When will Norway lift its remaining Covid-19 measures?

The relaxing of Norway’s main Covid rules will likely come next week, Health Minister Ingvild Kjerkol said Wednesday, in addition to offering a rough time frame on when other restrictions could be lifted.

Crowds of people in Karl Johan Street.
A relaxation of the Covid-19 rules could come as early next week, Health Minister Ingvild Kjerkol said. Pictured are groups of people on Karl Johan. Photo by Nick Night on Unsplash

The government will hold a press conference next week where it will announce the easing of 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 (the easing of restrictions),” Kjerkol told TV2.

The health minister said that the country’s Covid rules would be eased over a relatively short period of time when asked by the broadcaster whether most measures could be lifted 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 easing will come and in what order,” she told the broadcaster.

The health minister said that due to Omicron being milder than other variants, measures could be lifted despite rising infection rates. When it announced its last relaxation of the Covid rules at a press conference on January 14th, the government said it would reassess the restrictions at the turn of the month.

The government makes its decisions regarding the Covid rules based on professional advice from the country’s health authorities, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) and the Norwegian Directorate of Health.

READ MORE: Norway to scrap Covid-19 entry quarantine for all travellers

In an updated risk assessment on the current wave of infection, the NIPH essentially gave the government the green light to ease more restrictions going forward by saying that most rules could be gradually phased out in the coming weeks.

“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 its risk assessment.

On Wednesday, the government scrapped its entry quarantine rules for all arrivals, regardless of vaccination status. 

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Norway scraps Covid-19 self-isolation recommendation

The advice to isolate for four days after testing positive for coronavirus in Norway has been axed, the government announced Tuesday.

Norway scraps Covid-19 self-isolation recommendation

Those who test positive for Covid-19 in Norway will no longer be asked to isolate themselves for four days after, Norway’s health minister announced in parliament on Tuesday.

“The specific advice to stay at home for four days after being infected with Covid-19 has been revoked,” Ingvild Kjerkol, Minister of Health, said.

Kjerkol also announced that responsibility for official public health advice relating to the pandemic would be delegated to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

Despite the advice being pulled with immediate effect, the health minister added that the pandemic was not over.

“The pandemic is by no means over. There is great uncertainty about the erasure of infection, which virus variants we can encounter and when a new variant can occur. Therefore, there is still a need for good monitoring and preparedness to detect, assess, and handle an unfortunate development early,” Kjerkol said.

She said that the country would learn to live with the virus moving forward.

“Now we will learn to live with coronavirus in society,” she said.

The government said that it would be asking local authorities to retain Covid testing capacity, so they would be able to test at least one percent of the population should a future breakout occur.