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Norway plans full reopening for September

Norway has announced plans to relax all restrictions before the end of September, by which point its adult population should have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

“Norwegian society will have to live with the fact that we have this virus, as we live with other infectious diseases,” minister of health, Bent Høie, told VG.

“We cannot eliminate the risk completely, as we cannot with other diseases. This means that some will also become seriously ill and die of Covid-19 after we have finished the vaccination and society has reopened.”

Prime minister Erna Solberg added that Norway, unlike other markets, would not be introducing a corona pass to aid reopening.

“In other countries, corona pass is used as a lure for people to be vaccinated. We do not need Norway, because most people are positive about vaccination,” says the prime minister, who pointed out that, by the end of this week, everyone over the age of 18 will have been offered one vaccine dose.

The prime minister added that Norway, unlike other markets, would not be introducing a corona pass to aid reopening

The news of reopening comes weeks after Norway postponed the final step in the reopening of its economy for a second time, due to the continued spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19.

Until then, events without designated seating can take place with a maximum of 1,500 people (previously 1,000) indoors and 3,000 people (previously 2,000) outdoors. The audience must be divided into 500-capacity cohorts and the venue’s capacity cannot exceed 50%.

Events with designated seating can take place with a maximum of 3,000 (previously 2,500) indoors and 7,000 people (previously 5,000) outdoors. These events must also be divided into 500-capacity cohorts and the venue’s capacity cannot exceed 50%.

The reopening comes too late for many Norwegian festivals including Live Nation-owned festivals BergenfestTons of Rock and Findings, Superstruct-backed Øya Festival, Festningen, Over Oslo, Picnic in the Park, Stavernfetsivalen, Seljord Festival and Country Festival, which have already been called off.

 


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Norway makes it “impossible” for festivals to go ahead

Norway has postponed the final step in the reopening of its economy for a second time, due to the continued spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19.

The government in April launched a four-step plan to gradually remove most pandemic restrictions, and had completed the first three of those steps by mid-June.

Initially, the government’s plan was to restrict festivals to 2,000 attendees until June, 5,000 attendees until August and 10,000 thereafter.

This prompted the cancellation of Live Nation-owned festivals Bergenfest and Tons of Rock, Superstruct-backed Øya Festival, Over Oslo, Picnic in the Park, Stavernfetsivalen, Seljord Festival and Country Festival.

However, after the first delay to the final step of the roadmap, the government increased capacity limits for public events using Covid-19 certification and rapid testing.

A new assessment will be made in mid-August but prime minister Erna Solberg predicts Norway will fully reopen this autumn

As of 8 July, events without designated seating can take place with a maximum of 1,500 people (previously 1,000) indoors and 3,000 people (previously 2,000) outdoors. The audience must be divided into 500-capacity cohorts and the venue’s capacity cannot exceed 50%.

Events with designated seating can take place with a maximum of 3,000 (previously 2,500) indoors and 7,000 people (previously 5,000) outdoors. These events must also be divided into 500-capacity cohorts and the venue’s capacity cannot exceed 50%.

One of the last major Norwegian festivals left – Festningen (The Fortress Festival) in Trondheim – was cancelled yesterday, as organisers said the postponement of the final step had made it “impossible” to go ahead.

A new assessment will be made in mid-August but prime minister Erna Solberg predicts Norway will fully reopen this autumn, provided more residents are vaccinated.

About 80% of adults in Norway have received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and 41% of adults are fully vaccinated, according to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

Thanks to an early lockdown in March 2020 and tight restrictions that followed, the nation of 5.4 million people has seen one of Europe’s lowest rates of mortality from the virus.

 


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