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

Pictured is a traditional Norwegian farm house.
Read about the Norwegian archipelago threatened by fishing, a cut in holiday pay on unemployment benefits and the latest news on Covid-19 in today's roundup. Pictured is a traditional Norwegian farm house. Photo by Sandra Seitamaa on Unsplash
Find out what's going on in Norway on Thursday with The Local's short roundup of important news 

Health chief on Covid cases: ‘A development we do not like’

Rising Covid-19 infection rates and hospital admissions have occurred far faster than health authorities were expecting, according to Line Vold, director of infection control at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, has said. 

“It is a development we do not like and a development we want to slow down and turn around,” Vold told newspaper VG

READ ALSO: Is Norway likely to bring back Covid restrictions this Christmas?

“It has probably happened a little faster than we had hoped for,” she added. 

190,000 to miss out on holiday pay next year 

Hundreds of thousands of people who have been laid off or unemployed during the pandemic will have their holiday pay cut next year. 

This year, those laid off or unemployed due to the pandemic received holiday pay on their unemployment or redundancy benefits. However, the now-ousted Solberg government and the current Støre government did not include the money to continue the holiday pay scheme for those out of work due to the pandemic in 2022. 

That means that anyone who has been laid off in 2021 will not receive holiday pay on unemployment benefits, as was the case for those out of work due to the pandemic in 2020. 

All in all, 290,000 thousand people will either miss out entirely or receive a cut compared to the year before. 

“I think it’s quite disappointing. Many of those hardest hit are those who do not have the world’s largest salary,” Charlotte Pedersen, who will be affected by the cut, told public broadcaster NRK

Land earmarked for fish farming may be more biodiverse than the Galápagos

Feøya, an island in northern Norway, could be transformed entirely by plans to turn the area into a fish farm, but biologists have warned it could be like getting rid of Norway’s Galápagos. 

“It is a very special archipelago out here. Then I think especially of the wildlife that only exists on these islands,” biologist Jan Erling Wassmut told public broadcaster NRK

If the area were to be turned into a fish farm, it and the surrounding archipelago could be irreversibly altered by the process of threatening flora and fauna that can only thrive in that area, biologists have claimed. 

“I would go so far as to call this Norway’s answer to the Galápagos. Out here, we probably have much more species diversity than the Galapagos has,” Wasmutt said.

Those who want to turn the area into a fish farm have said that there are no red-listed species in the area, and the wildlife would probably return after construction is finished. 

2,475 new Covid-19 cases

On Wednesday, 2,475 Covid-19 infections were registered in Norway. That is 692 more than the same day last week. Over the last seven days, an average of 1,761 Covid-19 infections have been reported per day. The same average the previous week was 1,505. 

On Wednesday, 219 people were hospitalised with Covid-19. This is one more than the day before. Of those, 58 patients were in intensive care, and 35 were on a respirator. 

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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