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TODAY IN NORWAY

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. 

Steigen, Nordland, Norway.
Read about interest rate hikes, UK travel rules, the governemnt issuing an update on Ukraine and more in today's roundup of important news. Pictured is Nordland, northern Norway. Photo by Jorn Eriksen on Unsplash

UK Covid travel rules end

All remaining Covid travel rules have been lifted for passengers entering the UK. Restrictions had already been removed for vaccinated travellers. 

The UK has also scrapped passenger locator forms. The government said the change had been made deliberately in time for the Easter holidays. 

“We will continue monitoring and tracking potential new variants and keep a reserve of measures which can be rapidly deployed if needed to keep us safe,” said UK Health Minister Sajid Javid. 

The UK has lifted all Covid-related rules, including mask rules and mandatory self-isolation if you test positive for Covid.

READ MORE: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

Støre to offer update on Ukraine

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre will report to parliament with an update on the war in Ukraine. Following the statement, the government will hold a press conference where it will announce a crisis package to deal with the consequences of the war in Ukraine, newswire NTB has reported. 

READ MORE: What special rules have Norway put in place to help refugees from Ukraine?

Four interest rate hikes are expected this year

Homeowners and borrowers in Norway should brace themselves for as many as four interest rate hikes in 2022, according to Statistics Norway. 

“Our forecasts estimate a growth in mainland Norway’s GDP of 3.6 per cent this year, before declining to around 2 per cent for the rest of the forecast period. Growth has been somewhat downgraded compared with the forecasts from December. This is due to the Omikron outbreak and the war in Ukraine,” Thomas Von Brasch from Statistics Norway said. 

Next year the data collection firm expects a single interest rate rise. This means interest rates will rise to 1.75 percent by 2023. 

Norway’s central bank, Norges Bank, is responsible for raising the key interest rate. 

READ MORE: What rising interest rates in Norway mean for you

4,175 new Covid-19 cases

Over the last 24 hours, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) have registered 4,175 Covid-19 infections in Norway. Following a change to the testing system on January 25th, fewer cases are reported than before this date. 

The figure for Thursday is 3,195 infections fewer than the same day the week before. Yesterday, there were 524 patients in hospital with Covid-19, 12 fewer than on Wednesday. In addition, 45 patients were in intensive care, and 22 used a ventilator.

Over the last seven days, an average of 4,453 corona infections have been registered per day.

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TODAY IN NORWAY

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.

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