News story | Date: 20/09/2021
The Norwegian Government is now presenting more details about what 'Normal everyday life with increased emergency preparedness’ means. When the time comes to move to ‘Normal everyday life with increased emergency preparedness’, the pandemic will have little impact on the everyday lives of the population. The Norwegian Government will return to the question of when we can move to 'Normal everyday life with increased emergency preparedness’ later.
Information in other languages:
‘When we return to normal everyday life, most national rules will disappear. The 1-metre rule will be lifted. So will the restrictions regarding events and gatherings. The ban on admission and requirement to be seated at a table at catering outlets will disappear. However, we will have to continue to remember to keep our hands clean and stay at home when we are sick’, explains Minister of Health and Care Services Bent Høie.
People will continue to be required to isolate themselves if they have COVID-19 in ‘Normal everyday life with increased emergency preparedness’, and the traffic light model will provide the basis for infection control in schools and kindergartens; at least for a transitional period.
Infection control advice and recommendations will continue to apply, but they will resemble the general recommendations regarding other respiratory infections. Together with the Norwegian Directorate of Health and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, the Norwegian Government will continue work to concretise and clarify the advice that will apply in ‘Normal everyday life with increased emergency preparedness’.
Easing of entry restrictions
The Norwegian Government will remove the rule that prevents foreigners from entering Norway when it moves to ‘Normal everyday life with increased emergency preparedness’, with the exception of citizens from third countries who do not come from purple countries with a low infection rate. These are countries and areas on the EU's list of third countries that have slightly lighter entry restrictions due to the infection situation.
‘This does not mean that we will remove all of the rules for travellers entering the country, such as testing and quarantine. However, some of these rules will also be eased. Such easing will be monitored closely, so that we can detect imported cases of COVID-19,’ says Mr Høie.
The Norwegian Government will provide details on the test and quarantine rules that will apply to entering the country in ‘Normal everyday life with increased emergency preparedness’ later.
From control to preparedness
With ‘Normal everyday life with increased emergency preparedness’, the Norwegian Government is moving from a control strategy to a preparedness strategy.
‘The local and national authorities will closely monitor the situation, so that measures can be implemented quickly if the situation changes. The Norwegian Government, the health authorities, the hospitals, and the municipalities will operate with increased surveillance and preparedness compared with a normal situation. The municipalities will also be able adopt local regulations that reintroduce measures that have been lifted nationally’, states Mr Høie.
The authorities will use the following indicators to direct their policy in respect of risk:
The following indicators will be used by the authorities to determine what risk governs the situation:
- The number of new hospital admissions and number of patients already admitted (total occupancy rate).
- Age distribution of admitted patients.
- Admissions to intensive care units.
- Treatment capacity in the municipalities.
The assessment will be supplemented by an overall assessment of the development of the pandemic.
Even though the proportion of the population that is vaccinated is becoming very high, we do not know enough about how long the protection offered by vaccination lasts. New virus variants may also emerge against which vaccines are less effective, so that it may become necessary to introduce national or local measures. The municipalities will therefore have to maintain the current level of preparedness (organisational and management preparedness) for the rest of the year.
They will also need to maintain basic TISK preparedness, which means being able to hand out rapid antigen tests to 10% of the population per week. Both the municipalities and the regional health authorities should be able to test 1% of the population per week. They need to have preparedness to increase capacity to 5% of the population within a 5-day period and scale up the TISK work accordingly.
The municipalities must also make sure that they are prepared to be able to offer their inhabitants a third vaccine dose, if relevant. This means that the municipalities throughout the country must maintain vaccination capacity corresponding to 200 000 doses per week, and have preparedness that allows a considerable increase in capacity over a 4-week period. The Norwegian Government will reassess the need for preparedness during the winter months in November.
‘We are discussing the content of 'Normal everyday life with increased emergency preparedness’ with the municipalities in order to prepare them as well as possible. The COVID-19 costs of the municipal sector will be covered in the same way as before’,