5 May: Oslo City Government continues its gradual reopening of Oslo

Oslo City Government has today decided to start Phase 2 of its plan to reopen the city that was announced last week. “The rate of infection as well as the number of people vaccinated and the number receiving hospital treatment in Oslo are all moving in the right direction,” says Oslo’s Governing Mayor Raymond Johansen (Labour Party).

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The City Government’s decision means that:

  • Shops and shopping centres can reopen from 6 May.
  • The risk level at kindergartens, primary and lower secondary schools will be reduced to yellow from 10 May.
  • The city’s Deichman libraries will gradually expand its services.
  • Day centres for the elderly will gradually resume normal operations.
  • The cultural sector moves up from Phase 3 to Phase 2 of the reopening plan.

The phasing in of other aspects included in Phase 2 of the city’s reopening plan will be assessed on or around 20 May.

“As we start implementing Phase 2 of Oslo’s reopening plan, thousands of employees will return to their normal places of work, and day-to-day life for everyone in kindergartens and schools will become more normal again. If the situation with regard to infection rates, hospital admissions and vaccinations continues to improve, those running bars and eateries, museums, cinemas, theatres and other cultural venues can start preparing for a gradual and controlled reopening in a few weeks’ time,” says Oslo’s Governing Mayor Raymond Johansen (Labour Party).

Strict public health restrictions will apply when shops and shopping centres reopen. This includes a cap on the number of shoppers and social distancing. Bars and eateries will still be restricted to take-away service.

“I am pleased to finally be in a position where we can cautiously start reopening shops and shopping centres in Oslo. Those now permitted to open must abide by a strict infection prevention regime. I hope that, in a few weeks, we will be able to continue with Phase 2 and start reopening bars and eateries,” says Oslo’s Vice Mayor for Business Development and Public Ownership, Victoria Marie Evensen (Labour Party).

With effect from Monday, 10 May, the risk level at Oslo’s kindergartens, primary and lower secondary schools will be reduced to yellow. However, strict public health restrictions will continue to apply. High schools will prepare to transition to a yellow risk level with effect from 18 May. The risk level for adult education will be kept at red for the time being.

“The rate of infection has dropped sharply among children and young people of all ages in the past month, and the law makes it clear that we cannot maintain a red risk level as a precautionary measure. There are now just six weeks left until the summer holidays, and children and young people must have the opportunity to attend schools and kindergartens full time. This is vital for their academic attainment, but also for their mental health and social development,” says Oslo’s Vice Mayor for Education, Inga Marte Thorkildsen (Socialist Left Party).

Now that the City Government is moving to Phase 2 from 6 May, it has also decided to move the cultural sector up from Phase 3 to Phase 2. When the remainder of the City Government’s Phase 2 measures are implemented, permission will initially be granted for indoor events for up to 20 people with designated and fixed seating. The City Government will also increase the number of people permitted to attend outdoor events.

“I am pleased that the reopening of cinemas, theatres and concert venues is being brought forward to Phase 2. It represents an important signal to the cultural sector that it should start gearing up for Oslo’s gradual renaissance as a vibrant centre of culture and the arts. It will be great for artists and institutions to meet their audiences once again,” says Oslo’s Vice Mayor for Culture and Sport, Omar Samy Gamal (Socialist Left Party).

Because the vaccination rate is high and the level of infection extremely low among those aged 70+ in Oslo, the City Government has decided to allow day centres for the elderly to resume more normal operations.

“Many elderly people have been extremely isolated through the past year, but are now vaccinated and therefore well protected. I am delighted that our senior centres will once again become an important social hub for the city’s elderly residents,” says Governing Mayor Raymond Johansen.


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