Breaking news – Solberg: Schools and kindergartens will be closed until Easter

Prime Minister Erna SolbergPrime Minister Erna Solberg.Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

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Today’s Coronavirus measures are extended to April 13, Prime Minister Erna Solberg announced at a press conference on Tuesday.

This means that schools and kindergartens will be closed until Easter. This also applies to the limitations on travel and the plea to stay home.

The Directorate of Health requests that drastic measures be continued

The Directorate of Health wants shut down the Corona epidemic in Norway and asks that all the drastic measures to prevent infection continue, including closure of schools and kindergartens

“Today, our goal is to curb the Corona epidemic as far as we can,” Health Director Bjørn Guldvog said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

He has now recommended to the government to continue all contagious limiting measures that have been introduced, and which Prime Minister Erna Solberg (H) has called the most radical measures Norway has taken in peacetime.

The overall goal is that on average, every person who gets the coronavirus in Norway infects fewer than one new person. Then the epidemic will reduce over time.

“It is a demanding goal to achieve, but we cannot give it up today,” Guldvog said.

Recommends continuation
In principle, the government’s contagious measures will expire on Thursday. The Directorate of Health now recommends that they be continued.

This means:

  • Continued closure of schools and kindergartens. Here, the Directorate of Health opens up for some adjustments, especially towards vulnerable children.
  • Continued closure of businesses that cannot comply with the authorities’ order on infection control. This includes physiotherapists, chiropractors, opticians, podiatrists, speech therapists and psychologists.
  • Continued closure of events, gyms, swimming pools, hairdressers, skincare and the like.
  • Healthcare professionals working with patient care are still prohibited from traveling abroad.
  • Persons arriving in Norway must stay in quarantine for 14 days.
  • Persons who have had close contact with infected persons must be in quarantine for 14 days.
  • Persons suspected of being infected or confirmed to be infected should stay in isolation.
  • All health institutions shall conduct access control and regular visitor stops.

Updated scenarios
The backdrop is the updated scenarios from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health that show that the number of infected people can increase very quickly if Norway eases the measures now.

With few or no effective measures, up to 223,750 people could be infected by April 13, according to the FHI scenarios.

In such a situation, up to 4,260 people may need hospitalization, with 580 needing intensive care.

“The next few weeks will be challenging for everyone, but if we succeed, we will be able to ease the measures in a few weeks and slowly but surely return to normal,” said Guldvog.

His hope is that the first adjustments may come after Easter.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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