NORWAY EASES MORE LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS
19th April 2020
Last modified on April 21st, 2020
The country went into full lockdown early and quickly. It shut its ski resorts in a single move on Friday 13th March. It now claims some success in dealing with coronavirus with some restrictions lifted on Monday.
“Together we have taken control of the virus, therefore we can open up society little by little,” said the Prime Minister, Erna Solberg.
The health minister said the epidemic was “under control” in Norway, pointing to the low rate of transmission since lockdown measures were put in place..
Norway, with a population of around 5m, has seen 165 deaths.
This compares to 94 deaths in neighbouring Finland, that has a similar population, and also introduced a strict lockdown early on.
Another neighbour, Sweden, did not introduced a strict lockdown and with a population of 10m has seen 1,540 deaths.
Kindergartens and schools for young children, hairdressers and churches re-opened in Norway on Monday.
The ban on people travelling to their cabins in the countryside is lifted though people are advised not to.
The Nordic skier, Andrew Musgrave, lives in Norway and has tweeted his response.
“We’re allowed outside & have conditions like this at home. I definitely count myself lucky!” said Musgrave on Sunday.
The ski resorts in Norway closed on March 13th, as we reported at the time in our rolling blog on resort closures.
We understand some smaller resorts in Norway are considering the likelihood of even re-opening.
However the government is advising that travelling inside the country is strongly discouraged, so any opening of ski resorts could be seen as irresponsible.
There are some glacier resorts in the north of the country that usually offer skiing into summer.
“It’s with delight that Norway sees a return to some form of normality with limited opening of key public institutions, but it’s still a long way to go,” said the CEO of Norway Home of Skiing, Trevor de Villiers, to PlanetSKI.
“The way in which the Norwegian government and it citizens has handled itself with this terrible pandemic has been exemplarily.
“It shows that by working together to overcome something of such magnitude is possible and offers a beacon of hope to all global citizens.”
“Our message is very simple at Norway Home of Skiing – Stay HOME today to ski with us TOMORROW, we will be back together skiing and enjoying the magnificent Norwegian mountains again soon.”
Public gatherings will still not be allowed, and Norwegians have been given a date of June 15th when these may be allowed with sporting events and cultural events returning.
Incoming foreign travel is banned and Norway is keeping all its external borders closed.
Norwegians living in Norway are advised not to travel abroad unless it is absolutely necessary.
Foreigners without the right to live or work in the country – tourists, for instance – are still not allowed to enter the country.
The only ones who can come are European citizens working in sectors considered crucial, such as agriculture, fisheries or the oil industry.
The country is also encouraging use of a new App that sends an SMS if a user has been in the presence of someone who has recently been confirmed as having the coronavirus.
Prime Minister Erna Solberg said at the launch of the app that it represented “a step forward for our greater freedom”.
She called on “as many people as possible” to download it.
Doing so, she said, would allow the government to lift restrictive measures earlier.