Norway is lifting almost all its coronavirus measures tomorrow afternoon. Why can’t these states move in the same direction?
It’s time for one-size-fits-all pandemic management to end.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg announced today that normal life is back for Norwegians starting tomorrow afternoon. Almost all restrictions impacting daily life will end.
“Now we can live almost as we did before the pandemic hit us. I do not think everything will be as before. I think the coronavirus will affect us for the rest of our lives, for better or worse. We have learned how vulnerable we are and how much we can achieve when we stand together,” Solberg told a press conference on Friday.
“The NIPH and the Norwegian Directorate of Health gave us advice on Monday that it will be possible to switch to normal everyday life around the turn of the month. The positive development has continued this week, and that is the reason why the government — after a thorough assessment — has concluded that tomorrow at 4pm, we will move on to normal everyday life.”
Of course, many Norwegians will barely notice the changes. (Though club-goers will be delighted!) This is what the reopening of schools looked like a month ago. Masks have never been required in Norwegian schools or child care centers.
Elsewhere in the region, Sweden will end all restrictions on September 29th — a vaccine passport won’t be required for large events — and Denmark lifted all restrictions weeks ago. The Finnish government has said they will lift their coronavirus measures on socializing and businesses when 80% of people 12 and older are vaccinated, which should happen by the middle of next month.
While some parts of the United States have very low vaccination rates (e.g. Alabama and Mississippi) — just like Romania and Bulgaria in the union of member states of which Denmark is a part — other parts of the country, like California and New England, have very high vaccination rates. Why aren’t these states moving closer to normal?