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Ministry of Health

COVID-19: Stricter domestic measures to be taken due to the proliferation of infections

Masks will be required when the one-metre social distancing rule can not be observed, the maximum number of persons allowed in the same location will be 500, and restaurants that have an alcohol licence will be required to close two hours earlier than the case is now. Events with up to 1500 participants will be allowed subject to rapid tests. The Minister of Health has decided to take these measures in keeping with the recommendation of the Chief Epidemiologist, who has expressed concern over the rapid increase in infections, the increase in serious illness and the growing strain on the health care system. The requirement to wear a mask will enter into force tomorrow, and the other changes will apply as of Wednesday, 10 November, and will remain in force for four weeks, until Tuesday 8 December.

Since the ongoing wave of the pandemic began to climb around mid-July, nearly 7300 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19, of which around 160 have been hospitalised (2.2%), 33 have been admitted to intensive care, 17 have had to be on life support and four have died. The Chief Epidemiologist considers these stricter domestic measures to be necessary to prevent an emergency situation in the health care system, with unforeseen measures. It is necessary to bring the daily infection rate down to 40–50 and maintain that level through restrictions until better mass immunity has been reached through booster vaccinations and natural infections. 

The measures in brief:

The requirement to wear a mask in public enters into force at midnight; masks must be worn when it is not possible to respect the one-metre social distancing rule, e.g. in shops where large numbers of people congregate, on public transport and similar. Masks must also be worn at seated events (applies as of 6 November).

  • Children aged 15 and younger are exempt from the mask requirement.
  • Employees providing individual services that require close contact, e.g. hair-dressing, massage and similar, are not required to wear masks, since the customers are required to wear masks.
  • Students in upper secondary schools may remove their masks after sitting down in class, even if the one-metre social distancing rule can not be observed.

The common restrictions on numbers will be 500 persons: The one-metre social distancing rule can be waived at seated events while people remain seated, provided everyone wears a mask (applies as of 10 November).

Rapid tests and organised events: Events with up to 1500 participants will be allowed. Even though rapid tests have been administered, participants in such events will still be required to wear masks if the one-metre social distancing rule can not be observed (applies as of 10 November).

The special authorisation for school events in elementary and secondary schools continues to apply, with the use of rapid tests.

Restaurants that have an alcohol licence: The opening time will be reduced by two hours; closing time will be 23:00h (11 p.m.) and the venues must be vacated before midnight. Registration of guests will begin again, and alcohol shall be served at the table (applies as of 10 November).



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