Norway is now tightening its grip to prevent the death toll from rising.
The strategy is “social bubbles”:
A maximum of five guests in addition to their own household – and in Oslo no more than ten social contacts per week.
– We fear that we will see more deaths, says Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
Norway is still one of the countries that has escaped the mildest in the corona pandemic, which is now taking a new iron grip on Europe.
So far, only 18,110 people have been confirmed infected, 279 have died and 54 are currently hospitalized.
But both the number of infected and those who need hospital care are increasing every day, even in our western neighbor. On Monday, 202 new infections were reported and another seven hospitalized.
First it was the young – now the infection is spreading to other age groups and the concern is great.
– This autumn, the corona infection has come as the autumn darkness – a little more day by day, says Prime Minister, says Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
– Now the infection is increasing among the oldest, which means that we see that more people end up in hospital and become seriously ill. We also fear that we will see more deaths.
Live in “social bubbles”
In order to limit the infection and prevent a comprehensive second wave, Norway is also introducing a number of rules, both nationally and in Oslo, in particular.
The strategy is, as in Belgium and the United Kingdom, that people should drastically limit their contacts with others and live in “social bubbles”.
The new national rules, which apply until the beginning of December, will come into force on the night of Wednesday 28 October:
• In private homes, gardens or holiday homes, you should not have more than five guests in addition to your own household. If all guests come from one and the same household, for example if the family has many children, you can make an exception and be several.
• Private gatherings in public places or in rented and borrowed premises may have a maximum of 50 participants – the old limit was 200. At outdoor events where everyone in the audience sits down at fixed places, a maximum of 600 people may participate.
• Foreign workers from what the EU calls red countries, with more than 150 infected per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days, such as Poland, the United Kingdom, France and Spain, no longer escape the quarantine obligation. Since September 1, passengers with coronavirus have been identified on board 344 flights to Norway, especially from Poland.
This means that even foreign workers now have to be quarantined for ten days before they can start working. It is valid from midnight on Saturday 31 October.
In Oslo it will be even stricter
• In Oslo, everyone is recommended not to have more than ten social contacts a week. Social contact includes a person with whom you are in the same room for a quarter or more.
However, this does not apply to members of one’s own household, colleagues at the workplace or employees within preschool and school.
• Everyone who does not have to be at work must work from home and teaching at universities and colleges should take place digitally.
• The limit for the number of people at public events without fixed seats is lowered from 50 to 20.
• Requirements for mouth guards in public places indoors, such as shops and shopping centers, if a distance of one meter can not be kept.
• Requirement for all employees and guests at indoor restaurants to wear mouth guards when not sitting down at a table.
• No new guests at restaurants after 10 pm in the evenings.
The new restrictions in Oslo apply from Thursday 29 October at 12 noon.
The number of new confirmed infections in the Norwegian capital has increased from 300 people a week to 400 – still a low figure compared to many other capitals in Europe, but still a rising trend.
– The waves that are now washing over Europe can also come here, said municipal councilor Raymond Johansen at a press conference on Monday.
The new rules will affect restaurants and bars in Oslo and have already had consequences.
– I’m actually a little dull right now, and I’m in the middle of a meeting with the middle managers here. Now we have to review opening hours and consider further layoffs of employees, says Karl-Henning Svendsen at NOHO Norway, which runs several of Oslo’s largest nightclubs, such as Kulturhuset, Grisen, Colonel Mustard and Youngs, to Børsen.