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

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

A snow covered house at sunrise.
Read about the health minister saying the Covid-19 measures could be eased next week. Pictured is a snow covered house at sunrise. Photo by Jorn Eriksen on Unsplash

Health minister says Covid measures will be eased next week

The government will hold a press conference next week where it will announce relief to the current Covid-19 rules, health minister Ingvild Kjerkol told broadcaster TV2.

“We have said at the beginning of next week we will make an assessment of the overall measures. We can see that we can tolerate more infection now, so everyone can prepare for it (easing of measures),” Kjerkol said. 

Kjerkol said that the country’s Covid measures would be gradually lifted over a relatively short time when asked by the broadcaster whether most measures could be eased in a month’s time.

“It sounds like a likely scenario (that most measures are lifted within a month). We will come back when we have a message about what relief will come and in what order,” she told TV2.

NIPH: Most measures can be phased out

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH), which provides professional advice to the government relating to Covid restrictions, has said that most measures can be gradually phased out.

“Most measures against the epidemic can now gradually be reduced over a short period of time without, in the long run, leading to a significantly increased disease burden. The measures with the greatest burden on children and young people should be removed first,” the NIPH wrote in an updated risk assessment of the current infection wave.

READ ALSO: Norway registers over 20,000 daily Covid-19 cases for the first time

Great demand for labour and fall in unemployment 

Unemployment in Norway fell in Norway towards the backend of last year, and the demand for labour rose, figures from Statistic Norway have found.

During August and November of 2021, unemployment fell from four percent to 3.5 percent, and the number of jobs in total grew by over two percent.

The stats firm said that the largest decline in unemployment occurred among men, who have had a higher unemployment rate than women throughout the pandemic.

The stats firm also said that even though unemployment was back to pre-pandemic levels, there was still a demand for labour and a record number of vacancies.

READ ALSO: Tips for finding an English speaking job in Norway

Fire destroys historic buildings in Hamar

More than 40 people were evacuated, and several shops and apartments were damaged by a fire in the centre of Hamar, southern Norway, on Wednesday Norway.

The cause of the fire is currently unknown, and firefighters were alerted to the incident at around 11pm.

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

A shortage of GP’s, Oslo making it more expensive to own an electric car and Norway asking the EU to be exempt from a new rule are among the main stories on Friday.

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

Report: 150,000 without a GP

Last year, the number of people without a GP in Norway grew once again, according to the Norwegian Directorate of Health’s annual report on the fastlege system.

“The low recruitment growth and the increasing reduction in total capacity in the GP scheme underline the seriousness of the situation. We share the concern of GPs that the scheme is under great pressure,” Bjørn Guldvog, health director at the Norwegian Directorate of Health said.

The health directorate’s report found 150,000 were without a GP last year. 

Only 3 out of 100 medical students and newly qualified doctors in Norway have said that they think they will work as a GP, broadcaster TV2 reports.

READ MORE: How to register with a doctor in Norway

Hiker in Troms flow to hospital after fall

A hiker in her 20s was flown to hospital after a fall from the mountain Mjeldskartinden in the Troms region of northern Norway.

“It is a matter of a tour group of two people, where one person has fallen from the mountain as the snow shovel at the top breaks. The other person, who called the police, estimates that the injured person has fallen a couple of hundred meters,” Eirik Kileng from the local police district told newspaper VG.

The woman was flown to the University of Northern Norway Hospital by an air ambulance. Despite the reported fall of a few hundred metres, the patient is said to be in a stable condition with moderate injuries.

Norway to ask EU for exemption from egg rule

The Norwegian Ministry of Health will ask to be exempt from a new EU directive that will reduce the shelf life of eggs from 35 to 28 days, according to agricultural outlet Bondebladet.

The reason for the new rule is that parts of Europe are struggling with a salmonella infection.

Several figures from the agriculture sector have said that the new rule would led to increased transport costs and threaten the viability of egg production in remote parts of the country.

Oslo Municipality raises prices for charging electric cars

In its revised budget for the year, Oslo Municipality said it would raise the price for using municipal car chargers.

Currently it costs between 12 to 17 kroner per hour to park and charge a electric car between 9am and 8pm, and 7 kroner outside these times.

Parking will be raised to between 18 and 23 kroner between the day and 13 kroner at night.

READ ALSO: Norway to remove VAT exemption for electric cars