Coronavirus: Norwegian county advises against taking public transport to Oslo

The county governor in Vestfold and Telemark has advised residents of the region, home to a significant number of commuters, to avoid taking public transport to Oslo.

Coronavirus: Norwegian county advises against taking public transport to Oslo
File photo: AFP

The Norwegian capital has seen the highest numbers of new cases of Covid-19 in recent weeks, although only 21 were registered in the 24 hours prior to Monday’s update, according to figures from the Oslo city government.

That is the lowest number of daily infections in Oslo since at least September 28th. Daily totals for new cases in the city have generally hovered around 50 in recent weeks, with 60 and 42 registered on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Nationally, the most recent total for new registered cases is 58, according to NRK.

Oslo authorities said late last week that they would extend current coronavirus restrictions in the city, overriding a national easing of measures during October.


In addition to advising against taking public transport to Oslo, the Vestfold and Telemark county governor urged the use of face masks if journeys are unavoidable and a distance of one metre cannot be maintained.

The advice was issued by the county via a statement on its website.

Working from home was encouraged wherever possible for Oslo commuters who live in Vestfold and Telemark, the southernmost county in eastern Norway.

“The county governor in Vestfold and Telemark has today been in consultation with leaders from municipalities in the county. The aim of the meeting was to create a unified approach to how we must respond to the increased infection numbers (of Covid-19) in Oslo and in our own county. In the meeting, commuting to Oslo was a key topic,” the statement reads.

“We agreed on the recommendations the Norwegian Institute for Public Health has made for municipalities which have close contact to Oslo via commuting, which residents should follow travelling to and from Oslo,” it added.

That means recommending avoiding public transport, using face masks on congested transport and working from home where possible, it said.

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Public Health Agency recommends two Covid doses next year for elderly

Sweden's Public Health Agency is recommending that those above the age of 80 should receive two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine a year, once in the spring and once in the autumn, as it shifts towards a longer-term strategy for the virus.

Public Health Agency recommends two Covid doses next year for elderly

In a new recommendation, the agency said that those living in elderly care centres, and those above the age of 80 should from March 1st receive two vaccinations a year, with a six month gap between doses. 

“Elderly people develop a somewhat worse immune defence after vaccination and immunity wanes faster than among young and healthy people,” the agency said. “That means that elderly people have a greater need of booster doses than younger ones. The Swedish Public Health Agency considers, based on the current knowledge, that it will be important even going into the future to have booster doses for the elderly and people in risk groups.” 


People between the ages of 65 and 79 years old and young people with risk factors, such as obesity, diabetes, poor kidney function or high blood pressure, are recommended to take one additional dose per year.

The new vaccination recommendation, which will start to apply from March 1st next year, is only for 2023, Johanna Rubin, the investigator in the agency’s vaccination programme unit, explained. 

She said too much was still unclear about how long protection from vaccination lasted to institute a permanent programme.

“This recommendation applies to 2023. There is not really an abundance of data on how long protection lasts after a booster dose, of course, but this is what we can say for now,” she told the TT newswire. 

It was likely, however, that elderly people would end up being given an annual dose to protect them from any new variants, as has long been the case with influenza.