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

Pictured is Lofoten, northern Norway.
Read about the government announcing financial support for businesses and how attitudes towards immigrants is becoming increasingly positive. Pictured is Lofotens. Photo by Jake Hinds on Unsplash
Find out what's going on in Norway on Tuesday with The Local's short roundup of important news. 

Health chief: Too early to say if new Covid measures will be effective 

Last night the government announced the introduction of several measures to curb rising coronavirus cases. 

Among the measures was a national ban on serving alcohol in bars and restaurants and tighter restrictions in schools

Espen Nakstad, assistant director of health at the Norwegian Directorate of Health, has said that it is too early to tell if the new measures will be effective. 

“Now that Omicron has arrived, it changes the rules of the game, and we are unsure whether the measures are now sufficient to reverse the infection trend when we have both Omicron and Delta,” he told newspaper VG.

He said that it would become apparent if the new measures would have the desired effect in a few days. 

Health minister: We must be better prepared for coronavirus variants in the future 

Health minister Ingvild Kjerkol told public broadcaster NRK on Tuesday that the government must be better prepared to handle the emergence of new virus variants in the future. 

“We implement the measures we have to prevent the spread of infection, but to avoid very intrusive measures every time there is a new variant, we want to be better prepared in the future,” she said. 

Covid support for businesses extended until early next year

The government will extend its existing Covid financial support for the business community until February, following the tightening of Covid restrictions in Norway. 

Several schemes were either being reintroduced or reinforced with extra funding. 

A further 1.7 billion kroner in funding would be available for the sports and culture sectors.

Attitudes towards immigrants in Norway are becoming increasingly positive

Since 2002 attitudes towards immigrants and immigration in Norway have become increasingly positive. The only noticeable outlier to the year on year increase is 2015, when attitudes became more negative, according to a report by Statistics Norway

The report follows the data collection firm’s annual survey on attitudes to immigration. 

This year participants were asked whether the pandemic had made them more sceptical about labour immigration into Norway, with just under 60 percent saying they disagreed. Just under a third said that the pandemic had made them more sceptical about labour immigration. 

As many as eight of ten respondents said they believed that immigrants make a valuable contribution to working life. 

READ ALSO: 16 things you can do online in Norway

4,864 new Covid-19 cases

On Monday, 4,864 new coronavirus infections were registered in Norway. This is 747 more cases than the same day the week before. 

Over the last seven days, an average of 4,733 new Covid-19 cases have been recorded per day. The same average a week before was 3,687. 

Total number of Covid-19 cases in Norway.
Pictured above are the total number of weekly Covid-19 cases recorded in Norway throughout the pandemic. Source: Norwegian Institute of Public Health. 

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