FHI drops test concerts in Oslo and Bergen after pushback from municipalities

Tons of Rock - concertPhoto: Berit Roald / NTB

The National Institute of Public Health (FHI) will not conduct test concerts after the City Council said “no” to such concerts being held in Oslo.

“It would have no relevance to only have concerts in Bergen. The project is dead and buried,” project manager Atle Fretheim told newspaper Bergens Tidende on Monday afternoon.

Earlier in the day, Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) published an article in which the Oslo City Council rejected test concerts due to the infection situation.

“There are still high infection rates and a lot of work on infection detection and testing, among other things, related to ongoing outbreaks among young people, as well as follow-ups of people in the entry quarantine,” Oslo Health Councilor Robert Steen (AP) told the broadcaster.

Might delay reopening

At the end of May, the Norwegian government announced that it was approving several test concerts to find out whether rapid testing of the public could reduce the risk of infection.

The events were to be organized by the FHI and an association of major festivals, including the Øya Festival, Bergen Live, and Palmesus.

Steen says that – in the worst case – the test concerts could lead to the further reopening of Oslo being postponed. He believes that such an attempt should not be carried out under the current infection situation in Oslo.

Bergen not on board

On Monday afternoon, the Bergen City Council also refused to offer the necessary capacity in connection with testing at such concerts. The Municipality also reserved the right to cancel the concerts at short notice if the infection situation so dictates.

“The chief infection control officer has expressed concern related to the implementation of the events in Bergen, among other things related to risk and usefulness,” City Councilor for the Elderly, Health, and Volunteering, Beate Husa (KrF), noted.

Nevertheless, the City Council emphasized that they would not challenge the government’s decision to allow test concerts in Bergen, even though the Council does not want to provide test capacity itself.

The Municipality was asked to take a position on the implementation of two test concerts in the city and carry out about 9,000 tests in connection with the concerts.

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

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