Therefore, Raymond Johansen would not have a limit of five – VG

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HOLDS AT TEN: City Councilor Raymond Johansen retains the order that limits the number of guests to ten. Photo: Gorm Kallestad

Oslo Municipality will not reduce the number of guests you can have at home to five. The city council leader explains that he does not want to confuse Oslo citizens.

On Monday, both Oslo Municipality and the government launched a number of new measures. Several of the measures are unanimous, but among the measures Oslo Municipality chose not to introduce is a recommendation of a maximum of five guests in private homes.

– We already have an order for a maximum of ten guests, and stick to it. We have had that order for a month, says city council leader Raymond Johansen (Labor Party) to VG.

An e-mail sent to Oslo Municipality on Sunday evening states which measures and advice the Norwegian Directorate of Health will recommend to municipalities and regions with a lot of infection.

How are you affected by the new measures? Tip VG’s journalists here

The directorate writes that one should reduce to five people. At the same time, the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) maintains the recommendation of a maximum of ten.

Setting the limit of five, Johansen believes, will be too demanding for Oslo.

– A bit of the challenge now is that there are many different measures and rules, and it is important to have duration and clarity.

For the measure from the government is basically a council, which will not be punishable to break before municipalities make decisions on injunctions, as they have done in Oslo.

– It is demanding to enforce such orders already. We have had discussions about reducing the number from ten to five, but it would be incredibly difficult, also for the police, Johansen believes.

Two hours after the Oslo City Council’s press conference, the government held its own press conference – where they introduced the requirement of a maximum of five people for the whole of Norway.

Already difficult

Making changes to an order Oslo Municipality has had for a while already would only confuse further, the city council thought.

– Sometimes you can make things difficult, and other times easily. Some things are not allowed, other things are a recommendation.

The main point, says Johansen, is to have measures that reduce the number of close contacts.

– Now it’s about having less social contact. When infection rates are as high as they are now, it is a matter of making infection detection easier.

He points out that someone can have several hundred close contacts in the course of 14 days.

– Then you can imagine what the tracking work will be like. If you then have 104 infected, and each of them has 100 to 150 close contacts, we are very afraid of losing control. It’s that simple, says Johansen.

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Concerned about the spread of infection

– I’m worried now and I think we’ll see high numbers all week. The infection we see now is the picture that was a week ago, so we’ll see. It will be very exciting to see the effect of the measures, says Johansen.

– Do the people of Oslo take the situation seriously?

– The point is whether you give “beng” or not, and I think most do not. If the 50 who are infected have had many contacts, we have it going. But I think most people are now willing to try to do what needs to be done.

The city council already believes that he sees a change in the streets.

– I see the cityscape is changing, there are few people out, and there are many more with face masks. I did not see that a short time ago, says the city councilor.

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