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

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

Read about Norway passing a major Covid milestone and grid companies owing customers money for more than ten years in todays roundup of important news. Pictured is Trondheim in the winter. Photo by Malcolm Ketteridge on Unsplash

Norway passes 500,000 Covid-19 cases 

This weekend a significant infection milestone was passed. In Norway, more than half a million coronavirus cases have been registered since the first Covid infection was reported on February 26th 2020.

The milestone came after a surge in infections over the last couple of weeks. Three new daily infection records were set last week, and Norway also passed the milestone of recording more than 10,000 cases in a single day.

In total, 1,381 people have died with Covid-19 since March 2020.

NIPH expects infection wave to peak at the turn of the month

Norway can expect to see the current wave of infection peak before trending downwards at the turn of the month. A decline in hospital admissions is then set to follow soon after.

“In South Africa, they had a very rapid increase in infection, and then they got a fairly rapid decline as well after they had been through the peak of infection,” Line Vold, director of the infection control department at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, told newspaper VG on Monday.

Grid companies have owed some customers money for more than a decade

Several Norwegian grid companies have owed their electricity customers money for ten years or more, according to figures from the Energy Regulatory Authority.

There are 15 companies that have had a surplus income for a decade or more, public broadcaster NRK has reported.

Gird companies in Norway are subject to revenue limits. This is due to the companies having a monopoly on their part of the gird.

The 15 companies owe their customers a total of around 1.7 billion kroner. The companies do not owe money to individuals but rather their customers as a whole.

“It is unfortunate that some of the network companies have had persistent surplus income over such a long period,” Roar Amundsveen from the Energy Regulatory Authority told NRK.

READ ALSO: How to save on your Norwegian electricity bill

7,604 new Covid-19 cases

On Sunday, 7,604 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded. Sunday’s figure was 1,625 cases less than the average for the previous seven days, which was 9,229.

This is 3,420 cases more than the same day last week, and 231 people in hospitals had Covid. 76 of those were on respirators.

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

A proposed change to blood donation rules, parliament demanding an end to passport waiting times and the Bergen International Festival kicking off are among the main stories from Norway. 

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

Norway to look at change to blood donation rules

The Ministry of Health wants the Norwegian Directorate of Health to consider changes to the blood donation rules for gay men. 

Current regulations mean that gay men have to wait 12 months since they were last sexually active to donate blood. The same rules do not apply to heterosexual couples. 

“Blood donors make an invaluable contribution to society and to other people. It is important to facilitate that those who can and want to donate blood can do so in a safe way. This means that we must have regulations that are updated on professional knowledge about the risk of who can donate blood,” Health Minister Ingvild Kjerkol said. 

Parliament demands an end to passport waiting times

A majority in parliament’s Justice Committee supported a proposal to introduce immediate measures to ease lengthy passport waiting times ahead of the summer holidays, NRK writes

The parties in government do not currently support the proposal but are in the minority. The measures will be voted on in parliament on June 2nd. 

So far, the government has extended passport office opening hours and reopened bureaus that were closed under the previous government. 

Norway’s Justice Minister has said that the proposals wouldn’t ease the backlog before the summer as the main issue is suppliers lack of the raw materials used to make the travel documents. 

“This proposal has no bearing on the prospect of delivering more passports before the summer. The government implemented these measures almost three months ago. But, the main problem is that the supplier lacks the components for production. We have extended the opening hours and increased staffing, but this is not where the problem lies now,” Emilie Enger Mehl, Minister of Justice, told NRK. 

READ ALSO: Norwegian police urge travellers not to book holidays without a valid passport

Bergen International Festival starts

Bergen’s annual cultural and music festival commences today. It is the largest festival in the Nordic countries of its type and will run for the next 14 days across the city. 

This afternoon, there will be an opening ceremony for the festival at Torgallmenningen Square. Queen Sonja and the Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre will be in attendence. 

First-quarter losses for budget airline

Budget airline Flyr lost 212 million kroner during the first quarter of 2022, despite passenger revenues of 78 million. 

Despite what the airline described as a challenging market, it believes the future looks promising as summer approaches. Flyr has reported a large number of bookings and has ordered new aircraft. 

Over the last year, the airline lost 419 million kroner.