Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
Find out what’s going on in Norway on Thursday with The Local’s short roundup of important news.
Quarantine to be phased out and replaced with testing in schools
Quarantine will be phased out and be replaced with more thorough testing in schools this autumn, the Norwegian Directorate of Health has said.
“During the first two weeks of school restarting, you will see the use of quarantine decrease and testing replace it as an alternative,” Bjørn Guldvog, director of the Norwegian Directorate of Health, told newspaper VG.
Part of why testing will replace quarantine as an infection control measure in schools is that by the time schools return, most people over 18 will be vaccinated, thus minimizing the risk of outbreaks in schools spreading to wider society.
Another reason is the government aiming for schools to return to “green level” or everyday teaching with regular class sizes and mixing between groups when the next school year begins.
Full class sizes and more students mixing means it would be impractical to quarantine every single student who comes into contact with a student who tests positive. So instead, local authorities will use mass testing to contain outbreaks.
Norway’s Telenor quits Myanmar over military coup
Norwegian telecoms giant Telenor is selling its subsidiary in Myanmar as a result of the military coup there.
Telenor will sell its operations in the country to M1 group for 900 million kroner, it announced Thursday.
“The situation in Myanmar has over the past months become increasingly challenging for Telenor for security, regulatory and compliance reasons,” Telenor chief executive Sigve Brekke said in a statement.
Seven out of tens thinks vaccine redistribution was a good idea
Around 70 percent of Norwegians believe the government’s decision to redistribute vaccines to areas with consistently high infections throughout the pandemic was the right decision.
However, those in Northern Norway were more likely to think the government made the wrong decision than those in Oslo, where extra vaccines were distributed.
Just under half of those in North Norway said they agreed with the governments choice.
Local politician wants to feed seagulls birth control pills
A local politician has made headlines in Norway for suggesting seagulls in his city, Tromsø, North Norway, should be fed contraceptive pills.
Gunnar Pedersen, a councilor with Tromsø city council, said aggressive seagulls had become a nuisance.
Birth control has been used in other places such as Italy and Belgium to control local bird populations. However, critics have hit out at the idea as there are several species of seagull on the endangered species list in the area.
211 new Covid-19 cases in Norway
On Wednesday, 211 new Covid-19 cases were registered in Norway, 22 more than the seven day average of 189.
In Oslo, 34 new coronavirus infections were recorded. The seven-day average for the capital is 19.