Norway Sees Highest Covid-19 Levels as Easter Skiing Approaches
16th March 2021
Last modified on May 20th, 2021
The Norwegian government has outlined its Covid-19 guidelines for the Easter holidays. Tens of thousands of people are expected to head to cabins in the mountains as the country faces its biggest threat from the pandemic.
Norway’s current rate of infection is now 97 cases per 100,000 of population over a 7-day period.
“The infection situation in Norway is unstable, and in recent weeks the infection numbers have risen. We are concerned about the consequences if many travel and meet other people at Easter,” said the Health Minister, Bent Høie.
During the pandemic the country is judged to have done well in dealing with Covid-19 with just 81,305 cases and 640 deaths.
We reported on its success on PlanetSKI before the recent surge.
Easter is when many people head to the mountains for skiing.
The short hours of daylight are over and it is one of the most popular times for skiing.
Many stay in second-home cabins.
Last year people were unable to travel and resorts were closed, so it is expected there will be significant interest and pent-up demand.
Current skiing conditions remain good in many resorts.
The government has published tighter recommendations for those heading to the mountains:
- People should shop before they arrive where they are staying and to avoid public transport.
- People stick to outdoor activities and to limit their social contacts to 10 per week and have a maximum of five visitors at their homes.
- The government recommends that people in cabins should not mix with others , and is advising against overnight visits.
- People coming from areas where the local restrictions and recommendations are stricter than where they are travelling to are advised to try to follow their more stringent set of rules.
- Hotel and resort trips are also still allowed but people from areas with infection rates, such as Oslo, are asked to not travel to hotels where many people are staying.
- Authorities are also requesting people avoid spending large amounts of time in common areas of hotels like bars or lobbies.
For the latest from Norway see The Local – Norway.
The UK holiday company, Absolutely Snow, is a specialist in offering ski holidays to Norway.
The capital of Norway, Oslo, is closing all middle and high schools and put a two-person limit on visits to people’s homes amid record Covid infections.
“We have never before seen such a high level of recorded cases,” said the city’s mayor, Raymond Johansen.
The government has also announced that everyone returning from “unnecessary leisure trips” from abroad must quarantine at a hotel until they provide a negative test.
The earliest people staying in quarantine hotels can leave would be on day three of the quarantine.
Norway took the decision last week to pause the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
Sara Watle, senior physician at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health said. It was taken as a ‘precautionary’ measure.
“The four cases were clusters, so they were reported to us in a very short period of time,” she told BBC World News.
“And the four cases have all occurred in patients under 50 years of age, and they all have a rare combination of symptoms with blood clots, haemorrhages and low platelet counts.”
It was “too difficult for us to conclude” whether there was a link between the blood clots and the vaccine but pausing use of the AstraZeneca jab had been “a very difficult decision”, she added.
Astra-Zeneca has said there is no evidence of an increased risk of clotting due to the vaccine.
The World Health Organisation, WHO, backs that view.