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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
Ålesund, West Norway. Photo by Nicolai Berntsen on Unsplash

Leaders of all main parties in Norway take part in election debate

The leaders of Norway’s nine political parties went head-to-head in public broadcaster NRK’s televised debate last night.

Climate was one of the biggest issues of the night, with the leaders making a case for their views and policy on the issue.

The debate was a first for Progress Party leader Sylvi Listhaug and Liberal Party leader Guri Melby.

A clash between Socialist Left Party leader Audun Lysbakken and Listhuag was the highlight of the debate, with both holding their own when scrutinising one another’s environmental policy.

If you want to brush up on your Norwegian politics before the election, then check out our guide to Norway’s nine main parties here

More than 10,000 in student housing queue

Despite the first term of the academic year getting under way on Monday, more than 10,000 students across Norway are in the queue for accommodation.

The queue was as large as 16,000 two weeks ago, but that has since decreased and will continue to do so over the coming weeks as more move into housing or find somewhere on the private market instead.

Leader of the Norwegian Student Organisation Tuva Todnem Lund has said she was concerned that so many students were still waiting for a place to call home during their studies.

“These students must go on a house hunt, often in an unknown city, instead of being able to take part in the start of the year. We need more student housing to be built to prevent such queues in the years to come,” Lund told student organisation site The Communications Council.

Universities minister Henrik Asheim said to press agency NTB that the queues were due to record numbers of applicants. He also added that more student accommodation was on the way.

READ ALSO: Essential tips for international students looking to rent in Norway

Solberg rejects calls to bring deported Afghans back to Norway

Despite pressure from the Socialist Left Party and the Red Party, Erna Solberg has said that she will not be bringing deported Afghans back to Norway in light of the situation in Afghanistan.

On Monday, the Taliban seized control of Kabul and stormed the presidential palace. As a result, many in the country, including women and those who collaborated with Western forces, fear for their safety.

In light of this, Solberg has said there is no need to evacuate asylum seekers that have been deported back to Afghanistan as the Norwegian authorities made the assessment that it was safe to return those whose asylum requests have been rejected.

Since 2015, Norway has returned 843 people to Afghanistan. In July, Norway halted deportations to Afghanistan.

READ MORE: Norway suspends deportation of rejected asylum seekers to Afghanistan

530 new Covid-19 cases in Norway

On Monday, 530 new Covid-19 infections were registered in Norway, 204 more than the day before but only nine more than the seven-day average.

In Oslo, 140 coronavirus infections were recorded, 39 more than the average of 101 over the last seven days.

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

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For members


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.