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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.

Lofoten, northern Norway.
Read about changes to the Covid rules for events, the latest infection numbers and new testing rules for travellers to Sweden in today's roundup. Pictured is Lofoten, northern Norway. Photo by Johny Goerend on Unsplash

New daily Covid case record set

On Thursday, 16,877 new Covid-19 infections were registered in Norway. That is 5,280 more than the same day a week before.

It is also the highest number of registered infections recorded in Norway in a single day. The previous record for daily cases was set yesterday when Wednesday’s figure was reported.

Over the last seven days, an average of 12,529 new Covid-19 infections have been registered. The same average a week ago was 7,888, indicating a rising trend.  

As of Thursday, 249 patients were in the hospital with Covid-19, nine more than the day before.

More people allowed to attend shows and concerts 

From noon today, the rules on how many people can gather at an event will rise from 200 with designated seating up to 1,500 people indoors and 3,000 outdoors.

People will need to split into cohorts of 200 when more than 200 guests are in attendance.

Venues will need to ensure that those who aren’t part of the same household are socially distanced, or there is at least a seat between them and other guests.

For events with more than 200 people in attendance, organisers will be required to write a written plan on how they aim to ensure a safe infection-controlled environment.

The news has received a mixed reception from the culture sector. While the industry has welcomed the news as a step in the right direction, many have bemoaned that the cohort system will leave many unable to operate anywhere near the 1,500 capacity.

Sweden test rules change for arrivals from Norway 

On Friday, Sweden will scrap the test requirement for foreign visitors from some countries, Norway included, and bring back the Covid certificate rules that previously applied.

This means that adult foreign citizens (again with certain exceptions) travelling to Sweden from EU/EEA countries, including the Nordics, will have to show either the EU’s Digital Covid Certificate or a valid equivalent which shows that the person is either fully vaccinated with a first and second dose, tested negative no more than 72 hours before arrival, or recovered from confirmed infection in the past six months.

READ MORE: Sweden scraps negative Covid test for travellers from Norway

Foreign citizens travelling to Sweden from outside the EU/EEA must be covered by an exemption from the overall entry ban (for example, if they live in an “exempt” country) and show a negative Covid test no older than 72 hours unless they are also exempt from the test requirement.

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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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