Norway on Thursday rolled out the "most intrusive measures" the country has seen in peacetime in order to curb the novel coronavirus, including closing schools and cancelling sporting events.
"Today the government is announcing the strongest and most intrusive measures we have had in Norway in peacetime," Prime Minister Erna Solberg told a press conference.
"The measures will have a significant effect on our individual freedoms," she added. Her government advised against Norwegians travelling abroad, going as far as banning the country's health workers from doing so.
Cultural and sports events would be cancelled and Norwegians were asked to avoid public transport and work from home.
Bars, public swimming pools, gyms, hairdressers, massage and tattoo parlours, among others will be closed. Restaurants need to ensure that guests are able to keep a minimum distance of one metre from each other and can no longer serve buffets.
In addition, the government said all people returning from trips outside the Nordic region must be quarantined for two weeks. Most of the measures introduced will remain in place until March 26 to start with, Health Minister Bent Hoie said. On Thursday, Norway had confirmed 621 cases of the COVID-19, with no deaths.
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