Norway’s Health Minister refuses to make corona exception – the national football team won’t travel to Romania

Bent HøiePhoto: Terje Pedersen / NTB
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Minister of Health Bent Høie (H) will not intervene to let the national football team travel abroad against the Norwegian Directorate of Health’s input.

The Norwegian Football Association (NFF) sent a letter to the Ministry of Health on Saturday afternoon with the hope of an exception from the COVID-19 regulations so that the national team can play the important away matches against Romania and Austria in the national league.

But Høie backed the Norwegian Directorate of Health. 

“My answer to the NFF is that the matches in Romania and Austria would be illegal here in Norway, and that the travel plan they have presented to us tonight is in a legal gray zone,” Høie told news bureau NTB.

“If they choose to do this (travel to Romania), then they undermine some of the most important settings in our fight against the pandemic, namely that those who have been in close contact with others who are infected should quarantine for ten days,” he added.

Quarantine obligation

The Norwegian football team initially planned to travel to Romania at 1 PM on Saturday. 

However, the Norwegian Directorate of Health pointed out that the trip would violate the national COVID-19 travel regulations.

The reason for the decision is that the national team’s vice-captain Omar Elabdellaoui recently tested positive for coronavirus, so all his close contacts must be quarantined for ten days with the regulations.

Now, it looks like Sunday’s match against Romania in Bucharest cannot be played. 

There are not enough international dates for the match to be postponed to a later date.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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