23 January: The social lockdown in Oslo is reinforced after detecting mutated Corona virus in Nordre Follo municipality

Press release: Oslo has had a social lockdown and very strict infection prevention rules since 9 November 2020. The social lockdown is now reinforced with a number of measures.

The Government has introduced new infection prevention measures for the municipalities near Nordre Follo, after having identified cases of the British mutated version of the Corona virus in Nordre Follo. The source of these infections is unknown and can therefore be termed untraceable. Nordre Follo is Oslo's neighbouring municipality in the south.

– We must do everything in our means to stop the mutated virus. We have seen how fast and effectively it has spread in other countries and cities. This means that the strongest infection prevention rules are introduced today in Oslo since 12 March last year. In some areas the rules are the strictest ever. I fully support the Government’s measures, and I am pleased that we have the same rules for all municipalities that surround Nordre Follo, said Governing Mayor Raymond Johansen (Labour).

The Government’s measures follow the advice from the National Health Directorate and the Institute for Public Health, and are introduced in dialogue with Nordre Follo municipality as well as the surrounding municipalities.

The measures will initially apply until (and including) Sunday 31 January.

  • All shops must close, except for food stores, drug stores, pet food stores, petrol stations and kiosks. (Updated with changed national rules 25 January.)
  • All pubs and restaurants must close, except for take-aways.
  • Gyms, swimming pools etc. are already closed in Oslo. As well as these, all libraries must now close, which until now have been kept open during the social lockdown in Oslo. Places of faith and worship must close, except for funerals and burials.
  • Kindergartens and primary schools are upgraded to red risk level from Monday 25th January. Secondary schools (ungdomsskole, 13-15 yrs) and high schools are already at red risk level in Oslo. Teaching at high schools will be online from Monday.
    Schools and kindergartens were asked earlier to prepare and plan for red risk level. In some cases however, schools and kindergartens may need a little more time to organise their provision at the red risk level. All children with parent and guardians who have essential functions will be guaranteed a place from Monday. Parents and guardians will receive more information from their kindergartens and schools, about what the kindergarten and schools provision at red risk level will imply, in each case.
  • Teaching at high schools (videregĂ„ende skole, 16-19 yrs) must be online during week 4, from 25 January. We will prepare to carry on activity in high schools at red risk level in week 5, from 1 February, in the same way as today.
  • Teaching at universities, colleges and vocational schools must be online. All teaching and planned events must either be postponed or held online.
  • Buildings at universities, colleges and vocational schools must be closed for all students and pupils.
  • All leisure sports and leisure activities for children, young adults and adults must stop. We have recently allowed leisure activities for children up to 12 years to start up again. From today, these activities must once more stop. We will give more information about the rules for leisure activities and leisure sport in due course.

I addition to these obligations and prohibitions, the Government and City of Oslo have clear advice to everyone in Oslo:

  • Everyone should avoid having visitors and gatherings in their own homes. Exceptions from this, include necessary home-services and visiting someone who is reaching the end of their life. People who live alone can have visits from, or visit, one or two fixed friends or one fixed household. Children in kindergartens and primary schools can have visits from their own group (kohort).
  • Everyone should avoid unessential journeys. Journeys to work are considered essential. Nearly everyone must do office work from home.
  • One-to-one jobs, such as hairdressers, should tighten their infection prevention measures, such as using face masks when it is not possible to keep one metre apart or to reduce or temporarily stop services that involve close face-to-face contact.

In addition, the Government has made a number of recommendations for the affected municipalities, on issues like public transport, testing and quarantine. The City of Oslo must consider this advice more closely before giving any further information.

– Today weighs heavily on many in our city. The people of Oslo have already made big sacrifices over a long period of time. I fully understand all of those who feel drained and fed up today. Hopefully, with the stricter measures we will succeed in stopping this infection quickly, so that we can soon get back to preparing for carefully re-opening our society and daily lives, Johansen concluded.


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