics agency Statistics Norway. 

Norway’s population is expected to grow from 5.4 million to 6 million by 2050 and 6.2 million by 2100. 

“The growth in the population in the next decades will be unevenly distributed across the country. Viken county is expected to grow by 19 percent by 2050, while Nordland is expected to shrink by 2 percent,” Statistics Norway researcher Sturla Løkken said. 

Three oil fields to go on strike

Union Lederne has taken 74 members out on strike, which will lead to the shut down of the Gudrun, Oseberg sør and Oseberg Øst oil fields. 

More oil fields could close on Wednesday when 117 more workers at three other oil fields could go on strike. 

According to Norwegian Oil and Gas, 13 percent of gas exports abroad will be lost due to the strike.