Tuesday 3/2/21
REOPENING

Norway's government to ease virus restrictions in Oslo region

Norway, a country of 5.3 million, has recorded about 66,800 coronavirus cases and 593 virus-related deaths.
A view of the center of Oslo. Photo: Foreigner.fi/File photo.
A view of the center of Oslo. Photo: Foreigner.fi/File photo.

Some restrictions introduced last month in the greater Oslo region to stem an outbreak linked to coronavirus strains detected in Britain are to be lifted, Norways' government said on Tuesday.

"There is sufficient overview of the situation in Oslo, Nordre Follo, Halden and neighbouring municipalities," Health Minister Bent Hoie said.

The government decision was effective as of Thursday, he added.

In January, the government ordered the temporary closure of shopping venues as well as gyms, swimming pools and sports centres in the greater Oslo region following an outbreak of the British variant of the coronavirus, which is considered more transmissible.

Grocery stores, pharmacies and petrol stations were exempt from the closures.

Countrywide decisions would remain in place, Hoie said.

Students

Local authorities were expected to announce what measures would be eased. For example, there is the question of whether university students could use study halls again.

Oslo mayor Raymond Johansen planned to offer some details on Wednesday, but cautioned that restrictions would remain.

"There is no doubt that the situation is still serious," he said according to news agency NTB, adding that "the reopening will take place gradually and in a controlled manner, and we will not take any chances."

Norway, a country of 5.3 million, has recorded about 66,800 coronavirus cases and 593 virus-related deaths.

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