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

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

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday 
Oslo Operahus. Photo by Arvid Malde on Unsplash

Coronavirus measures extended in Oslo 

Oslo City Council have extended current coronavirus measures until June 18th. 

The decision comes after infections in the Norwegian capital rose by 87 percent last week. 

“Almost 600 were infected. A large amount of those were 16–19-year-old’s who haven’t been vaccinated yet,” Executive Mayor Raymond Johansen told the press on Tuesday. 

Johansen added that another reason for extending measures was that the city council is hoping to lift them for good when they do ease restrictions. 

Click HERE for more on the extension of coronavirus restrictions in Oslo 

The Executive Mayor said the city would also be banning russ, final year high school students who party in the month leading up to their final exams, from “rolling”. 

READ MORE: Could final year high school students in Norway be given earlier Covid-19 vaccines? 

This is where students ride around in special party buses or coaches. 

“If there are many in a russ bus, perhaps in a jovial mood and wanting to dance and shout and have a good time, we see that the risk of infection spreading increases greatly,” Johansen said. 

You can read more on the current measures in Oslo here

Warning systems tested today 

The Norwegian Civil Defence will test its warning systems today at midday. 

The message “Important message- search for information” will be tested in all municipalities where warning system are installed. 

The signal will be sent three times with one-minute pauses between each message. 

There are around 1,250 warning systems installed across Norway that can be used in both war and peacetime. 

“In peacetime, the warning systems can be used in industrial accidents with emissions or toxic or dangerous substances. While in war, the facilities can be used in case of airstrikes,” Sigurd Heier, acting chief of the civil defence, said in a statement.

Press conference on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine 

The government is expected to unveil its voluntary scheme for those who wish to opt-in for the single-use Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine, newspaper VG have reported

According to the paper, the plan will be rolled out as early as next week. 

The solution will allow GP’s and private medical clinics to assess those wishing to take the vaccine and print a prescription for it. 

There are currently over 200,000 vaccine doses of the single use vaccine in stock. 

READ ALSO: Norway officially axes AstraZeneca jab and changes vaccine strategy

188 new Covid-19 cases 

On Tuesday, 188 new coronavirus infections were recorded across Norway, a decline of 51 on the seven-day average of 239. 

In the Capital, Oslo, 62 new cases were registered. This is a drop of 26 on the seven-day average. 

The R-number or reproduction rate in Norway is currently 1.0. This means that every ten people that are infected will, on average, only infect another ten people, indicating that the infection level is stable.

Number of reported Covid-19 cases. Source: NIPH

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Court turns down AfD-led challenge to Germany’s spending in pandemic

The German Constitutional Court rejected challenges Tuesday to Berlin's participation in the European Union's coronavirus recovery fund, but expressed some reservations about the massive package.

Court turns down AfD-led challenge to Germany's spending in pandemic

Germany last year ratified the €750-billion ($790-billion) fund, which offers loans and grants to EU countries hit hardest by the pandemic.

The court in Karlsruhe ruled on two challenges, one submitted by a former founder of the far-right AfD party, and the other by a businessman.

They argued the fund could ultimately lead to Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, having to take on the debts of other EU member states on a permanent basis.

But the Constitutional Court judges ruled the EU measure does not violate Germany’s Basic Law, which forbids the government from sharing other countries’ debts.

READ ALSO: Germany plans return to debt-limit rules in 2023

The judgement noted the government had stressed that the plan was “intended to be a one-time instrument in reaction to an unprecedented crisis”.

It also noted that the German parliament retains “sufficient influence in the decision-making process as to how the funds provided will be used”.

The judges, who ruled six to one against the challenges, did however express some reservations.

They questioned whether paying out such a large amount over the planned period – until 2026 – could really be considered “an exceptional measure” to fight the pandemic.

At least 37 percent of the funds are aimed at achieving climate targets, the judges said, noting it was hard to see a link between combating global warming and the pandemic.

READ ALSO: Germany to fast-track disputed €200 billion energy fund

They also warned against any permanent mechanism that could lead to EU members taking on joint liability over the long term.

Berenberg Bank economist Holger Schmieding said the ruling had “raised serious doubts whether the joint issuance to finance the fund is in line with” EU treaties.

“The German court — once again — emphasised German limits for EU fiscal integration,” he said.

The court had already thrown out a legal challenge, in April 2021, that had initially stopped Berlin from ratifying the financial package.

Along with French President Emmanuel Macron, then chancellor Angela Merkel sketched out the fund in 2020, which eventually was agreed by the EU’s 27 members in December.

The first funds were disbursed in summer 2021, with the most given to Italy and Spain, both hit hard by the pandemic.