Prime Minister Erna Solberg (Høyre) is anxious before the nightlife in Norway is fully opened up. – We know it is a source of infection, she tells Swedish Radio.
It was during a lengthy interview on the Studio Ett program on Wednesday that Solberg was grilled about the differences in the approach to the pandemic challenges in Sweden and Norway.
“Sweden has done a little less than we have done in Norway. In many ways, we have the same behavioral recommendations with social distancing and home office. There are many more things that are also similar.” says Solberg.
“Sweden did not close the schools and hasn’t closed the nightlife in the same way as we have done. I’ve always thought that the Swedes are a bit like Norwegians. When they have been drinking alcohol it is difficult to get them to behave. We know that nightlife is a source of infection. It is difficult to prevent infection when people become very happy to be in close contact because they have been drinking a little alcohol,” says Solberg.
“For us it would have been a risk point. We have not opened the bars in Norway. They first open June 1st. This is still one of the points I am a little apprehensive about. How will the behavior of Norwegians be then?”
Norway has far fewer deaths from coronavirus than Sweden. So far, 3,831 deaths have been recorded in Sweden and 234 in Norway.
When asked if she thinks the death toll in Sweden would have looked different if Sweden had chosen a strategy more similar to Norway’s, the Prime Minister of Norway answered:
“It is very difficult to answer. Part of the reason for the high death rates in Sweden is because there has been a great deal in the elderly sector. It may be that the fact that we shut down so much created a different kind of understanding of the infection situation,” says Solberg.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today