24 November: New Coronavirus (Covid-19) guidance and enhanced measures for the City of Oslo
Press release: Oslo City Council encourages all residents to wear face masks when using public transport and taxis, and while in shopping centres. A number of existing protection measures against Covid-19 in the city will be intensified.
“People will have to bring face masks in their bags and jacket pockets again. These will protect both you and other people. We urge everyone to follow the infection control recommendations: Stay home if you are ill. Wash your hands. Do not shake hands with anyone. Use a face mask where advised.”
“We must combine an open society with necessary measures to maintain control over the situation. This is why we must now, once again, ask the people of Oslo to help stop the infection rate from rising,” says the Governing Mayor of Oslo, Raymond Johansen (Ap).
Mass testing in schools will continue and be expanded as needed
Mass testing in Oslo schools will begin again on Friday 19 November and 41,500 pupils, in Years 5 through to 10, will be tested twice a week. This may lead to an increase in registered infections since more cases of infections will be identified.
“The infection rate is highest among young people and many of the new infections detected among adults come from children. During the last infection peak this autumn we saw that mass testing had a significant effect. We will now be uncovering cases that would otherwise have remained under the radar and would have contributed to the spread of infection. Now we can identify and stop the chain of infection,” says Johansen.
“We plan to expand mass testing to include both primary schools and upper secondary schools should the situation call for it. Schools have indicated strong support for testing,” adds Johansen.
Vaccine bus and third dose
Oslo will also be intensifying vaccine rollouts. More than 87 per cent of the Oslo population over the age of 18 are fully vaccinated. If we add residents who are partially vaccinated, we can bring this figure up to 89.8 per cent.
“On Friday, the City of Oslo vaccine bus will be driving around the city with vaccines. We will be visiting workplaces around the city and upper secondary schools to offer unvaccinated people their first dose,” says Johansen.
According to Norwegian health authorities, booster shots for everyone over the age of 65 is one of the most effective measures to reduce pressure on hospitals. More than half of Oslo residents over 65 have already received their third dose.
“Over the next week, most people over 65 will have been offered a third dose. We are ready to continue with the younger age groups and are just waiting for approval from the health authorities,” says Johansen.
Automatic doors on metro trains
On Friday 5 November, Ruter returned to passengers manually opening doors on public transport by pressing a button. Oslo City Council has now asked to have all doors opened automatically again.