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

Pictured are people on a ski tour in Kåfjord.
Read about changes to the national rules, infections measures in schools and new testing rules for travellers to the UK. Pictured are people on a ski tour in Kåfjord. Photo by Hendrik Morkel on Unsplash
Find out what’s going on in Norway on Friday with The Local’s short roundup of important news.

Changes to Covid restrictions are coming next week

Health minister Ingvild Kjerkol has said that there will be changes to the infection control measures brought in during mid-December next week.

The current measures, including a national ban on the sale of alcohol in bars and restaurants, will remain in place until January 14th.

“We make assessments continuously and are not interested in having measures longer than necessary,” she told public broadcaster NRK.

Upper secondary schools to be moved away from red level

The government is working towards moving upper secondary schools away from red level, which means partial homeschooling, among other infection control measures.

“We have commissioned the Directorate of Education, NIPH and the Norwegian Directorate of Health to assess the traffic light model and propose a new and more feasible yellow level for the oldest students. It is a little too early to say what this will result in. My goal is to keep schools and kindergartens open,” education minister Tonje Brenna told newspaper VG.

However, the government has said that it is likely to retain controversial self-isolation rules, which makes teachers and education employees are exempt from having to quarantine when identified as a close contact of somebody who contracts Covid-19.

Travel testing rules change for UK 

New testing rules have come into force, which means those travelling to England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales face a less strict Covid testing regime.

The rules which came into play at 4am on Friday mean fully vaccinated arrivals no longer need to isolate until their results arrive. Additionally, from Sunday, January 9th, arrivals can book a less expensive antigen (lateral flow) test rather than a PCR test for their Day 2 test.

The pre-departure test has also been dropped.

READ MORE: UK government to relax Covid testing rules for arrivals from Europe

7,879 new Covid-19 cases

Over the last 24 hours, 7,879 new positive Covid-19 test samples have been reported, 3,681 more than the same day last week.

Over the last seven days, an average of 5,360 new Covid-19 infections have been registered per day. The same average a week before was 3,335.

As of Thursday, 295 patients in hospitals had Covid-19.

Norway receives 50 million rapid tests

Norway’s municipalities, border crossing and health trusts will each be given their share of 50 million lateral flow tests in the coming days and weeks after self-tests have become somewhat short in supply following a sharp increase of infection in December.

NRK has also reported that pharmacies, which order their tests through a separate mechanism, are also reporting an increased supply of LFT’s following high demand in December.

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