Oslo police will not use resources to enforce mandatory face mask use

Oslo policeIllustration / Photo: Carina Johansen / NTB
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For the time being, the Oslo police will not use resources to enforce the mandatory use of face masks in Oslo’s public transport. 

The measure is set to take effect from Tuesday.

“We are not going to do checks on trams. We don’t have the capacity for that. However, if major problems are reported, we will have to reconsider. Still, in principle, we won’t spend resources on this,” operations manager Per-Ivar Iversen in the Oslo police district told news bureau NTB on Tuesday morning.

“We will use resources as we usually do. If requested to do so, we’ll assist the municipality. We will also take care of violations of infection control rules,” he said.

On Monday night, Oslo City Council leader Raymond Johansen (AP) announced that the City of Oslo is introducing a number of new measures, including the obligatory use face masks on public transport when it is not possible to keep one meter of distance from others. 

The measures will initially last for two weeks.

Dialogue with the police

At the press conference, Johansen stated that the police would enforce the mandatory use of face masks. 

He also said that he was in contact with the police chief in Oslo about “using some resources” to enforce the decree.

It is still unclear what the punishment for breaking the decree will be. 

Health Councilor Robert Steen (AP) said that, in his opinion, getting asked to get off the tram or subway by the police would be punishment enough. 

“I guess it’s weird enough if you sit on a tram without a mask, and then the police come and take you out. It’s not nice. The social experience in itself will be a punishment that is powerful enough for you to put on the face mask next time,” Steen said.

No punishments?

Autumn holidays are in place in Oslo this week, and Iversen noted that the Oslo police have regular staffing. 

He added that they would monitor the situation before making any new assessments on the use of resources.

“We will see what kind of signals we receive… If there are major problems, we will have to reconsider the use of resources… We will not punish people who do not wear face masks,” Iversen said.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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