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

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

Norwegian skier Maria Therese Tviberg in action in Italy last week.
Norwegian skier Maria Therese Tviberg in action in Italy last week. Photo: Jure Makovec / AFP

Majority supports division of Norwegian county according to poll

A survey by broadcaster NRK shows that 56 percent of residents are in favour of splitting the county of Viken into two smaller counties.

27 percent are against such a move, according to NRK.

The survey, conducted by Norstat on behalf of NRK and Amedia, asked 3,000 residents of the county.

Another survey, in Innlandet, found that two thirds of people under the age of 30 want to split that county and return to the two administrative regions of Hedmark and Oppland.

Norway underwent a restructuring of many of its counties (fylker) in 2017, reducing the number of counties from 19 to 11 and merging several. That resulted in the creation of the storfylke (greater county) of Viken.

Authorities warn of hazardous roads in southwest

The Norwegian met office this morning issued a warning due to highly slippery road surfaces in the Western Norway region.

Icy roads could occur across a large area stretching from Stavanger in the south to Ålesund in the north.

“Difficult driving conditions are expected on Tuesday morning. We recommend setting extra time aside and adapting (journeys) to the conditions,” the West Police District tweeted.

Experts call for government to exercise caution over lifting Covid-19 restrictions

While neighbouring Denmark is scrapping its Covid-19 restrictions today, medical experts in Norway have urged the government to be cautious in considering taking the same step.

“I hope that the government and health minister are not too inpatient and release all restrictions at once,” medical professor Steinar Westin told newspaper Dagbladet.

The current numbers of Covid-19 patients in hospitals and new Covid-19 cases registered daily are low because of the restrictions, Westin said.

Those sentiments were echoed by Norwegian University of Science and Technology professor in epidemiology Lars Johan Vatten, news wire NTB writes.

Vatten said it was difficult to predict the future course of the pandemic.

“A problem could arise if a new and infectious variant is found which causes significant illness. I’ve previous reacted by saying we’ve been naïve,” he said.

The professor added that the rule of potential future variants — after omicron – should not be discounted.

15,988 new Covid-19 cases registered

A total of 15,988 new cases of Covid-19 were registered in Norway in the latest daily update. That is 4,364 fewer cases than the average (20,352) for the preceding week up to Monday.

The figure from Monday also represents a drop of 2,554 from Monday last week, when 18,542 cases were recorded.

It should be noted that a change in the testing system, effective on January 24th, means fewer cases are likely to be registered than under the old system.

257 people with Covid-19 are currently inpatients at Norwegian hospitals. That is 27 fewer than the previous day. The number of ICU patients dropped slightly, from 53 to 51.

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For members


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

Fatal traffic accidents, a Covid cash row and projects facing postponements are among the main stories from Norway on Monday. 

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

Several dead after traffic accidents

Four people died, and two were flown to hospital following an accident in the Steigen tunnel, Nordland, north Norway, on Sunday afternoon.

 Another two died in an accident in Voss earlier on Sunday. Four people involved in the collision were sent to hospital. 

“We are at full speed into the season where there are usually more fatal accidents than in other periods of the year,” Cecilie Bryner from Trygg Trafikk, which promotes safe driving, said to newswire NTB. 

37 people have lost their lives on Norwegian roads so far this year. Last year, 87 died in accidents. 

Deadline for agricultural settlement

The deadline for the state and agricultural sector to agree on subsidies and funding is today. 

The farmers demand 11.5 billion kroner from the government, while the state has only offered 10.15 billion. 

The two parties have remained tight-lipped on how close they are to a possible agreement or what’s being negotiated.

This year’s settlement is considered far more complicated than during a typical year. The agreement is supposed to cover farmers’ incomes for 2023 and cover the cost of soaring prices and inflation in 2022, agricultural paper Nationen writes. 

Norway’s municipalities in Covid cash row 

A row has erupted between the government and Norwegian municipalities as funding promised to help cover the bill for Covid to local authorities was not included in the revised national budget for 2022, public broadcaster NRK reports

Several municipalities have hit out at the government as a result. 

Norway’s Minister of Local Government, Sigbjørn Gjelsvik, defended the budget and said there wasn’t a cash flow problem in Norwegian municipalities and that things should “happen in the right order”. 

This opens the door for compensation to be agreed upon after a report on Covid expenditure is published in September. 

READ MORE: What the revised national budget in Norway means for foreigners

Road projects could be pushed back 

Transport Minister Jon-Ivar Nygård has said that less money will be spent on road construction next year and that large national projects could be put on hold or scaled back. 

“We will need to review our priorities because there will probably be less money than planned for transport,” Nygård told newspaper VG

The minister didn’t say which projects were most likely to be put on the backburner, but it was most likely those that were still in the planning and preparation stages.