Norway’s government is softening corona measures in the Oslo region from Wednesday

Government pressPhoto: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB

Eight municipalities will no longer be under strict lockdown in connection to the outbreak in Nordre Follo, the Norwegian government states.

The national measures that were introduced on January 18 will be continued until mid-February, the Ministry of Health and Care Services announced on Saturday morning.

But in and around Nordre Follo, which is the epicenter of a major outbreak of the dreaded English virus variant, there will be some relief from Wednesday.

Minister of Health Bent Høie (H) says the government now has a better overview of the more contagious coronavirus variant outbreak, but that much is still uncertain – especially in Oslo and Nordre Follo.

” Infection tracking and analysis of tests in the affected municipalities will give us an even better overview in the coming days. 

“Therefore, we will continue the measures in the 25 municipalities that are affected up to and including Tuesday, February 2, at the request of the municipalities themselves.

Changes from Wednesday

However, from Wednesday, some of the measures in some municipalities will change if the infection situation remains stable.

From Wednesday, the ring 1 area will be reduced from ten to three municipalities: Nordre Follo, Oslo, and Ås.

Ring 2: Asker, Bærum, Enebakk, Frogn, Indre Østfold, Lillestrøm, Lunner, Lørenskog, Moss, Nesodden, Nittedal, Rælingen, Vestby, and Våler.

Furthermore, the following municipalities will be removed from the ring 2 area from Wednesday: Aurskog-Høland, Drammen, Horten, Lier, Marker, Rakkestad, Råde, and Skiptvet.

The national measures will continue to apply for these municipalities, along with any local regulations that they have adopted.

Children and young people

Relief for children and young people is being prioritized. Schools and kindergartens in Nordre Follo, Oslo, Ås, and 14 other surrounding municipalities will return to the “yellow” level. 

That gives the municipalities time to assess whether they need measures at the “red” level in line with the local infection situation. 

For universities, colleges, and vocational colleges, the premises will remain closed to students and teaching, and planned events will be postponed or carried out digitally.

The government will also allow children and young people under the age of 20 in Nordre Follo, Ås, and Oslo to run organized sports and leisure activities.

In the rest of the country – including the 14 surrounding municipalities – national rules will apply.

Businesses-related relief

There will also be some relief for businesses in the capital region.

Cafes, restaurants, and other eateries may reopen. But the alcohol serving ban will remain in place.

Gyms, museums, cinemas, theaters, concert venues, and a number of other businesses and places where people gather indoors must remain closed.

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

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