Three Norwegian municipalities were ordered to set up quarantine hotels, but a lot of paid-for capacity wasn’t used

Quarantine hotel windowPhoto: Cody Doherty / Unsplash
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Due to high capacity pressure at Gardermoen, Asker, Bærum, and Lillestrøm were told to set up quarantine hotels in the summer of 2021. It cost the state NOK 112 million.

At the end of May 2021, the County Governor for Oslo and Viken announced that the quarantine hotels in Oslo, Ullensaker, and Sarpsborg were close to full capacity. Then Lillestrøm municipality was ordered to set up quarantine hotels. The Municipality was supposed to have at least 200 quarantine rooms – but preferably up to 1,000 rooms – ready to receive people who had to quarantine, E24 writes.

The County Governor requested that the Municipality be ready to rent entire hotels and that the agreement should last beyond the autumn. Asker and Bærum were also ordered to provide hotel rooms a few days later.

Around 70,000 overnight stays not used

The three municipalities purchased a total of over 73,000 overnight stays in hotels after the request. But only 2,700 of those overnight stays were used. Over 96% of the hotel capacity was unused. 

According to the Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning’s overview, the price tag for the three municipalities amounted to over NOK 112 million. All municipal expenses were reimbursed by the state.

“We saw that Ullensaker Municipality was not able to establish all the needed capacity. We also saw that more people needed quarantine hotels. 

“Then it turns out that all the rooms that were made available were not needed, given all the changes in the world around us. Others must consider whether this was too much or too little,” emergency preparedness director Elisabeth Longva at the Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning (DSB) stated.

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

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