Norway’s prime minister Erna Solberg on Monday said that the country will tighten restrictions on gatherings and foreign workers entering the country, in a bid to slow a rise in coronavirus infections.

Under the new measures, indoor public gatherings will be limited to 50 people, down from 200, and people will be allowed to have up to 5 guests to their house, down from 20.

From October 31, people from EU countries with high levels of infections will have to quarantine for 10 days when they came to work in Norway.

From Thursday, face masks will be mandatory in indoor public places when social distancing cannot be maintained.

“We need to do more to control the spread of the infection”, Solberg said, adding that Norway hopes to be able to start vaccinations in the first half of 2021.

Norway has long had one of Europe’s lowest rates of infections. It had 1,290 virus cases diagnosed last week, up from 941 cases the previous week. In comparison, the country’s weekly tally of new cases had dropped to as low as 53 in July.

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