Oslo City Council tightens measures – VG

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The health authorities have asked Oslo to introduce stricter corona measures. Here are the capital’s new austerity measures.

– Today I feel a great responsibility to coordinate the state and the capital. A conflict between Oslo and the state will weaken people’s trust in politicians, in the authorities, and in the further handling of the pandemic, says Oslo City Councilor Raymond Johansen at the press conference on Monday night.

– Therefore, the city council has decided that we introduce new measures now.

Here are the measures:

  • Oslo introduces a temporary ban on indoor events with more than 50 participants without permanent seats.
  • Orders are also introduced for the use of face masks on public transport now that it is not possible to keep a distance of one meter.
  • Registration of guests at restaurants will also be required.
  • Introduces the use of face masks in home nursing where it is not possible to keep your distance.

The measures initially last until 13 October, after which the city council will make a new assessment.

– When it is not possible to keep a distance of one meter, travelers should wear a face mask. This means that everyone must bring a face mask on board, says Johansen.

This weekend, there was a full clinch between the government and the city council in Oslo whether stricter measures should be introduced in the capital. The Minister of Health stated earlier today during the government’s press conference that he expected the municipality to introduce the measures tonight.

– Threatened to introduce measures

– We have been criticized for being too strict, many times still that the grips seem to work. Last week, 333 infected people were registered, the growth has stopped. Nevertheless, Oslo has been under strong pressure from the Norwegian Directorate of Health and Høie, says Johansen.

On Friday, the City of Oslo received a memorandum with proposals for further measures from the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) and the Norwegian Directorate of Health. The memorandum proposes, among other things, a ban on private events with more than five people and an order for bandages.

The city council met on Saturday, but did not introduce the new, recommended measures.

– These are measures we have already considered, but which we thought were too early to introduce. We wanted to see the effect of the measures we had put in place, and the autumn holidays lead to the congestion in Oslo already being less, the city council leader continues.

– The Minister of Health has gone so far as to threaten to introduce measures. It amazes me, says Johansen.

Minister of Health Bent Høie announced on Sunday that he was prepared to make national decisions if the city council did not follow up the Norwegian Directorate of Health’s advice on stricter measures. But during today’s press conference, he awaited this.

OVERCOME: Oslo City Councilor Raymond Johansen says at the press conference on Monday night that he believes Minister of Health Bent Høie went too far in going overboard with the municipality. Photo: Terje Bringedal

– I think the Minister of Health went too far, I think it is unwise. I think we are very useful in trusting each other and taking the necessary measures, says Johansen.

The county governor of Oslo and Viken has earlier today met with all the municipalities in the housing and labor market region. It was to be discussed whether stricter measures should also be introduced in these municipalities around Oslo. A further meeting between the municipalities and the Ministry of Health and Care Services will take place at 20.00 tonight.

Drops several recommended measures

– I hope the national authorities will continue to have confidence that we know our citizens best, says the city council leader.

The City Council will not follow the Norwegian Directorate of Health’s recommendation to limit more than five people gathering in private homes.

– We will have a very high threshold for intervening further in people’s homes.

These are the measures the Norwegian Directorate of Health has recommended:

  • Maximum number of private gatherings: 5 pers (household members can be several).
  • Max. number of people at events: 50.
  • Order on the use of a home office “for all who can” from the employer Oslo Municipality (The Norwegian Directorate of Health encourages state actors to do the same).
  • Prohibition of events at universities and upper secondary schools that are not teaching-related.
  • Strengthen compliance with the use of face masks on public transport in and to / from Oslo.
  • Intensified control of restaurants, including sufficient distance between customers both indoors and in the queue at admission.
  • Stop in admission to nightclubs at 22.

The Oslo City Council has also chosen not to follow the recommendations that admission to nightclubs be closed at 10 pm, and a ban on events at upper secondary schools and universities that are not teaching-related.

– I am afraid that shorter opening hours will lead to more home parties. In the nightclubs, there is better control of infection control, says Johansen.

– If we are to continue to succeed, keep the infection down, we must earn the trust of the people. We must show that we are introducing only the measures that are necessary.

Frustrated

This weekend, the Oslo City Council warned that stricter measures would be taken if the infection did not go down.

The city council leader was frustrated that people are still so close to each other.

– I am still worried that there is too much contact between people in Oslo. We must understand that when we come up with a strong call to use face masks in places where it is not possible to keep a meter distance, we mean it, Johansen told VG on Saturday.

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– You sound a little frustrated?

– Yes, that is. We get numbers, some numbers are good. The number of people now registering at nightclubs is rising. I’m very happy with that. But what we see and experience from public transport, for example, is not good enough.

WARNING: This weekend, the Oslo City Council warned that stricter measures would be taken if the infection did not go down. Photo: Mattis Sandblad

– People just have to understand all the way that if the infection rates do not go down, then there will be tougher measures. I understand that people are tired of measures, but there is still no vaccine. The infection rates are not dangerous, but we do not say this here for fun, Johansen said.

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