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Police to question Norwegian prime minister over Covid-19 rule break

Police are questioning witnesses and have confirmed that they plan to question Prime Minister Erna Solberg after she breached local and national coronavirus rules.

Police to question Norwegian prime minister over Covid-19 rule break
Photo: screenshot Instagram: @erna_solberg

In a statement released on Monday police said they had “started questioning witnesses and are now conducting investigations to find out the circumstances surrounding possible violations.”

Police will also question the PM’s husband Sindre Finnes.

Per Morten Sending, prosecutor for the Buskerud area with the southeastern police district, told newspaper VG police considered it would be “relevant to have a chat with both Erna Solberg and Sondre Finnes”.

Solberg apologized on Friday after it emerged that during her 60th birthday trip to ski resort Geilo, in southern Norway, two private gatherings with more than 10 people present took place, in breach of restrictions in place at the time.

READ ALSO: These are Norway’s Covid-19 guidelines for the Easter holidays

Police launched an investigation into the two gatherings. Solberg was only present at one of the two.

“For the time being, it is too early to say anything about when we can conclude this investigation. We must conduct interviews to gain clarity on what has happened and whether this can be followed up with regard to local or national (coronavirus) regulations,” Sending said.

“It may also be relevant to question the prime minister and her husband,” Sending added.

Sending told broadcaster NRK that police expect to finish the investigations and questioning later this week.

If prosecuted, the prime minister is likely to face a fine, police told NRK on Friday.

“If they come to the conclusion that rules have been broken, we will of course make up for it. I’m prepared to pay fines if we’ve broken the rules,” Solberg told NRK.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

The UK is set to scrap all Covid-19 travel restrictions in what the government described as a "landmark moment".

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

Testing is no longer required for vaccinated travellers, but the UK government has announced that it will scrap all Covid-19 travel rules on Friday, March 18th.

“As one of the first major economies to remove all its remaining Covid-19 travel restrictions, this is a landmark moment for passengers and the travel and aviation sector,” said the Government in a press release. 

From 4am on March 18th:

  • Passengers going to the UK will no longer be required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form before travel;
  • Passengers who are not vaccinated will not be required to take a pre-departure Covid test, or a Day 2 test following arrival. Fully vaccinated travellers are already exempt from having to do this;
  • Hotel quarantine for travellers coming from ‘red list’ countries, of which there are currently none, will also be scrapped by the end of the month. 

“We will continue monitoring and tracking potential new variants, and keep a reserve of measures which can be rapidly deployed if needed to keep us safe,” said UK Health Minister Sajid Javid. 

The UK has lifted all Covid-related rules including mask rules and mandatory self-isolation if you test positive for Covid.

Some European countries still have Covid restrictions in place for unvaccinated people coming from the UK. 

Until March 18th

Until the new rules come into effect, all travellers are required to fill out a passenger locator form. 

Unvaccinated travellers are also required to take pre-departure test and a test on or before Day 2 following their arrival. 

The UK border officers will recognise proof of vaccination provided with an EU Covid Certificate.

For the UK “fully vaccinated” means 14 days after your final dose of a EMA/FDA or Swiss approved vaccine (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson). 

After a period of confusion, the UK government says that it will accept mixed doses administered in the EU (eg one dose of AstraZeneca and one of Pfizer).

However people who have only had a single dose after previously recovering from Covid – which is standard practice in some European countries – are not accepted as vaccinated by the UK.

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