Norway to set new restrictions this week after rise in virus cases

FILE PHOTO: Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Nesodden
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By Victoria Klesty

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway will announce further restrictions this week to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the government said on Tuesday, without giving details of the plans.

The number of cases has risen in many parts of the country, with last week's figure of 2,942 new infections setting a new record in a nation which long had one of Europe's lowest infection rates.

Last week, Norway tightened restrictions on gatherings and foreign workers entering the country.

"We can't wait and see if the measures we announced last week are enough. That is why the government will introduce additional restrictions this week. We have to take precautions," Health Minister Bent Hoeie told a news conference.

Camilla Stoltenberg, head of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI), told the same news conference there was no sign of the surge in infections slowing.

The Nordic states have had some of Europe's best success so far in limiting infection. Norway's 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants was 36.6 as of Tuesday, third-lowest in Europe behind Finland and Estonia, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Neighbouring Sweden, which resisted lockdowns seen in other European states, has had higher infection rates. It is now making stricter recommendations to the public, amid signs a resurgence in cases is leading to more deaths.

(Editing by Gwladys Fouche and Peter Graff)