Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Norway ease certain restrictions related to COVID-19 as of May 9; high schools to reopen from May 11.

This alert affects Norway

This alert began 09 May 2020 22:07 GMT and is scheduled to expire 15 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and business disruptions

Authorities in Norway have eased certain restrictions related to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as of May 9. Primary schools have opened; middle and high schools will reopen May 11, while soccer leagues will be authorized to resume their activities from June 16. Private events that do not exceed 20 people and public gatherings of up to 50 people are now allowed. However, residents are still required to observe the country's social distancing guidelines and maintain a distance of 1 meter (3 feet) when interacting with each other. Norwegian authorities have canceled all public events related to the country's Constitution Day, which is celebrated May 17. Certain businesses, including movie theaters and hair salons, are also permitted to resume operations.

Other measures taken by the government of Norway include:

  • Closure of sea ports since March 16. However, airports have remained open and flights have been operating out of the country's major airports.
  • Sport, leisure, and entertainment venues remain closed.
  • Restaurants may only offer delivery services.
  • Festivals, parades, and cultural celebrations that exceed 50 people are banned through June 15.
  • Public transport remains operational; however, face masks are mandatory for commuters.
  • Market places, medical facilities, fuel stations, and laundromats remain open.
  • Authorities have mandated a 14-day self-quarantine for travelers that have arrived in Norway from anywhere other than Scandinavia since Feb. 27.

Authorities could ease further restrictions or institute additional preventative measures, depending on the disease activity in the coming days and weeks.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by Norway's government correspond with similar actions taken by other governments globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19, a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in individuals with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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