‘Norway is a beautiful country’: PM tells Norwegians to stay home this summer

'Norway is a beautiful country': PM tells Norwegians to stay home this summer
When you see views like this being stuck in Norway doesn't seem too bad. Photo: Mattias Frederiksen/Brand Norway
There will be no summer holidays in Thailand and or Greece this year for people living in Norway, the country's PM announced on Friday, calling on her countrymen to holiday in their homeland instead.

“I would recommend people to plan for a Norwegian holiday this summer,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg said in a press release on Friday.  “Norway is a beautiful holiday country, and although this year's holiday will be different than we had planned, I am sure it will be very nice.”

In the press release, the government said it was extending its advice to avoid unnecessary travel until August 20, although it said that on June 15, the country might make an exception for travel within the Nordic countries, with some other countries possibly added on July 15. 

“We are working for a common Nordic opening, where all five countries can be opened at the same time. But we need to take a closer look at this as we approach June 15,” Solberg explained at a government press conference.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg as she made the announcement on Friday. Photo: Norwegian PM's office. 
 
 
In the press release the government said that as it excepted specific countries from the unnecessary travel advisory, it might also relax the requirement for those arriving from these countries to go into quarantine for 10 days 
 
At the same time as announcing the extension of the travel advisory, The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) published  an updated set of guidelines that would allow domestic tourism to be increased in the safest way possible. 
 
“Norway is a fantastic destination. Now we are allowing people to travel anywhere in the country. But, it must also be safe,” Norway's business minister Iselin Nybø said in the press conference. 
 
“This is something that the authorities and the tourism industry have been working together to achieve. I have great confidence that the tourism companies are able to adapt to the new infection prevention guidelines.”
 
Norway's minister of foreign affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide, said that the decision on allowing people to travel freely within the Nordic countries would come only after a thorough analysis of the infection risk. 
 
“The government will ask FHI to make a special infection assessment and ease travel restrictions for travel to the Nordic countries,” she said. “Whether you are able to travel freely in the Nordic countries will depend on whether the other Nordic countries share our assessment of the infection prevention situation.” 
 
When asked whether Norway might discriminate between the Nordic countries, opening up for travel from Denmark, Finland and Iceland, but not of Sweden, where the share of the population hospitalised with coronavirus is much higher, Solberg did not dismiss it. 
 
“We are working for a common Nordic opening, where all five countries can be opened at the same time. But we need to take a closer look at this as we approaches June 15.” 

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