Norway is The Next Country to Remove Most COVID-19 Rules Even With Rising Cases


Yes, another country is lifting COVID-19 rules. No, it isn’t us. Singapore is probably at the back of the metaphorical queue when it comes to this.

Norway will be removing most of their COVID-19 rules, even though cases are rising every day there. Here’s why they’re doing this.

More Infected But Fewer Hospitalised

In December, Norway went into partial lockdown in an attempt to control the spread of the Omicron variant. Needless to say, more and more people were infected with the virus since then, given the highly transmissible nature of Omicron.

Reader Bao: So many people kena COVID-19, they still want to end measures and cause more people to get infected? Where is the logic?

Chill out, Reader Bao, I promise Norway has a pretty good reason. Although more people are infected, fewer are hospitalised, so a spike in infections is unlikely to overwhelm the healthcare system.

In fact, according to their National Institute of Public Health (FHI), three-quarters of all Norwegians have had at least two doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Half of the country also had their booster shots, thus protecting many from serious illness.

Lifting Most Restrictions, But Not All

Just last week, Norway relaxed its quarantine rules, replacing quarantine with a daily test instead.

With the further lifting of restrictions taking effect immediately on 2 February, this means that restaurants can now serve alcohol after 11pm. Working from home will also no longer be compulsory.

The Norwegian government has also removed the cap of 10 visitors in private homes, just in time for the Chinese New Year—

Eh, sorry. Wrong country.

While most restrictions are being lifted, the country will still keep basic social distancing measures in place. Norwegians will still be expected to stay at least a metre apart from each other, and wear a face mask in crowded areas.

This means that businesses like nightclubs and certain entertainment venues are still affected by such measures.

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Beginning of the End?

Norway’s announcement comes after similar situations by neighbouring country Denmark, and other European countries including Britain, Ireland and the Netherlands.

With more countries easing and removing restrictions in recent weeks, does this mean that COVID-19’s pandemic stage is ending soon?

“We don’t know if this is the beginning of the end of the pandemic,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said.

He added that the government will continue monitoring the situation and that future tightening of restrictions is possible, given how the easing of restrictions is expected to increase infection rates.


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