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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. 

Pictured are high rise buildings in Oslo.
Read about the latest developments of the Omicron variant in Norway. Pictured are high rise buildings in Oslo. Photo by Nick Night on Unsplash

Tougher measures in Oslo come into effect

Tighter Covid-19 restrictions came into effect in Oslo, Asker Bærum and the catchment area of Ahus this morning. 

The measures have been brought in due to rising infections and a potential outbreak of the Omicron variant in the Norwegian capital. 

The following measures have been introduced: 

  • Face masks will be mandatory when it is not possible to keep a social distance of one metre in public spaces such as shops, malls, restaurants, and on public transport. This won’t apply to children under 12. 
  • At private indoor events in public places or rented venues, the capacity will be limited to 100 people. 
  • Guests will need to register in hospitality settings. 
  • At workplaces where working from home is possible and doesn’t compromise a necessary service, home working should be implemented for all or part of the week. 
  • All guests at venues that have serve alcohol will need to be seated, and table service will be used.

READ MORE: Norwegian government announces tighter Covid-19 rules in Oslo

New Covid-19 testing rules for travellers also come into effect

All arrivals into Norway, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or previously infected with Covid-19, will need to take a coronavirus test after they arrive into the country. 

The government announced the new rule to slow the import and spread of the recently discovered Omicron variant into the country.

Testing will primarily be done at the border, especially for air passengers. Covid tests at the border have been free throughout the pandemic. 

In instances where testing cannot be carried out at the border, such as some land crossings where there isn’t a testing station, the test must be taken within 24 hours. In these cases, testing will either be done as a rapid test at a public test station or a self-test. 

Suspected Omicron infected in Oslo have mild symptoms

None of the people infected in the suspected Omicron outbreak in Oslo have so far become seriously ill, Assistant district chief physician Tine Ravlo informed newswire NTB. 

“Those we have mapped, who belong to Oslo, have symptoms in the form of headaches or sore throats. Some have a cough. But they have what we doctors call mild symptoms,” she explained. 

Up to 60 people could be infected with the variant after one Omicron case was linked to a larger outbreak following a Christmas party. 

4,140 new Covid-19 infections 

On Thursday, 4,140 new Covid-19 cases were recorded in Norway, which is 1,710 more than the same day last week. Over the last week, an average of 3056 infections have been registered per day. 

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

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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.