Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Friday

Find out what’s going on in Norway on Friday with The Local’s short roundup of important news.

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
Trollfjord Norway. Photo by Pascal Debrunner on Unsplash

Norwegian government to hold a press conference on reopening

Norway’s government will hold a press conference on Friday on the Covid-19 situation and on the further reopening of society.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Education Minister Guri Melby and Minister for Families Ingolf Ropstad will be present.

In addition to this, Health Minister Bent Høie, Norway’s Director of Health Bjørn Guldvog and the Director of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Camilla Stoltenberg, will also be present.

Previously the health minister and PM have said the plan was to lift more restrictions and open more of Norwegian society in the second half of May.

READ MORE: ‘Step by Step: Norway unviels four-step plan for lifting Covid-19 restrictions 

Step two would potentially see more guests being allowed in homes, loosening of entry requirements and the resumption of grassroots sport.

We’ll have the full details covered in an article later today.

Norway increases aid to Gaza

Norway is increasing its humanitarian aid to the civilian population in the Gaza Strip by 30 million kroner.

“It’s due to the precarious situation,” Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide told state broadcaster NRK.

The 30 million will be on top of the existing 71 million kroner Norway has already pledged in humanitarian support.

READ MORE: Norway fund dumps firms linked to West Bank settlements 

The money will be used to procure food, shelter and medical treatment and will be distributed between UN organisations and international and Norwegian aid organisations.

Oslo press conference on lifting measures on Friday

Oslo city council will hold a press conference at 1:30 pm on Friday.

Executive Mayor of Oslo, Raymond Johansen, is expected to announce restaurants reopening in the Norwegian capital on Friday.

The capital has adopted a phased approach to the second part of its five-step reopening plan, and it is expected that restaurants will be allowed to reopen, with strict measures in place, around May 27th.

We’ll have all the details covered for you in an article later today.

13,000 reports of suspected side effects of Covid-19 vaccines

The Norwegian Medicines Agency had received 13.365 reports of suspected side effects to coronavirus vaccines.

Over 1,000 of the side effects have been classified as severe.

So far, 9,000 of the reports have been processed. Of these, 1,115 are classified as serious, and 8,060 were not classified as not serious.

The medical agency said that the reports of side effects provide no basis for changing the current recommendation for the vaccines currently in use, Biontech/Pfizer and Moderna.

505 new coronavirus cases registered in Norway

On Thursday, 505 new cases of coronavirus were registered in Norway. This is a rise of 177 compared to the seven-day average, which is 328.

This is also a rise of 28 on the day before.

In Oslo, 109 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded in Norway’s capital.

This is an increase of 44 cases on the seven day average of 65.

Total number of Covid-19 cases in Norway. Source: NIPH

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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.