Norway to lift all COVID-19 restrictions: PM
Norway will lift all restrictions against coronavirus from 4 p.m. local time on Saturday, and return to "normal life," announced Prime Minister Erna Solberg at a press conference on Friday, Xinhua reports.
The government's decision means all restrictions for events, gatherings and parties will be repealed and restaurants will no longer have dining numbers capped.
Meantime, entry restrictions will also gradually get lifted from Saturday as travelers from "orange areas" will no longer be required to quarantine.
The government based its decision on a joint assessment of the Norwegian Directorate of Health and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) that there was "little risk" of the epidemic getting out of control in the next few weeks.
Solberg said that infection numbers were falling, hospital admissions had flattened, and that this made the government confident in its decision, especially as a large part of the population would be "fully vaccinated in a few weeks."
As of Thursday, 76.2 percent of the population had received the first vaccine dose, while 66.5 percent were fully vaccinated, according to NIPH.
Nevertheless, Solberg admitted that the pandemic has yet to be finished as restrictions would be re-introduced if necessary.
"If we get an outbreak with a mutation that the vaccines do not help against, we have to re-enter with national rules. The message is therefore that we are not done with the pandemic. We will not finish the pandemic until the world is done with it," she said.