14 April: Oslo City Government introduces enhanced red risk level at schools in Oslo ā€“ students can return to class

Press release: The Oslo City Government has decided to allow all school students in Oslo to return to the classroom with effect from Monday, 19 April. All other Covid-related restrictions have been extended until 29 April.

Over 1,500 cases of Covid-19 were recorded in Oslo last week, while Oslo University Hospital and Akershus University Hospital are currently treating 150 patients with the disease.
“The measures we have put in place are undoubtedly working, and the efforts being made by Oslo’s residents are having a positive impact. The statistics show that Oslo is on its way to supressing the third wave of infection. It is therefore vital that we retain most of the restrictions we have in place for a few more weeks, so that the rate of infection and the number of hospital admissions has a chance to fall even further,” says Oslo’s Governing Mayor Raymond Johansen (Labour Party).

High school students, pupils at lower secondary school and pupils in years 5—7 at primary schools in city boroughs with a particularly high infection rate have been receiving online tuition since 17 March. From Monday, 19 April, these students will return to class.

“I am delighted that we can once again get all our students back in class. There, they will encounter an enhanced red risk level, with even more stringent infection protection measures than before,” says Johansen.

An enhanced red risk level means that schools will implement measures to reduce the number of close contacts. Face coverings may be used in all situations, apart from classroom tuition, where it is difficult to maintain social distancing. In Oslo, teachers who wish to wear a face covering will be permitted to do so.

“Keeping schools closed has major consequences for students’ learning, social development and mental health, and creates a high risk of increased social inequality. That is why it is so important to open up again as soon as it is safe to do so. At the same time, strict protective measures are needed to prevent transmission and avoid new closures. This applies to both schools and kindergartens. If the level of infection does not fall sufficiently, the red risk level may be extended still further,” says Oslo’s Vice Mayor for Education Inga Marta Thorkildsen (Socialist Left Party).

The Norwegian central government’s easing of restrictions with effect from 16 April does not apply to Oslo. Until further notice, the Oslo City Government will retain the stringent measures currently in place. At the same time, however, it is preparing the city to reopen. As early as next week, the Oslo City Government will consider changing the rules prohibiting more than two visitors in private homes.

“We want to keep the city as open as possible, but as closed as necessary. We will consider relaxing the most intrusive measures first, such as the ban on having more than two visitors in private homes,” says Johansen.

These measures apply until 29 April:

  • Ban on more than two visitors to private homes. (This provision may be revised next week.)
  • Red risk level at schools and kindergartens.
  • Indoor recreational activities for children and young people remain closed.
  • Bars and eateries remain closed (with the exception of take-away service). Ban on the serving of alcohol.
  • Shops remain closed (with some exceptions, such as food stores and pharmacies).
  • Fitness centres, theatres and cinemas remain closed.
  • Ban on organised events (with some exceptions, such as funerals).


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