Norway tightens measures as COVID cases surge


Norway will tighten health measures to combat a surge in COVID-19 cases, including a limit on the number of people at parties, the government said on Tuesday.

From four weeks starting at midnight on Thursday, authorities will limit the number of guests in a home to 10—in addition to the people in the household.

Last week, a suspected outbreak of the newly discovered Omicron variant among dozens of partygoers who had all been vaccinated led the government to introduce new restrictions to deal with COVID in and around the capital Oslo.

“The situation is now so serious that we have to take new measures to keep the pandemic under control,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store told a press conference.

However, the number may be raised to 20 over the Christmas period, so long as at least a metre (three feet) is kept between guests, it said.

Masks will also be compulsory—but again, only if social distancing cannot be maintained at one metre, while table-only service will be mandatory at restaurants and bars.

“The risk of overloading health services and the spread of the more contagious Omicron variant now requires new strict measures in our country,” Store said.

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