Once again, the government is postponing the introduction of step four. A new assessment will be made in mid-August.
Minister of Health Bent Høie says at the press conference that step four will not be introduced now either, but that there will be a new assessment in two weeks. Then about 90 percent will have received at least one vaccine dose.
– The day is fast approaching, he says.
– Everything indicates that we can get a degree of vaccination that we did not dare to hope for, says Høie.
But there are several things that are worrying and Norway is gaining experience from the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom – which has a large increase in the number of infected people.
– The delta variant has become dominant as expected. It is uncertain how this will affect Norway, he continues.
The National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) estimates on Wednesday that the reproduction rate for the coronavirus was 1.1 at the end of last week.
The last time FHI stated R numbers was on 14 July. Then the number was 0.9.
Changes in step three
The government has decided on some changes in step three – which is the level Norway is at now. From 16 August, children and young people under the age of 18 will be exempt from quarantine unless they are household members or close contacts to the infected.
– This increases the risk of infection, but it is a risk we want to take, says Høie.
The infection quarantine is replaced instead with a test regime for which NIPH and the Norwegian Directorate of Health are working to prepare a guide.
Another change that comes will take place from Monday 2 August. Then companies and organizations can hold social gatherings.
Here, much may be almost as normal, but there will still be requirements for infection control measures, distance, that you are at home when you are ill or in quarantine.
- There may still be a need for some use of a home office.
- There is no recommendation to limit the number of guests in the home.
- It is recommended to facilitate physical education at universities, colleges and vocational colleges.
- There is no recommendation of one meter distance for sports and cultural events. Top sports can be practiced as normal.
- For restaurants, the requirement for table service is abolished. There are still requirements for registration and seating for all guests.
- Summer and activity camps are recommended to limit the number of participants to up to 500 and it is recommended to divide into groups of 50 people.
- For public events, there can be 750 people present without fixed seats and 2500 people with fixed seats. For further restrictions, see the government’s own pages.
Mixture of vaccines
Assistant director of the National Institute of Public Health, Gun Peggy Strømstad Knudsen, states at the press conference that they have received a number of inquiries about whether it is possible to mix the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
– It is a combination of two types with very similar technology and effect. It is both sound and effective, she says.
CORRECTION: VG first wrote that the quarantine for children and young people under the age of 18 is replaced with a seven-day test regimen either with a PCR test every other day after the last close contact or antigen rapid test taken every day, but this has now been removed. The test regime was only a proposal from the health authorities to the government, but exactly how this scheme will be has not been decided and is still being worked on. The correction was submitted on 28.07.2021 at 16.03.