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Norway prepares legal framework for curfew after record COVID-19 cases

FILE PHOTO: People walk on the street in Oslo

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway’s government is preparing legislation that would allow it to introduce curfews after new COVID-19 cases hit record levels, Justice Minister Monica Maeland said on Wednesday.

“But let me make immediately clear that as of today, we are not considering to introduce a curfew or anything resembling a curfew … this is something we hope will never become necessary,” Maeland told a news conference.

Norway had 930 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the highest daily number on record, according to data from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI).

Despite having one of the lowest infection rates in Europe, Norway has seen cases rising in the past month and estimates its R number – which represents the average number of people that one infected person will pass the virus on to – stands at 1.4.

“A curfew will only become an option in extreme circumstances such as a very high infection rate and a risk that the health system will collapse,” Maeland said.

Draft legislation will be released for consultation later this week to allow for a thorough debate, she added.

(Reporting by Victoria Klesty and Nora Buli, editing by Terje Solsvik)

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