Norway launches strictest lockdown since March 12 to fight mutated coronavirus outbreak in Nordre Follo

Nordre FolloPhoto: Torstein Bøe / NTB

Norway is introducing strict infection control measures in the neighboring municipalities of Nordre Follo and nine other municipalities, following an outbreak of the mutated coronavirus.

Minister of Health Bent Høie (H) noted that the new measures are the strictest ones since March 12, 2020.

“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.

Høie: Don’t go to neighboring municipalities

People musn’t go to the neighboring municipality to use the services that are closed in their own home municipality, Høie (H) accentuated. 

“I firmly ask everyone who lives in the area not to travel to other areas to use services that are closed in their own municipality. We’re doing all of this to prevent infection. 

“You can be infected without knowing it. If you travel, you can contribute to what you want to avoid, namely, that the mutated variant spreads to other municipalities,” he said.

He also added that the authorities couldn’t rule out that the virus has spread to other parts of the country.

Widespread lockdown

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

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

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.

Outbreak in Nordre Follo

An 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,” Høie emphasized.

Source: #Norway Today, #NorwayTodayNews

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