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

Find out what is going on in Norway on Wednesday with The Local’s short roundup of important news. 

Pictured is somebody skiing.
Ski's and other sports equipment are set to be popular gifts this year, according to Statistics Norway. Read about that and more in today's roundup of important news. Pictured is somebody skiing. Photo by Maarten Duineveld on Unsplash

The number of Omicron cases in Norway has quadrupled over the past week

The number of registered Omicron Covid-19 variant infections in Norway has quadrupled in one week, according to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health’s (NIPH) director Camilla Stoltenberg. 

Last Monday, just over 900 people tested positive with the variant, whereas, by Tuesday evening, 3,781 Omicron infections had been registered. 

“It is a quadrupling in just over a week,” Camilla Stoltenberg, director of the NIPH, said at a government press conference. 

She added that nothing could be done to stop the spread of Omicron but hoped that the transmission of the variant could be slowed. 

Norwegians want sporty gifts this Christmas

Sporty gifts, mobile phones, and smartwatches are at the top of Norwegians Christmas lists this year, according to the analysis of imports from Statistics Norway

The data collection firm looks at the imports of goods into Norway in the months before Christmas to pick up some hints on what the public have on their wish lists this year. 

Similar to previous years, mobile phones, speakers and smartwatches are among the most heavily imported goods. 

However, sporty gifts may be back in fashion as following a few years of decline, 63 percent more alpine skis have been imported this year than last year. The import of snowboards also rose. 

PM: Booster vaccine target within reach

The government has set about trying to offer a booster dose or give a third jab within in the next two weeks and then offer everyone over 18 a refresher by February, and are apparently on course to achieve that goal, according to Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre. 

“That means we are within reach,” he told public broadcaster NRK on Wednesday morning. 

READ MORE: Norway says Covid-19 booster jab ‘not needed’ after two doses plus infection

4,799 new Covid-19 cases in Norway

On Tuesday, 4,799 new Covid-19 cases were registered in Norway. This is 267 more new cases than the seven-day rolling average. However, it is 1,204 infections lower than the same day last week. 

As of Tuesday, 337 patients were in hospital with Covid-19, which is 36 fewer than the day before.

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

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

The threat of major strikes, meat and eggs becoming more expensive and families being eligible to receive financial support to buy children's glasses are among the stories from Norway on Tuesday.

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

Mediation talks go to overtime

Thousands could be taken out on strike after mediation talks between the state, unions, and ombudsman ran into overtime for three separate settlements. 

As many as 3,500 employees are ready to strike from Tuesday morning if their demands are not met. The current mediation talks on wages cover government ministries, police, customs, and tax staff. 

In the municipal settlement, around 10,000 employees could be taken out on strike, affecting schools, kindergartens and services across the country. 

Oslo municipality negotiates separately from the state, and 1,700 staff could strike if an agreement isn’t reached. 

READ MORE: What foreign residents in Norway should know about workers’ unions

Meat and eggs to become more expensive 

From July 1st, meat and eggs will be more expensive, the board of food giant Natura has decided, agricultural newspaper Nationen writes. 

The wholesale price increase corresponds to a rise of 5.65 percent and comes after following rising costs over the winter and a regular price adjustment six months earlier. As a result, the cost of eggs will go up 80 øre per kilo. 

Several types of meat have increased by between 13 and 17 percent over the past year. Suppliers and supermarkets usually adjust their prices twice a year. 

READ ALSO: Five essential tips for saving money on food shopping in Norway

Families will be able to apply for financial support when buying kids’ glasses

The government has proposed reintroducing support for kids’ glasses. Under the scheme, children under 18 will be eligible to claim support for 75 percent of the costs, newspaper Aftenposten reports.  

The rules won’t apply to children who need glasses for reading. Families will be able to claim anywhere between 900 kroner and 3,975 kroner. If you meet the requirements, you will be able to apply for support from NAV. 

The proposal has been sent for consultation and could be brought in from the beginning of August. 

Minister of Labour and Social Inclusion Marte Mjøs Persen said that the new scheme would cover more families than the previous one. 

Norwegians’ financial expectations plummet

Norwegian households’ faith in the economic future has plummeted and is at its lowest level in 30 years, according to the latest survey conducted by Finans Norge and polling firm Kantar. 

The survey measures Norwegian households’ expectations of their own and the country’s economies. Confidence fell from 1.8 to -15.8 on the firm’s index between the first and second quarters. 

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