Covid-19: Norwegian health minister says return to national restrictions ‘could be relevant’

Norwegian children return to kindergarten following the lifting of restrictions in April 2020. The country's health minister says national restrictions, lifted in September, could be 'relevant' to reintroduce if cases of the virus escalate.
Norwegian children return to kindergarten following the lifting of restrictions in April 2020. The country's health minister says national restrictions, lifted in September, could be 'relevant' to reintroduce if cases of the virus escalate. Photo: Pierre-Henry DESHAYES / AFP
Minister for Health and Care Services Ingvild Kjerkol said on Wednesday that national restrictions to restrict the spread of Covid-19 could return.

Norway’s remaining Covid-19 restrictions were broadly lifted last month, with local authorities retaining the right to introduce restrictions locally.

But a return to national measures was not ruled out by Kjerkol, who said in a statement that such a move “could be relevant”. No specific timeline was given for any potential reintroduction of measures.

“The pandemic is not over and we are now seeing infections increase in several places. If there is a large increase in infection spread locally or nationally which puts heavy strain on health services, municipalities must be prepared to limit infections through local measures,” the minister said.

“It could also be relevant to introduce national measures,” she also wrote in the statement.

A briefing on the Covid-19 situation in Norway is scheduled to take place on Thursday, with Kjerkol to take part.

The health ministry has sent an updated circular to municipalities providing guidance on responses to locally increased infection rates should these occur.

The number of daily infections with Covid-19 is currently showing an upward trend.

Over 1,000 infections were registered – 1,144 to be exact – in the latest update on Wednesday, the first time the daily total has hit four figures since September 14th. 218 of the infections were registered in Oslo.

The seven-day average is currently 721 infections, according to Norwegian Directorate of Health figures.

The number of hospitalised patients with Covid-19 in Norway is 101, five fewer than the preceding day, news wire NTB writes.

READ ALSO: Norwegian government announces lifting of final Covid-19 measures


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