Erna Solberg announces update on corona rules: The majority of strict measures to remain in force

Erna SolbergPhoto: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB

For the most part, the Norwegian government will uphold its strict infection control measures to prevent a new wave of infection.

However, it will provide some relief for children and young people.

The national alert level of corona measures for schools is being downgraded to the “yellow” level, and local sports and leisure activities for children and young people are no longer discouraged.

The recommendation to avoid home visits is being discontinued, but people should limit social contact.

Solberg: The situation is still uncertain

“Even though the measures seem to work, and the infection rates have somewhat decreased, the situation is still uncertain.

“We see how the infection strikes the countries around us and causes disease and death. We will try to avoid this in Norway.

“That is why we are continuing strict national measures and some of the most stringent border control regimes in Europe,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg said.

The infection situation is still uncertain. It is currently not possible for the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) and the Norwegian Directorate of Health to assess the effect of the measures introduced on January 4.

Limited relief

Nevertheless, the government decided to introduce limited relief in the strictest national measures because there are signs that the infection is flattening out.

Norwegians can once again have up to 5 guests at their home. However, the government still advises against most private gatherings and events.

If gatherings must still be held, the following rules apply:

  • For private gatherings outside one’s own home, such as a birthday in a rented space, the limit is up to 10 people.
  • If the private gathering is outdoors, the limit is now set at 20 people.
  • There are no changes to the rules for the number of people for events.


The national alert level for corona measures at upper secondary schools is downgraded from the “red” to the “yellow” level.

Municipalities can keep the “red” level in force this week if they need to prepare for the transition to the “yellow” level.

Municipalities with high infection pressure should consider maintaining the “red” level in upper secondary schools. If necessary, they should also consider keeping the “red” level in kindergartens and primary schools.

Sports and leisure activities

Local sports and leisure activities for children and young people are no longer discouraged. Children and young people under the age of 20 can train and participate in leisure activities as normal, both indoors and outdoors. 

They can also be exempted from the recommendation of keeping a distance of 1 meter from others when it’s necessary to carry out such activities. 

For children and young people, ordinary training activity internally in clubs, teams, and associations can be carried out, but matches, cups, conventions, etc., are still not allowed. 

“We have always said that we would prioritize children and young people when the infection situation makes it possible.

“Therefore, we have decided that the national level of measures for upper secondary schools would be downgraded to the ‘yellow’ level and that local sport and leisure activities for children and young people will no longer be discouraged.

“We know how important these arenas are to them (young people, editor’s note),” Solberg added.

Høie: We still need national-level measures

“A third wave of infection would make it very demanding to carry out the vaccination of the population. Many employees in the health and care service are now tired after a lot of work-related pressure over a long period of time.

“We, therefore, need national measures to prevent a new wave of infections from putting pressure on the health service and making vaccination more demanding,” Health Minister Høie said.

Alcohol serving ban

The ban on serving alcohol at restaurants and bars will be continued until further notice.

The FHI recommended removing the ban, while the Norwegian Directorate of Health believes that the infection situation is still unclear and wants the ban to be maintained.

“The government agrees with the Norwegian Directorate of Health. We will uphold the national liquor ban for the time being. A new assessment will be made next week,” Høie added.

The government noted that the measures would be in place as long as they are needed but that continuous assessments of the situation will be made.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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