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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