The Norwegian government has started preparing for a full closure of schools

Guri MelbyPhoto: Berit Roald / NTB

The Norwegian government has started preparing for a full closure of schools and kindergartens, but will avoid it as long as possible, Education Minister Guri Melby (V) said.

The schools in the Oslo region started operating at a “red” level on Saturday. Last spring, the schools closed completely.

For a long time, it seemed that such a measure couldn’t be imposed again. 

However, the mutated British virus has changed that – in early January, the government began preparing for a new, full closure of schools.

“Throughout the autumn, we have thought that such an alternative was not relevant, but it is clear that the mutated variant has changed that… We are working to prepare for it, but I really hope that it will not happen,” Melby told news bureau NTB.

Even if the schools were to close down, the requirement for digital education would still apply.

Schools in Nordre Follo were closed on Friday due to an uncontrolled outbreak of the British corona variant. 

It was a development that the government feared, and the reason why the work of preparing for full closure began.

Preparing for the worst

“We must constantly prepare for the worst-case scenario,” the Minister noted.

She emphasizes that the Oslo region schools are not closed, even though the government announced a lockdown of the area on Saturday.

The schools will be operating at the “red” level in the future.

The experience we have from the ‘red’ level during the Autumn is that the infection numbers go down when we implement it, Melby said, adding that a full closure could be made on the basis of an overall assessment.

“An overall assessment, related to the total number of infections and where you see outbreaks,” Melby explained.

She emphasized that the most important thing for the government is to keep schools open through the corona pandemic.

“We want to be as targeted as possible, so we will not shut down until it is absolutely necessary,” Melby said.

Source: #Norway Today, #NorwayTodayNews

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