People should already be preparing for summer vacation to be spent at home, or at least within Norway’s borders, according to health authorities.
The first home Easter in history is soon over, where it has not even been possible to go up to the cabin, a favorite activity for many Norwegians during Easter.
The cabin ban will be lifted on April 20, but people should still begin to prepare now for postponing any plans for a holiday in the South or any other trips overseas this summer.
Minister for Health and Care Bent Høie (H) tells NTB that considering the state of the world outside Norway’s borders, it is wise to plan for a staycation or Norwegian holiday.
– “Norway is a great country, and many people now have the opportunity to discover new parts of the country,” he says.
In many workplaces, the planning of summer holiday is already in full swing, and many have already decided when to take a summer vacation. Where it can be spent, however, is difficult to predict.
– “It depends on the infection situation we are in,” says Health Director Bjørn Guldvog to NTB.
He himself prefers to spend summers on the island of Syd-Koster outside Strømstad in Bohuslän. But will he get there this summer, he doesn’t know.
– “Maybe, but it may include a quarantine afterwards,” he says.
After the stringent anti-infection measures were introduced on March 12, the infection production figure has fallen below 1 – that is, each infected person infects fewer than one new one. At the end of April, kindergartens and schools will be partially reopened. How it will affect the spread of infection in the population is currently unknown.
However, it may not be possible to travel freely within Norway.
– It again depends on the infection in the population, Guldvog points out.
In addition, there is also a big question about how many are “invisibly” infected and those who do not have symptoms themselves but can infect others.
– “I want us to be in a situation this summer where Norwegians get the opportunity to experience Norway as their holiday country. But that will determine the development,” says Høie.
According to estimates from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI), the peak of infection is already behind us if we manage to keep the reproduction rate down. But if that number rises to 1.15, the epidemic will slowly increase over the spring and summer and reach a peak in October, FHI estimates in its latest report.
Prime Minister Erna Solberg (H) nevertheless suggests for control that people travel around Norway this summer.
– “It will probably be nice to travel on holiday in Norway and vacation around. I think that is also good for the tourism industry. So, if there is one year you plan to go on holiday in Norway, then it may be this year’s holiday,” Solberg said just before Easter.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has strongly advised against all travel abroad which is not strictly necessary, and has made it clear that if the travel council is broken, the authorities may not be able to help them get back home to Norway should an unexpected situation arise.
So far, there have been no signals as to when the travel council will be lifted. The Swedes, in turn, have extended their travel advice to June 15. Then it will be reassessed.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today