Norway: semi-confinement decreed in Oslo after an outbreak of the English variant

The Norwegian government on Saturday announced semi-containment measures, the strictest since the start of the epidemic, in Oslo and its region after the detection of cases of the English variant in a locality near the capital.

Shops and shopping centers closed excluding essential shops, travel and meals with friends not recommended, the possibility for municipalities to close schools, digital education for high schools are among the restrictions announced from Saturday for Oslo and nine municipalities in its metropolitan area.

“We have put in place the most stringent measures since last March in ten municipalities. In some areas we are even going even further than in March, “Health Minister Bent Høie said at a press conference, acknowledging that they would make” a difficult daily life for many. “

All public events, inside and outside, will be canceled apart from funerals. Restaurants will be restricted to take-out.

These measures, in effect at least until January 31, follow the detection of cases of the English variant of the coronavirus, more contagious, in a retirement home in the municipality of Nordre Follo, 30 km from Oslo.

This variant was found in two residents, who died, over 90 years old, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health said on Friday. A total of 22 employees and 12 residents there contracted the coronavirus, without it being established at this stage that it is the same variant.

Health officials are all the more concerned as the origin of these cases has not yet been determined, as no link to Britain has yet been identified.

“We are doing what we can to stop this outbreak with strong measures, in order to quickly regain control and relax the harshest measures,” Høie explained on Saturday.

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