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TODAY IN NORWAY

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Friday 

Find out what's going on in Norway on Friday with The Local's short roundup of important news. 

Frontline healthcare workers in Norway will be offered a Covid-19 booster jab. Pictured is a person receiving a Covid-19 vaccine.
Frontline healthcare workers in Norway will be offered a Covid-19 booster jab. Pictured is a person receiving a Covid-19 vaccine. Photo by Steven Cornfield on Unsplash

Healthcare workers to be offered a third jab 

At a press conference on Thursday night, health minister Ingvild Kjerkol said that a Covid booster jab would be offered to frontline healthcare workers with lots of patient contact. 

Previously booster jabs have only been offered to over-65s

“We will start with those who received the vaccine first. It is also important for me to say that the municipalities and Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) are now working to make plans on how this offer will be rolled out,” Kjerkol said. 

When asked by reporters whether the rest of the population would be offered a third jab Kjerkol said the government would only be providing boosters to frontline care workers and those already eligible for now. 

Health minister: No need for national measures

At the press conference, the health minister also said that there was no need to re-introduce any national Covid-19 measures for now. 

“There is no need to introduce national measures now, but it is time to roll up our sleeves again,” Ingvild Kjerkol said.

Her comments came after speaking with municipalities currently going through a spike in coronavirus cases earlier on Thursday. 

She added that municipalities shouldn’t hesitate to take action if they are experiencing a rise in cases. 

“High infection over time leads to more patients and greater pressure on the municipalities’ health services. Therefore, it is very important that municipalities with corona outbreaks do not hesitate to take action and introduce local measures,” the health minister said. 

National rules on grades-based admission into secondary schools scrapped 

Earlier this year, the previous government introduced national rules for the free choice of which upper secondary pupils could attend, based on a grades based admission system. The new system was set to be put into practice in Spring 2022.

However, Minister of Education Tonje Brenna has scrapped the idea and said that counties will decide how they admit students into schools. 

“The dilemma with purely grades based admission is that it creates someone who wins and someone who loses the battle for places. I am concerned that all our students should go to a good school and choose the high school they want. Then I think the most important thing is that the counties themselves get to organise it in the way they think is best for their county,” Brenna told public broadcaster NRK

READ ALSO: How easy is it to work as an English teacher in Norway?

Covid-19 infections continue to rise

On Thursday, 1,534 people tested positive for Covid-19 across Norway. This is 388 registered cases more than the average for the previous seven days. 

In Oslo, 245 cases were recorded, 21 fewer than the day before. 

In total, 171 have been admitted to hospital with Covid-19.

A graph showing the total number of Covid-19 cases in Norway.
A graph showing the total number of Covid-19 cases in Norway. Source: Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

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For members

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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