Norway health agency wanted to reopen schools: report

The Local Norway
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Norway health agency wanted to reopen schools: report
Oslo's Bjølsen skole. Photo: Trym Asserson/Flickr

Norway's health agency wanted to begin rolling back the closure of schools and kindergartens this week, but it was overruled by the government, according to the Dagens Næringsliv business newspaper.


According to documents leaked to the newspaper, the Norwegian Institute on Public Health (FHI) on Monday proposed that the government consider reopening kindergartens and schools for children up to ten years' old, following the example of Finland. 
But on Tuesday, Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg overruled the recommendations and instead announced plans to extend the school closures until after Easter.
In its recommendations, the FHI argued that the medical evidence for the effectiveness of closing schools and kindergartens was weak, and that the measure might only be appropriate when the epidemic is more widely spread within the community. 
Finland last week reversed a decision to close its schools, following confusion over who counted as an essential worker. 
According to the newspaper, FHI also questioned the need to keep Norway's unpopular ban on people living in their country cabins, arguing the measure need not be kept in place for the duration of the crisis. 


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