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SCHOOLS

Schools and universities in Norway to return to normal

Covid-19 measures in education will be eased and schools and universities in Norway will return to normal when they welcome back students, the government announced on Friday.

Schools and universities in Norway to return to normal
Student's will no longer have to social distance in lectures and classes. Photo by Dom Fou on Unsplash

At the start of the next academic year, students and teachers in Norway can expect schools and universities to return to normal in Norway, Health Minister Bent Høie said at a government press conference. 

Schools in Norway will return to green level when they reopen their doors to students after the summer holidays, and social distancing will be scrapped for students in all education settings. 

Green level means, mostly, a return to regular class sizes and mixing between students. 

You can read more about green level for kindergartensprimary schoolssecondary schools and high schools by clicking the links.

“We are giving students exemptions from distance requirements during teaching,” Høie said. 

“This means that students can finally meet in classrooms and sit shoulder to shoulder in lectures,” he added.  

Furthermore, it was also announced that testing would also replace self-isolating for children. Children who come into contact with somebody who has Covid-19 will no longer be required to isolate. 

Instead, children under 12 will be tested as soon as possible and then once again after three to five days. The rules for children over 12 are slightly different, and kids older than 12 will need to be tested on days one, three and five. 

If they test positive for coronavirus, they will still be required to quarantine. 

In addition, Høie announced that the final decision over whether 16-17-year-olds in Norway will be vaccinated had been pulled forward from September to later in August. Municipalities have been told to prepare for the eventuality that those in this age group will get jabs. 

“If we recommend that this group should also be offered a vaccine, it is important that it happens in such a way that it is safe for the children,” the health minister said. 

Covid-19 vaccination for this age group won’t begin until at least September 12th, when the Norwegian Institute of Public Health expects everyone over 18 to be fully jabbed by if it is decided to inoculate young people in this age group. 

Høie also said that those accepted to undergo a PhD in Norway will now be allowed to enter the country. 

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COVID-19 RULES

What Covid-19 rules apply when going out in Norway?

Norway's government recently tweaked its Covid-19 rules and lifted the alcohol ban introduced at the end of last year, meaning changes to restrictions apply when going out.

Oslo, Norway.
These are the Covid rules if you are planning on going out this weekend. Pictured is Oslo, Norway during the evening. Photo by Ben Garratt on Unsplash

The government has eased Norway’s national Covid rules, and the ban on alcohol being sold in bars, restaurants and other licensed venues has been lifted.

Other changes include an increase to the capacity allowed at venues and a relaxation of quarantine rules for close contacts of those who test positive for the virus.

READ ALSO: Norway lifts alcohol ban as Covid rules eased

Bar’s restaurants and cafes

The country’s alcohol ban has been lifted, meaning licensed businesses can serve customers alcohol.

Venues will be allowed to serve alcohol until 11pm, and a table service requirement is in place, meaning customers can’t order at the bar.

Additionally, restaurants, bars, cafes, and other licensed premises must take customers’ contact details for infection tracking purposes.

Customers will need to wear face masks and maintain a social distance of one metre from those they don’t live with. Face masks aren’t required while seated.  

A maximum of 30 people are allowed to gather at a private event in a public place or on rented premises, such as a table booking.

Museums, shops and theatres

Museums, libraries, shops and shopping centres can stay open but are required by the government to be run in a way compatible with the current restrictions and recommendations. This means that they may opt to have capacity limits. Face masks are mandatory in these settings. Amusement parks, arcades and indoor play areas are all closed.

From noon, Friday, January 21st, the rules on how many people can gather at an indoor public event, such as a show, will rise from 200 with designated seating up to 1,500 people indoors and 3,000 outdoors.

Guests will need to be split into cohorts of 200 and will need to be socially distanced from those not in their household.

Be wary, though, as some theatres have said that the cohort system makes it hard for them to operate near the new 1,500 person limit, meaning some venues may remain closed regardless of the relaxed rules.

Public transport 

If you plan on using public transport to get to your plans, you’ll need to be aware of the rules. These haven’t been changed recently, but the public is asked to avoid public transport during bust periods where possible.

Travellers must wear a face mask if they can’t maintain a social distance of one metre. Masks are also require in taxis and ride-sharing services.

What happens if I or someone I’m with tests positive? 

If you test positive for Covid-19, the isolation period will be a minimum of six days but will not end until you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without using fever-reducing medicine.

If you live with somebody or your partner has tested positive for the virus, you will need to isolate before testing on day seven. If the test returns negative, then isolation ends. 

Other close contacts of people who test positive for the virus are no longer required to quarantine. Instead, they are asked to take a Covid-19 test on days three and five after being identified as a close contact and to keep an eye out for symptoms for ten days.

READ MORE: What are the current rules for Covid-19 self-isolation in Norway?

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