Norway is dropping most COVID-19 measures, including distancing, mask-wearing and quarantining requirements, the government announced Saturday.
“The coronavirus pandemic is no longer a major health threat to most of us,” Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said Saturday. “The Omicron virus causes far less serious illness and we are well protected by vaccines,” he argued.
From Saturday morning, requirements to keep a one-meter distance and wear a face mask are lifted; infected adults no longer have to quarantine, but are advised to stay home for four days, Reuters reported.
The government also eased travel restrictions, dropping remaining requirements to carry proof of a negative test. But the government carved out an exception for travel to the archipelago of Svalbard, arguing health services are limited there.
The shift follows advice by Norway’s Institute of Public Health that there aren’t clear benefits to delaying the spread of the coronavirus with restrictive measures.
The government is expecting an uptick in infections as restrictions are eased, but said the country is well-placed to handle an increase.
Norway already removed a large number of measures earlier in February.