The Government has eased restrictions on gatherings in public places. From next week, events of up to 50 people in a public place will be allowed.
“It is important that advice on distance and infection control be followed. Events without a responsible organizer are not allowed,“ said Health and Care Minister Bent Høie at the government’s press conference on Thursday.
According to the new rules that will take effect from next Thursday, it must be possible to keep a distance of at least one meter, and a responsible organizer must have an overview of who is present. In this way, contact tracing can rapidly carried out, if necessary.
This means that concerts, theater and other events will be possible as long as the criteria are met. It will also be possible to have private gatherings such as weddings or a 50th anniversary, if they are held in a public place.
Virke: “Too low“
Virke (the Enterprise Federation of Norway), however, thinks the number is too low and would like to see the Government ease restrictions a lot more.
“It will not be financially justifiable to carry out events with up to fifty people, such as cinema shows, concerts and theater,”said Virke’s CEO Ivar Horneland Kristensen.
He added that the distance requirement will make it impossible to operate film and TV recordings.
“Don’t party at home”A public place is defined as a rental space and for the time being, it will not be possible to accommodate 50 people in private homes. The reason is that there should be a responsible organizer who can ensure requirements for social distancing and hygiene are met.
“There are very few of us who live in houses where we can have 50 guests keeping the one-meter distance. Those who live in such houses also probably can afford to rent a hotel,” said Høie.
Still, not all the details are in place. Høie could not answer for certain if 50 people is the total number, including serving staff and organizer. He pointed out that NHO tourism is in the process of drawing up an industry standard for such issues.
Up to 200 in June
The Government said that it was opened to the possibility of gatherings up to 200 people from 15 June.
Høie emphasized that the decision has not yet been made and that everything depends on the coronavirus being under control.
There is still no clarification as to when it will be possible to increase from 200 to 500.
“There are many who have contacted us and asked that we prioritize exactly when the society is going to open again. Many have good arguments. But if everyone should stand in line first, then there will be no queue,” said Høie.
“Then, we risk starting up completely in all areas, lose track of the control and also the spread of infection,” he explained.
Next Thursday, the government will return to the question of how many can be gathered in a private context.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today