Entire Oslo region goes into lockdown: Shopping centers closed, schools to operate at “red” level

Bent HøiePhoto: Terje Pedersen / NTB

Strict infection control measures are being introduced in the neighboring municipalities of Nordre Follo and nine other municipalities. The level of measures has been upgraded to “red” for kindergartens and schools.

With the exception of grocery stores, pharmacies, and petrol stations, all shops will be closed from noon on Saturday, the Ministry of Health stated. That also applies to Vinmonopolet.

The new measures, which initially apply until January 31, apply to the municipalities of Enebakk, Frogn, Indre Østfold, Moss, Nesodden, Nordre Follo, Oslo, Vestby, Våler, and Ås. The municipalities have just under one million inhabitants.

An uncontrolled outbreak of the British coronavirus variant led to Nordre Follo closing down the municipality on Friday. 

There are 60,000 people living in Nordre Follo, and there is a lot of traffic to and from the neighboring municipalities. The mutated virus variant may have been in circulation for several days.

“This is a very serious situation, and we must do what we can to stop the outbreak. There is a lot of traffic in the area, and a large number of commuters travel from Nordre Follo to Oslo every day. 

“If the virus mutation spreads in Oslo, it will be very difficult to prevent it from spreading to the rest of the country. The government is therefore introducing strong measures in ten municipalities,” Minister of Health Bent Høie (H) noted.

“Red” level in schools and kindergartens 

The schools and kindergartens in the Oslo region will operate at the “red” level when it comes to corona measures. 

“The municipal infection control authority may decide to close the schools and kindergartens if it is necessary to prepare for the ‘red’ level or if the infection situation so requires,” the Ministry noted.

The premises at universities, colleges, and vocational colleges will be closed to all students next week. All teaching and planned events must be postponed or made digital.

“Strictest measures since March 12”

In addition to shops, restaurants, fitness centers, libraries, museums, cinemas, and other cultural and entertainment venues will also be closed.

Already on Friday night, Deichman announced that they were closing their libraries in Oslo.

“We are now introducing the strictest measures since March 12 in the ten municipalities. In some areas, we will go even further than in March,” Høie said.

“I know that this will lead to a demanding everyday life for many and that many face uncertain times.

“We are now doing what we can to stop this outbreak with strong measures so that we can quickly establish control and ease the most intrusive measures.

“Together we have managed to reduce the infection several times, and together we can manage it again,” the Minister noted.

Source: #Norway Today, #NorwayTodayNews

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