Erna Solberg: We will start to reopen large parts of Norway this week

Erna SolbergPhoto: Torstein Bøe / NTB

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Erna Solberg (H) announced that the process of reopening Norwegian society would start this week.

Solberg said there are three reasons why she feels confident about starting the reopening of Norway this week.

“When I presented (the reopening plan) to the Norwegian parliament (Storting), I said that we would rely on data, not dates, in order to open up again. Now, we are at the point where we can implement the first step of the reopening plan,” Solberg said.

Solberg noted that the reopening could start due to the developments in the infection situation, the healthcare system’s capacity, and the number of people who have been vaccinated.

“The measures that were introduced before Easter seem to have a good effect. Therefore, we are reversing these measures from Friday,” Solberg added.

National alcohol serving ban revoked from Friday

The government will thus allow alcohol serving alongside food until 10 PM from Friday, Solberg stated.

The alcohol serving ban was introduced before Easter.

Requirements for food service alongside the alcohol and a service stop at 10 PM were in force before March 25.

Some municipalities have introduced alcohol serving bans locally.

More physical education for students in areas with little infection

The government will allow students in areas without high infection to have the opportunity for physical education at least once a week.

“Many students at vocational colleges, colleges, and universities can now be physically present more during teaching. Reading rooms and libraries can stay open – with infection control measures in place,” Minister of Research and Higher Education Henrik Asheim (H) said.

The current measures in the 20 municipalities in Viken that have regional measures in place, and municipalities with strict local regulations, such as Oslo Municipality, will be continued.

“We have asked the FHI and the Norwegian Directorate of Health to consider the possibilities of softening the rules for access to premises even at the strictest levels. The plan is to make a decision on this as soon as possible,” Asheim noted.

Next reopening step to be considered in early May

At the beginning of May, the government will assess whether it is safe enough to implement the second step in its reopening plan.

“In the first half of May, we will assess whether the conditions are right for implementing step 2 of the reopening plan during the month of May.

“It will, of course, depend on the infection situation and the capacity of the health service,” Erna said during the government’s press conference on the corona situation.

In step 2, the government will prioritize relief for children, young people, and students. But there will also be some relief for the wider sections of the population.

That means, among other things, more physical education, more people being allowed to gather at home and in connection with events, and extending alcohol serving time to midnight.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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