This spring, a cabin ban was introduced in Norway. However, ahead of the autumn holidays, Norway’s approach is quite the opposite.
The authorities and health director Bjørn Guldvog now encourage Norwegians to visit mountains and go on cabin trips.
Next week, the autumn holidays start in Agder, Viken, and Oslo, and the week after, the rest of the country will follow suit.
“For those of you who intend to go on a trip in Norway, it’s perfectly fine – travel to the mountains or the cabin with a clear conscience,” health director Guldvog said at the government’s coronavirus press conference on Wednesday afternoon.
“For those of you who will remain at home while schools are closed, there is still room to do nice things in place where many people don’t gather in the same place,” he added.
Guldvog pointed out that the municipalities now have better systems for testing and infection tracing, and that the number of corona patients in the hospitals is still low.
“The cabin ban (introduced) at Easter, as we all remember, was not justified in terms of infection control, but in terms of consideration for health preparedness in small municipalities with many cabins,” he explained.
“The different country”
Minister of Health Bent Høie (H) believes that Norway now finds itself in a completely different situation than at Easter.
Even though people travel more while on holiday, they often spend time with people they usually associate with.
“As it was fine to have a summer holiday in Norway, it is now just as fine to have an autumn holiday in Norway. But if you have symptoms, then you should stay at home,” he said.
At the coronavirus press conference, Høie reiterated that the government’s goal is to continue the reopening of Norwegian society as soon as the infection situation makes it possible.
He reminded people of the infection guidelines and pointed out that people have been seen protesting against infection control rules in several countries.
He further referred to Norway as a “different country,” but said that there was no guarantee that the sentiment will last.
“We are lucky in this country. The citizens have a high level of trust in each other and the authorities. That means that they follow the advice and rules that stop the infection. This high confidence gives us superpowers in the fight against the coronavirus,” he said.
“If people are to maintain this trust, they must experience that the measures taken are correct and necessary,” he continued.
Infection control equipment
Høie also said that the government has now sent a letter to the municipalities asking that they plan ahead in terms of what they need when it comes to infection control equipment.
According to the Minister, the municipalities should order enough equipment to be covered until the first half of 2021.
In March, the government established a joint purchasing scheme for infection control equipment.
The scheme has worked well, Høie (H) noted, but it will only last until New Year.
“At New Year, we return to normal routines, where the hospitals and municipalities are responsible for purchasing infection control equipment,” he said.
In order to ensure that the health services have the equipment they need in a critical situation, the national reserve stock is being strengthened and transformed into a national emergency stock.
The warehouse will contain equipment for six months of consumption in the municipalities and the hospitals.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today