Norway has ended almost all restrictions. These U.S. states — including New York — have higher vaccination rates than Norway.

Anthony LaMesa
2 min readFeb 12, 2022

Highly vaccinated U.S. states should look to Norway for inspiration.

This morning, Norway ended almost all pandemic restrictions:

“The one-metre rule is abolished”

“The requirement to wear face masks is abolished”

“Only adults with symptoms are now advised to get tested for Covid-19”

“The requirement to self-isolate has been downgraded to a recommendation that infected adults stay at home for four days”

“Kindergarten children and school pupils should stay home if ill, but can return after one fever-free day”

“All remaining requirements to show a negative test on arrival at the Norwegian border have been scrapped”

Norway’s tourism Web site isn’t pulling any punches — the country is open:

“From Saturday February 12, you can travel to Norway without having to worry about nothing more than having a good time!”

“No testing, no quarantining, no registration.”

VisitNorway(dot)com

A number of U.S. states — including the state with the country’s largest city — actually have higher vaccination rates than this Nordic powerhouse.

Vaccination EU and Mayo Clinic (February 12, 2022)

As Yascha Mounk said in his “Open Everything” essay:

“Wearing a mask in highly vaccinated New York does little to save an unmasked person in barely vaccinated Mississippi.”

It’s time for highly vaccinated U.S. states to do what the Nordic countries have done: trust the vaccines and open everything. States like Connecticut and New York also have some of the country’s strongest social welfare policies (i.e. generous Medicaid programs), which means they are arguably in the strongest position to sustainably “live with the virus.”

While highly vaccinated states should scrap all pandemic restrictions, many states with much lower vaccination rates have already gotten rid of almost everything. It is important that these states — many of which have lower vaccination rates than countries much poorer than the U.S. — continue to increase vaccine and booster uptake, especially among the elderly and medically vulnerable.

The U.S. is a big and complicated federal republic with freedom of movement between states. States like Vermont and New York should confidently end all restrictions while states with low vaccination rates should seek federal support for their vaccination campaigns. Despite existing within the same borderless Schengen Zone as Slovakia (49.8% fully vaccinated), Norway has chosen to open everything. People in New York and Rhode Island shouldn’t deprive themselves of normality, because of public health situations in states thousands of miles away.

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Anthony LaMesa

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