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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. 

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday 
Oslo Operahus. Photo by Arvid Malde on Unsplash

Oslo to hold press conference on Covid measures 

Oslo City Council will hold a press conference at 5pm on Tuesday. 

The city council is expected to announce when the next round of easing measures in the capital will be introduced. 

Last week, current coronavirus measures were extended until June 18th following a sharp rise in cases. 

READ MORE: Oslo extends coronavirus measures after cases rise by 87 percent 

Cases rose by 87 percent two weeks ago but have been falling since. 

Further easing of measures would mean the city initiates step three of its five-step plan to lift coronavirus restrictions. 

The Norwegian capital previously adopted a phased approach to the second step of its roadmap to lift infection control measures. 

Measures at step three include allowing more guests in the home and longer alcohol serving hours for hospitality. 

We will have the details covered for you in an article later.

Norway sets racism-free target 

Norway’s culture minister, Abid Raja, has set the ambitious target of making Norway the first country in the world free from racism. 

“I would like to launch a new major political goal for Norway: Become the first country in the world to get rid of racism,” Raja told newspaper VG.

The target comes after, in recent weeks, many Norwegians from Asian backgrounds have come forward with stories about the prejudices they have faced. 

“We are the world’s foremost country in so many incredible ways. Norway is the world’s second most equal country. We are the world’s best country for journalists. We are in the top 5-6 top countries in the world for LGBTIQ people. We have a zero vision of death in traffic and a zero vision for suicide. It does not make sense that we don’t have the goal of being racism-free as well,” Raja told the paper. 

Damming report on state of air ambulance service in the north 

A new report has slammed the state of the air ambulance service in northern Norway. 

The report was conducted by Norway’s health watchdog, the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision, and was critical of the state of Norway’s air ambulance service. 

“The Norwegian Board of Health Supervision has concluded that the regional health authorities have not provided sound and coordinated ambulance flight services for patients in northern Norway in need of immediate help,” the report outlined. 

Due to sparse populations and long distances between hospitals in northern Norway, many patients are dependent on air ambulances to get them to hospital. 

The Norwegian Board of Health’s review found that in 13 out of 20 cases, it took air ambulance services more than 60 minutes to take off after being notified. 

“These are important and serious finding that I will ask the health regions to address,” Health Minister Bent Høie told state broadcaster NRK

195 new Covid cases 

On Monday, 195 coronavirus cases were registered across Norway, 14 more than the seven-day average of 181. 

In Oslo, 27 new Covid-19 cases were recorded, 15 less than the seven-day average for infections in the capital.

The R-number or reproduction rate in Norway is currently 0.9. This means that every ten people that are infected will, on average, only infect another nine people, indicating that the infection level is declining.

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

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TODAY IN NORWAY

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.
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