6 January: The City of Oslo extends the social lockdown of Oslo until 21st January

Press release: The City Government extends the social lockdown of Oslo, initially for two more weeks. The current prohibition of indoor leisure activities is also widened to include children of primary school age and younger. The limited activities at youth clubs’ will close down.

The City Government introduced a social lockdown of Oslo on 10th November 2020, which will now be extended until 21st January 2021, with a few additional details and further restrictions.

«As expected, the infection rates have shot up in the new year, probably as a result of gatherings and travel during Christmas. The number of infections in Oslo today is more than 200, for the first time since 19th November. Therefore, we have no other choice than to extend the lockdown”, said the Governing Mayor Raymond Johansen (Labour).

After a period with low numbers of people getting tested during the Christmas holiday, the test numbers have increased substantially this week. About 4,000 people were tested each day Monday and Tuesday this week, compared with 1,000 on the quietest days during Christmas.

“The high number of tests is promising, so that we can register as many of those who are infected as possible, and then trace their contacts to break the chains of infections. I strongly encourage everyone with symptoms to take a test. Remember that the tests are free, that we have more than 20 testing centres in the city and that you can be tested at home if you are not able to get to a testing centre”, said Johansen.

Most of the measures that the National Government introduced for the whole country from Monday, have already been in place in Oslo since the beginning of November. These will still apply as part of the social lockdown. As well as this, the City Government agreed to continue the local prohibition of all events, and to widen the prohibition of indoor leisure activities to now include children of primary school age and below.

«The Prime Minister spoke on Sunday to advise everyone to avoid visits in private homes, until 19th January. The City of Oslo will of course support this recommendation. Hopefully, with a little extra effort, we can now force the infection rates down again”, the Governing Mayor said.

Red Risk Level does not apply for kindergartens and primary schools

The City Government will keep kindergartens (0-5 years) and primary schools (6-12 years) at Yellow Risk Level, and will not introduce the Red Risk Level that applies in secondary schools and high school (13-15 and 16-19 years).

The City Government has always tried to protect children and young people as much as possible. This is one of the reasons why the other measures are so strict. We are, for example, asking people not to visit each other, which could risk spreading the virus, so that staff in kindergartens and schools are able to do the important job that they have. That is why we will not introduce Red Risk Level in primary schools or kindergartens just now, but keep them at the Yellow Level. This is in line with recommendations from both the Public Health Institute (FHI) and the Health Directorate. For the same reasons, we will eventually try to reduce the restrictive measures for children and young people first”, said Vice Mayor for Education, Inga Marte Thorkildsen (Socialist Left).

The Vice Mayor emphasised that the situation is being continually monitored and reviewed.

Increased restrictions for indoor leisure activities and sports for children

The City Government has approved a ban on indoor leisure activities and sports for children of primary school age. This prohibition is already in place for young people and adults.

We are now stopping all indoor sports for the next two weeks. We have kept sporting activities open for children as long as we can, and will reopen as soon as possible. We know that sports and leisure activities are very important for many children, and understand that this is difficult, for both children and for those who commit their time to provide activities for children and young people”, said the Vice Mayor for Culture and Sport, Omar Samy Gamal (Socialist Left).

The Vice Mayor underlined as well, that outdoor sports events should now be postponed:

«We have received a number of questions about the possibility of arranging outdoor sports events, such as skiing competitions, during the next few weeks. We would not recommend that outdoor events are organised during the next few weeks, although they are not legally banned”, said Vice Mayor Omar Samy Gamal.

The City of Oslo can give 63,000 vaccine doses every week

The City of Oslo presented its vaccination plan on 18th December 2020, which document the capacity for giving 63,000 vaccine doses every week. The City is setting up 15 vaccine centres, which will be staffed for administering vaccines seven days a week.

The City follows the national order of priorities for vaccination, and aims to have vaccinated all nursing-home residents with the first of the two doses that are needed, during next week.

«We hope to have vaccinated as many as possible as fast as possible, and have informed the National Health Institute (FHI). Vaccination centres are being set up in every city district (bydel) which will manage the vaccinations. Now it is important that those in vulnerable groups, either due to age or underlying health conditions, accept being vaccinated. It is absolutely essential that a lot of people are vaccinated, so that will can reduce the restrictive measures”, said the Vice Mayor for Health, Ageing and Municipal Services, Robert Steen (Labour).

Overview of changes in the rules for the social lockdown in Oslo (to take effect from 7th January)

  • The City Government has approved a ban on indoor sports and leisure activities for children. This is already in place for young people and adults. At the same time, the following activities will be permitted: school swimming lessons for those under 20 years of age and professional swimmers, rehabilitation and training for individuals or in smaller groups with a leader / instructor [arrangør] and other individual treatment that can be booked in advance and where swimming is part of the treatment.
  • In line with the national regulations, the maximum number attending religious and faith gatherings is reduced from 20 to 10 people.

Overview of all the regulations for social lockdown in Oslo (from 7th January 2021):

  • All indoor events are prohibited.
  • Outdoor events can be organised for up to 200 participants. The City of Oslo supports the national advice for postponing all events.
  • Places where cultural, entertainment and leisure events are organised, must stay closed. This includes cinemas, theatres, play centres, training centres, sports halls and swimming pools.
  • The following venues can stay open: churches and centres for faith, libraries, galleries and other art sales-venues, places for professional sports activities at top level, as well as rehabilitation and re-training on individual basis at gyms and similar places.
  • A maximum of 10 people are allowed at church services and faith meetings.
  • Shops and shopping centres must provide security as needed and make sure that the numbers of customers present do not exceed the level for keeping at least two metres apart.
  • Face masks are compulsory in public places and public transport where it is not possible to keep at least one metre apart. Face masks are compulsory in taxis for both passengers and drivers.
  • Leisure sports and indoor leisure activities for children, adults and young people are closed.
  • Alcohol must not be served. Pubs and restaurants can stay open without serving alcohol.
  • Secondary (13-15 yrs) and high schools (16-19 yrs) are at Red Risk Level. Kindergarten and primary schools (6-12 yrs) are at Yellow Risk Level.
  • Home office-working is compulsory as far as this is practically possible, and all employers must document that their office staff have been informed that they must work at home.
  • The number of people at private gatherings must not exceed 10. Everyone must keep at least one metre apart. The City of Oslo supports the national government’s advice not to visit or receive any visitors during the next two weeks.

The City Government will review these measures again before 21st January 2021.

Facts about the pandemic in Oslo (on 6th January)

  • 1,471 people have been registered with Covid-19 during the last 14 days.
  • The largest numbers of infections are among 20-29 year-olds.
  • During the last 7 days, and so far today (6.1.2020), the largest numbers of Covid-19 infections have been registered in the urban districts (bydeler) of Grünerløkka (99 infected), Alna (99) and Gamle Oslo (86).
  • The urban districts (bydeler) with highest numbers infected per 100,000 during the last 14 days are Stovner (564), Søndre Nordstrand (417) and Grorud (303).
  • During the last 14 days, 22,726 people have been tested for Covid-19 in Oslo. On Tuesday 5th January, 3,406 people were tested. The City still has unused capacity for testing.


Contact the City of Oslo

Press contact

media@byr.oslo.kommune.no / +47 99 28 90 90 (not SMS)

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