OSLO, Nov 30 (Reuters) – Norwegians should wear face masks on public transport and in other crowded places amid a surge in coronavirus infections, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said on Tuesday.
He also urged municipalities to accelerate a drive to give booster shots to all adults, but did not call for a widespread use of digital "corona passes".
"Vaccination is key to our COVID-19 strategy," Stoere told parliament.
"We can avoid a lockdown," he added.
Norway in September ended all domestic coronavirus restrictions, but opposition parties in recent days called on the government to take action to prevent the spread of the virus and thus avoid a hard lockdown of society.
The centre-left minority government on Monday said it would seek to limit any potential spread of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19, including by imposing longer isolation on those found to have been infected with it. read more
While 88% of adults in Norway have received at least two vaccine doses against COVID-19, and 71% of the overall population has been inoculated, hospitalisations and mortality are rising.
The government on Nov. 12 announced it would offer booster vaccine shots to everyone aged 18 and older and give municipalities the option of using digital "corona passes", but this has not halted the rise of infection. read more
Norway uses vaccines made by BioNTech (22UAy.DE), Pfizer (PFE.N) and Moderna (MRNA.O) in its national rollout, which since September included everyone aged 12 and over.