OSLO, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Norway will announce stricter
measures next week to limit the spread of the coronavirus
following a recent increase in the number of cases, Prime
Minister Erna Solberg said on Friday.
"We see that the infection is spreading in many places,"
"This is worrying. Therefore we already now announce that
there will be a tightening of national restrictions next week.
The measures will be directed towards the areas where the
infection is now spreading," she said.
Though cases are rising and authorities are concerned, the
situation in Norway is less dramatic than elsewhere in Europe.
The Nordic country has currently the second-lowest level of new
infections in Europe, after Estonia.
Its 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000
inhabitants was 36.6 as of Friday, according to the European
Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
There are wide disparities within the country though and
authorities are most concerned with the situation in Oslo, where
restrictions, such as compulsory wearing of face masks in public
transport when social distancing cannot be maintained, are
tougher than elsewhere in the country.
The government hopes to be able to start vaccinations in the
first half of 2021, Solberg told a news conference.
"Vaccination against COVID-19 will be voluntary but the
support for vaccines tends to be high in Norway," she said.
(Reporting by Victoria Klesty and Terje Solsvik, editing by