Norway lifts mask rules and remaining Covid restrictions


OSLO, FEB 12: Norway has decided to lift essentially all remaining Covid-19 restrictions. After already substantially easing the rules almost two weeks ago, almost all of the remaining restrictions are now to be lifted, including compulsory mask-wearing and the one-metre social-distancing rule.

“Distance between us is no longer necessary,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre declared in Oslo on Saturday. In a symbolic gesture, he tucked his mask away inside his jacket pocket.

The pandemic no longer poses a major health threat to most people, Støre said. The Omicron variant of the coronavirus causes milder courses of the disease and the vaccinations protect well, he added.

Two recommendations remain, however: Only adults with symptoms should get tested and anyone who tests positive as an adult should stay home for four days, Støre told reporters.

All entry requirements for travellers to the country are being lifted.

At the beginning of February, Støre had already announced that a number of restrictions would fall away, including limits on serving alcoholic beverages or on sports and other recreational activities.

However, Norwegians still had to keep their distance from each other and continue to wear masks in shops, on public transport and in other crowded situations.