Oslo extends coronavirus measures after cases rise by 87 percent

Oslo City Council has extended Covid-19 restrictions in the Norwegian capital following a sharp rise in cases.

Oslo extends coronavirus measures after cases rise by 87 percent
Oslo business quarter. Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash

Current Covid-19 rules in Oslo will now continue until June 18th. when the council will assess the situation again.

The decision comes after infections in the city rose by 87 percent last week. 

“Almost 600 were infected. A large amount of those were 16–19-year-old’s who haven’t been vaccinated yet,” Executive Mayor Raymond Johansen told the press on Tuesday. 

There were, in fact, more than 600 cases registered in Oslo last week. According to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health’s official figures, Oslo registered 627 new coronavirus infections in total. 

Johansen added that another reason for extending measures was that the city council hopes to lift them for good when they do ease restrictions. 

“The cautious, gradual reopening of Oslo has been successful, and our ambition is when we open, we open for good,” he said. 

Oslo is currently on step two of its five-step plan to lift restrictions in the city. 

 Bars, restaurants and gyms reopened in the capital on May 27th with measures such as a cut-off point of 10 pm for serving alcohol and limited capacity for sports and leisure centres in place. 

The complete list of restrictions currently in place are: 

  • Cafes, pubs and restaurants are open, and alcohol can be served until 10 pm. Capacity is in line with national recommendations—social distancing of 1 meter in place.
  • Gyms and swimming pools are open, with a capacity of 20 people. Indoor leisure activities and training for children and young people are allowed.
  • Cinemas, theatres are open for up to 20 people at a time. Museums and galleries are also open.
  • Events with up to 20 people in fixed designated seating are allowed. Outdoors the limit is 30 people without permanent seating and 50 with designated seating.
  • Shops and malls are open with capacity dependent on the size of the store. Social distancing of 2 meters in place 
  • Up to 10 people can meet indoors and up to 20 outdoors. 
  • Libraries are open. 
  • Kindergartens, primary schools and secondary school are at the yellow level. Yellow level means full class sizes and limited mixing of students from different classes. You can read more on the yellow level here
  • Facemasks to be worn on public transport, in places of worship and stores. 

The Executive Mayor said the city would also be banning russ, final year high school students who party in the month leading up to their final exams, from “rolling”. 

READ MORE: Could final year high school students in Norway be given earlier Covid-19 vaccines? 

This is where students ride around in special party buses or coaches. 

“If there are many in a russ bus, perhaps in a jovial mood and wanting to dance and shout and have a good time, we see that the risk of infection spreading increases greatly,” Johansen said. 

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Have Oslo’s new electric scooter rules reduced accidents?

New rules were brought in to combat the sharp rise in accidents and injuries involving electric scooters in Oslo. But, one month later, have the new regulations done the job?  

Have new rules had an impact on the number of accidents involving scooters in Oslo. Pictured it two e-scooters parked outside a

New rules brought in to cut down on the number of e-scooter accidents in Norway’s capital appear to have had the desired effect as incidents were more halved in September, when the rules were introduced, compared to the month before. 

This is according to figures from Oslo University Hospital’s (OUS) emergency department that have been obtained by newspaper Aftenposten

The Emergency Medical Service in Oslo registered 143 injuries in connection with electric scooters in September. In August, the month before measures were brought in, there were 301 injuries.’

Compared to the peak of accidents in June, where 436 injuries were recorded, incidents are down by almost two-thirds. 

“We are very happy. This is what we hoped for,” Henrik Siverts, chief physician at OUS’s emergency department, told the newspaper Aftenposten

‘We feared it would happen’: Oslo sees first death of electric scooter rider

Among the new stricter rules introduced for rental scooters, which included significantly cutting the number of devices in the city, was a curfew that prevented people from using them between 11pm and 5am. 

Siverts said that the curfew had a dramatic effect in reducing accidents at night. 

“Unsurprisingly, accidents have gone down at night time. What injuries we do get at night are probably people who privately own their scooters. But accidents have also gone down during the day, too,” he explained.  

Just eight injuries were recorded in September at night, compared to just under 100 in August. 

Over the summer, a surge in accidents meant accident and emergency departments in Oslo were forced to have more staff on during weekends. Still, as a result of the reduction in scooter accidents, staffing has now returned to normal. 

Have your say

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