Government: We may need to introduce new entry measures this autumn due to more contagious variants

Erna SolbergPhoto: Beate Oma Dahle / NTB

New entry measures may be needed this autumn as the spread of infection may increase due to more contagious coronavirus variants, the health authorities’ scenarios show.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) and the Norwegian Directorate of Health have prepared three possible scenarios for the autumn/winter of 2021.

The scenarios are not forecasts but illustrations of how the pandemic may develop under certain conditions, the government emphasized on Monday.

Entry restrictions may be required

The scenario that is considered most likely means that one or more contagious virus variants spread in Norway and increase the risk of infection in society, especially among the younger population.

In this scenario, there would be more outbreaks in nursing homes. Along with the flu season, this would create pressure on the health and care service.

The capacity in the municipalities would be under strain, but outbreaks of infection would be handled relatively well with local measures.

More pessimistic scenario

A more optimistic scenario is also outlined where there are would be no new virus variants that challenge the immunity of the fully vaccinated and with few outbreaks among the unvaccinated.

The capacity in the health care system would remain almost normal, and COVID-19 would gradually be treated like other respiratory infections such as the flu.

Worst-case scenario

The last and far more pessimistic scenario describes more or less a corona situation where Norway would have to return to strict infection control measures.

If this scenario were to become a reality, a major change would be made in how the pandemic is handled, the government stated.

Fear of fatigue

In this scenario, the younger age groups would be far less willing to take the vaccine than the older groups, and a virus variant less subdued by vaccination would cause more serious illness and dominate in Norway during the autumn.

Entry measures would be necessary, and outbreaks would occur in many municipalities. Strict national measures would be necessary once again, at the same time as great fatigue with measures would form among the Norwegian population.

It would be necessary to offer all vaccinated people a dose of a new vaccine. These vaccines would not be available until the beginning of 2022, and in limited quantities, so the vaccine distribution would have to take place according to a new prioritization.

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

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