Oslo introduces strictest anti-corona measures so far

Raymond JohansenPhoto: Berit Roald / NTB

On Monday, Oslo Municipality introduced new anti-corona measures aimed at lowering infection rates in the capital.

One year after the national shutdown in 2020, Oslo is closing down more severely than ever before.

“There is no doubt that we are in the third wave of infection,” City Council chief Raymond Johansen (AP) said on Monday.

“Overall, these are the most intrusive measures we have had in Oslo so far in the pandemic,” he noted.

The new measures will last until April 6.

New measures

Oslo is introducing a ban on having more than two visitors in private homes, Johansen stated.

“This is a very intrusive and serious measure. We know that very many people in the city already live as if this is the rule. But we also know that there are too many who gather in private homes and still have too much contact,” he said at a press conference.

Until now, it has been forbidden to have more than ten people gather in private homes, with a recommendation to avoid private gatherings and visits to private homes.

“The only way to stop the mutated virus is to stop as much of the social contact as possible,” he added.

Johansen was asked how such a ban would be covered legally and whether it could be in violation of human rights.

“We know, in principle, that there are many who already live by these rules, but we have to go through the legal issues. At the same time, we believe that it is an absolutely necessary guideline to have now, it is a ban, and then it should be possible to impose a fine,” Johansen noted.

Kindergartens and activities

The Municipality also chose to keep the kindergartens and pre-school and after-school activities closed during the Easter week. Children of parents with socially critical jobs will receive an offer if needed, Johansen stated.

“After Easter, the schools will return to the “red” level. We shield the youngest children from further measures. Keeping (society) open for the youngest children is extremely important. But I know that keeping open in the situation we are in now is also extremely demanding. Employees experience an enormous load,” Councilor Inga Marte Thorkildsen (SV) noted.

At the same time, hairdressers, beauty salons, and one-on-one therapists can remain open.

Fears of system collapse 

Although the death toll is not high, Oslo is closing down more severely than ever before. The City Council fears that the tracking work and intensive capacity could collapse.

Infection rates have risen sharply in Oslo recently, while the number of deaths due to the coronavirus remains low. That is due to the fact that a large proportion of the elderly has now been vaccinated. Nevertheless, the most stringent measures so far are being introduced in the pandemic.

The move is justified by fears that the intensive capacity will collapse and that infection tracing will be impossible if the infection continues to increase.

“Remember this: The prerequisite for us to have control over this situation is that the entire setup with testing, isolation, infection tracking, and quarantine works. If the infection becomes too high, over too long a time, we risk the system collapsing. Then we would lose control,” Johansen warned.

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

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