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Norway: new Covid restrictions introduced as highest ever hospitalizations recorded

B.1.1.529, Coronavirus, Hospitalization, Infection, Lockdown, Norway, Omicron, Transmission, Vaccine Breakthrough, Vaccine Waning

UPDATE: Norway has the highest infection rate by in Europe. On Sunday, 331 corona patients were hospitalized. Never before has Norway had more hospitalized coronary patients than now.

Coronavirus infections increased by 42 percent last week, an eightfold increase since mid-October, according to the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH). The highest increase is among children, shows FHI’s weekly report from last week. 64 percent of all cases last week are under 40 years old.

New Covid restrictions have been introduced in Norway this evening to try to slow the wave of Omicron infections engulfing the country.

The new restrictions are:

  • Events and gatherings

It is recommended to reduce the number of close contacts. More time should be spent at home. This means that you must also limit the number of visits, social gatherings and events you attend.

Avoid public transport: It is recommended to avoid the use of public transport to get to events.

Indoors: A maximum of 20 people indoors at a private gathering in a public place, in borrowed or rented premises.

Funerals: Memorial services after funerals and burials can have a maximum of 50 people indoors and outdoors. The funeral itself is considered a public event, see below.

Public indoor events : A maximum of 20 people at public indoor events without fixed allocated seats and 50 people when using such seats. The organizer shall ensure that everyone who is present at indoor events shall be able to keep at least one meter distance to others who are not in the same household or are similarly close. Exceptions are made for several groups, e.g. for performers at cultural and sports events, participants in certain courses and those who are in the same cohort in kindergarten or primary school.

At outdoor public events: Up to 100 people without fixed, allocated seats and up to 200 x 3 with fixed, allocated seats.

All events with a license, indoors and outdoors are prohibited. Facemasks are also required indoors at events.

During church walks in Christian denominations , new participants can be admitted continuously when someone leaves. Corresponding exemptions will be granted for important holidays for other denominations if the infection situation necessitates continued strict measures.

  • Schools, kindergartens and SFO

National yellow level is introduced in kindergartens and in primary and secondary schools. Local regulations on red action level take precedence over nationally determined yellow level.

Meetings can be arranged for children in kindergarten or primary school with whole classes / departments / groups with the required number of adults present.

Red at VGS: A national red level is introduced in upper secondary schools and for adult education.

Digital at university: Require universities, colleges and vocational colleges to facilitate digital teaching, skills training and exams as far as possible.

  • Organized leisure activities – children and young people

Restrictions on leisure activities: Children and young people of kindergarten or primary school age may have organized leisure activities, such as football training or corps training, but there are recommended restrictions on how many can participate. If the activity takes place indoors, there should be a maximum of 20 pieces, unless all participants are from the same cohort in school or kindergarten.

Do not recommend matches: Children and young people of kindergarten or primary school age can train or practice together, but we do not recommend having cups, matches or tournaments where children from different places gather.

An exception is made for outdoor sports events for children and young people of kindergarten or primary school age. They can be carried out if the children can always keep a distance of one meter, and if it is possible to follow the other rules on number that apply to all events.

Secondary school and the elderly – one meter distance: Children and young people who have finished upper secondary school should also keep the meter in their free time. This means, for example, that they should not play football or handball, where it is difficult to keep one meter distance.

  • Restaurants

A ban on serving alcohol.

One meter distance : An order that the restaurant must ensure that everyone can keep a distance of 1 meter to other than household members and similarly close. There must be at least 1 meter distance between the seats on the arrival of guests, however so that people in the same household or similarly close can sit closer to each other.

No dancing: Restaurants should not carry out activities that naturally involve less distance between guests than 1 meter. This will typically be dancing

Seating for everyone: Restaurants with a liquor license must have seating for all guests, but it is not a requirement for cultural events at the restaurant.

Maximum 20 indoors: The restaurant shall not have catering for indoor private gatherings with more than 20 people indoors and 50 outdoors. The rules for private gatherings do not apply at the place of service.

  • Working life

Everyone who can have a home office must have a home office. Orders are introduced that employers ensure that employees work from home if this is practically possible and does not hinder important and necessary activities in the workplace, including activities to take care of children and vulnerable groups.

Recommendation of 1 meter distance.

Recommendation for face masks if it is not possible to keep distance, unless physical barriers such as the use of partitions or the like have been used.

Orders to wear face masks apply in some audience-oriented parts of working life. Home offices and face masks do not apply to services where this prevents employees from performing necessary and statutory tasks in meetings with vulnerable groups and children and young people.

Recommend fresh air: Good ventilation / ventilation is recommended in situations where you stay in the same room over time with people who are not household members and similarly close.

These must be closed: Amusement parks, playgrounds, gaming halls and the like must be closed.

These can be kept open with restrictions: Swimming pools, water parks, spa facilities and hotel pools, and gyms can only be kept open for:
* individual training. When training with high intensity, keep a distance of 2 meters.
* school swimming, swimming lessons, swimming training and competitive swimming with organizer
* rehabilitation and training offered individually or in small groups with an organizer.
* other individual treatment for which an appointment can be booked and where the bathroom is part of the treatment.

The following businesses must be run in a professionally sound manner in order to be open:

Libraries, museums, bingo halls, swimming pools, water parks, spa facilities, hotel pools, gyms, shopping centers, shops, trade fairs, temporary markets and the like. This entails requirements to ensure that it is possible to keep at least 1 meter away from people who are not in the same household or similarly close, and that the company has developed routines for good hygiene, good cleaning and ventilation.

  • National facemask order

Mandatory for the use of face masks when it is not possible to keep at least 1 meter distance in shops, malls, restaurants, public transport, taxis and indoor station areas. The order also applies to employees unless physical barriers have been used.

Mouthpiece orders also apply to hairdressers, dermatologists and other one-on-one businesses.
Mouthpieces also apply to indoor events, libraries and museums.

The facemask order does not apply while sitting at a table at a restaurant (current) or eating or drinking while sitting.

  • Organized leisure activities for adults

Recommends cancellation: The government recommends postponing or cancelling the implementation of events associated with organized sports and leisure activities across different groups, both outside and inside. The government recommends postponing or cancelling organized sports and leisure activities for adults that take place indoors. Adults can exercise or have other organized leisure activities outdoors, but it is recommended to be a maximum of 20 people and keep the meter.

Wardrobes can be kept open if it is possible to organize the use so that congestion and close contact between people can be avoided. If open changing rooms lead to congestion, it is recommended to keep the changing rooms closed for ordinary use, but still so that toilets and washbasin facilities are available if this is not found elsewhere on the premises.

  • Recommendations for distance and social contact

People at risk of serious illness and the unvaccinated should protect themselves.

Reduce the number of close contacts, but do not isolate yourself.

Meet others outdoors whenever possible.

VG.no report (in Norwegian)

 

UPDATE 13th December 2021:

Norway has the highest infection rate by in Europe. On Sunday, 331 corona patients were hospitalized. Never before has Norway had more hospitalized coronary patients than now.

Coronavirus infections increased by 42 percent last week, an eightfold increase since mid-October, according to the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH). The highest increase is among children, shows FHI’s weekly report from last week. 64 percent of all cases last week are under 40 years old.

The Nordic Page report

 

The chart below shows Norwegian hospitalizations up to 3rd December 2021. The latest figures up to 12th December 2021 show that Covid hospitalizations in Norway have now reached an all-time high.

 

Covid cases in Norway are still spiralling upwards too:

 

** On the basis of these latest figures, national lockdowns in Norway, Denmark and the UK MUST be considered urgently. **

 

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