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WHAT CHANGES IN NORWAY

New laws and a strike: Everything that changes about life in Norway in June 2022 

New rules that could see scooter users lose their driver's licence, metro closures coming to an end, a teachers' strike, and the midnight sun in Norway are some of the important things you need to know about in June. 

Pictured is the midnight sun in Nordkapp.
Read about everything that changes about life in Norway in June. Pictured is the midnight sun in Norway. Photo by Nicola Gambetti on Unsplash.

New scooter rules take effect

From June 15th, tighter regulations for electric scooters will be brought in. Users under the age of 12 will be prohibited from using the devices, and those under 15 will be required to wear a helmet. In addition, e-scooters will also be reclassified as “motor vehicles”. 

A blood alcohol limit will also be introduced for e-scooter users. The limit will be a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.02. This equates to a beer, a small glass of wine, or a standard measure of a spirit. 

The BAC for scooter users will be the same as all other vehicles. Under the new rules, “the mitigating rules for loss of driving licence” will apply. 

Essentially, the rules for driving an e-scooter while under the influence will be the same as using a moped, public broadcaster NRK writes.

READ MORE: Drunk e-scooter users in Norway risk losing their licence under new rules

Teachers strike on the cards 

Early to mid-June could see teachers in Norway strike over proposed wage rises. 

Teachers are unhappy with the state’s offer and have signalled that they will strike, despite the wage settlement for the public sector being agreed upon. 

The Education Association and the National Association of Schools have decided to strike. Lecturers are also unhappy with the state’s offer. 

Stefen Handel, head of the Education Association, has previously told public broadcaster NRK that teachers in Bergen would be the first to go out on strike. 

Oslo metro closures end

On June 7th, closures affecting parts of Oslo’s T-bane will cease, and the bus replacement services will end. 

Traffic between Helsfyr and Tveita on line two would resume, as will trains between Helsfyr and Hellerud on line three. Line four between Helsfyr and Vestil will also be up and running again. 

The lines were closed for works to the tracks on May 26th. 

Schools break up for summer

Norwegian schools will break up for summer on June 22nd this year. 

The holidays will last for eight weeks until the middle of August. When kids return, the absence rules for middle and high school students will be reintroduced, meaning they could fail certain subjects if they miss too many classes without valid documentation. 

READ MORE: Norwegian schools to reintroduce absence rules next academic year

Royal Palace reopens for visitors

The Norwegian Royal Palace will once again allow the public to take guided tours of its halls and rooms

It had been closed to the public for two years due to the pandemic. Tours will recommence from June 25th. 

Tours will be available until mid-August. 

Sankthans

Sankthans or Jonsok, translated as “John’s wake”, is a Midsummer celebration with religious and secular roots.

Today, the occasion is considered a non-religious celebration. It is mainly centred around the shared gratitude for long days and warm nights on the evening of the 23rd.

Along with the rest of Scandinavia, it is popular to celebrate with bonfires. However, Sankthans is a relatively casual occasion in Norway compared to Christmas and Easter. Residents do not dress up, nor are there special dishes that help mark the occasion.

READ MORE: How Norwegians mark the middle of summer

Midnight sun 

In many places, the midnight sun will have already begun. However, there are a few areas which will not see the natural phenomenon until June. 

Between June 12th and July 1st, the sun will be visible as the clock strikes midnight in the Arctic Circle. 

In Bodø, the midnight sun is visible between June 4th and July 8th. 

The sun is visible in parts of Norway as the earth rotates on a tilted axis relative to the sun, meaning the north pole is angled towards the star, meaning the sun never sets. 

Popular activities during this period include whale watching, swimming and camping. 

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WHAT CHANGES IN NORWAY

The key changes in August that parents in Norway need to know about 

From changes to the paternity allowance to more financial support and free afterschool places for first graders, here are the key changes happening in August that parents in Norway should know about. 

The key changes in August that parents in Norway need to know about 

Sommerferie ends

We’re starting with one that all parents will know about, whether they dread seeing their little ones off to school or are counting down the days. 

Most kids’ first day of school will be Monday, August 16th. However, the term itself will bring in one big change parents will want to be aware of… 

The absence limit to be reintroduced

After the summer holidays, the absence rules for students will be reintroduced for middle and high school pupils

If high school students in Norway miss more than 10 percent of lessons in a subject, then the student will fail the subject and not receive a grade. Students can have an authorised absence with valid documentation, such as a doctor’s note. Documentation from another expert, such as a physiotherapist, dentist, psychologist or health nurse, can also be used. 

During the pandemic, the government introduced rules which meant there were exemptions from the documentation required for a health-related absence.

Free SFO for first graders

On the topic of schools, all children in Norway are eligible for up to 12 hours of free afterschool activities a week from August. 

Families on low incomes in 60 municipalities will be given free full-time spaces in after schools programs. Around 5,500 children will benefit from the policy. You can find a list of the municipalities offering free full-time SFO places here.

Glasses support for kids introduced

A new support scheme for kids needing glasses will be brought at the beginning of August. The new scheme gives children who were excluded from support during a rejig in 2020 (those who needed glasses for the prevention or treatment of amblyopia) a right to financial support to purchase spectacles.

The scheme will apply to around 140,000 children and those already eligible for support. Financial support is only available for children under 18. 

Under the scheme, families could be reimbursed up to 75 percent of the cost of a pair of prescription lenses for a child. There will be five different rates, with the support depending on the glasses’ strength. 

Those who apply for the support will have the money then paid into their account to help pay for the costs before purchase or as a reimbursement after the spectacles have been bought. Parents will need to apply to NAV for support. 

Paternity rules change 

The fathers of children born after August 2nd will be independently entitled to eight weeks of parental allowance. This means that the father can use parental allowance for eight weeks without it coming out of the general allowance.  

Mothers can apply for parental leave in Norway during the 22nd week of pregnancy, and fathers/partners can apply just after the baby is born. Parental allowance is paid out by NAV. 

A right to children’s coordinator 

The beginning of August also sees a statutory right to a children’s coordinator introduced. 

The new right will see “families with children or who are expecting children with serious illness, injury or impaired functioning, and who will need long-term and complex or coordinated health and care services and other welfare services,” given access to a coordinator.

The coordinator will ensure that all the services the family needs to access are on the same page and that local authorities make the necessary arrangements for families. 

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