11 February: Oslo’s high schools change to yellow risk level
Press release: From Monday 15th February, Oslo’s high schools will change to yellow risk level, after having been at red risk level since 10th November 2020. Youth clubs will be reopened for activities for young people of high school age or older.
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- The content of this press release may be out of date. See Advice and rules in the City of Oslo for the measures that apply.
«With increased vaccinations, better control of imported infections and lower overall numbers of infections, we can open up the city a little more. Today the City Government has decided that the high schools in Oslo will change to yellow risk level on Monday, at the same time as we reopen youth clubs for young people of high school age or older”, said Governing Mayor Raymond Johansen (Labour).
Since Wednesday 3rd February, the kindergartens, primary schools and secondary schools have been at yellow risk level. From Monday, the high schools will be at the same level as the others.
«Yellow risk level means a lot for the pupils, for their learning and mental wellbeing. We are concerned about the consequences of keeping the schools at red risk level for very long periods, which has to be done on the basis of the risk level being both appropriate and necessary. We will still allow the schools a day or two extra to manage the change if they need it, so that the new regime works well. It is demanding to make good timetables and we understand that the situation is quite unpredictable and challenging for many people. It is important that the schools carry on with good routines for preventing infections, so that the school environment is safe for everyone”, said the the Vice Mayor for Education, Inga Marte Thorkildsen (Socialist Left Party).
«We have had to take some time to assess the situation for high schools. The risk of infections among older pupils is higher and, by opening up high schools, mobility increases since the pupils travel more across the whole city. The infection rate in Oslo continues to develop in a positive way, and the advice that we receive from both the National Health Institute and our own experts is clear, so it is now safe to change to the yellow risk level for high schools as well”, said Johansen.
From Monday 15th February, the youth clubs will re-open for young people of high school age and above, but with a maximum of 20 people at a time in this age group. For children and youth up to secondary school age, youth clubs will continue as before without any limit on numbers.
«The City Districts (bydeler) express a strong need to keep leisure activities open for the older age groups as well. Many young people need to meet friends within safe settings and to have contact with adults whom they trust and know from before. We see that young people get together in other places when the youth clubs are closed, which can cause disturbances and increases the risk of spreading infections. In the youth clubs, it is possible to prevent infection spreading and allow for social contact in a safe setting”, said the Vice Mayor for Employment, Integration and Social services, Rina Mariann Hansen (Labour Party).
At a press conference on Tuesday, the Governing Mayor emphasised how heavy the burden of measures is for Oslo’s residents. From next week, the City Government expects to decide the level of measures in Oslo, after the period since the start of January when the Norwegian Government decided the level of measures across the Eastern Norway region. The City Government will, in the time ahead, continually review the possibility of further easing of the measures in Oslo. Indoor leisure activities for young people of high school age, will be at the front of the queue.
«Outbreaks of the new mutations have created a more insecure and unpredictable situation. At the same time, the social lock-down in Oslo has lasted for three months, with all the negative consequences this has for people. Hopefully we will open up for indoor leisure activities for this age group, within a few weeks. We will also consider more easing of the measures, but are very conscious that we must not open up too quickly”, said Raymond Johansen.
The City Government has (11th February 2021) extended the local Corona regulations until 18th February, and announces a major review from next week, once the national regulations for Oslo no longer apply.