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Monday, July 22, 2024

More liberty with ‘Corona certificate’

Prime Minister Erna Solberg revealed more details on Wednesday of her government’s work on a a new “Corona certificate” that will allow more liberty for Norwegians who’ve been vaccinated or have recovered from the Corona virus. The certificate is meant to make it easier to take part in public events or travel, at least within Norway.

Norwegians who’ve been vaccinated will soon be eligible for more liberty. PHOTO: Norwegian Institute of Public Health

“The plan is to complete our version (of what’s also called a “Corona passport”) before the EU is finished with its version,” Solberg said at her latest government press conference Wednesday afternoon.

“Then we could at least begin to use it internally in Norway, and maybe over the borders,” Solberg added. The certificate would show which vaccines the bearer has had, also when, and declare that its bearer is “protected.” The certificate may be available in June.

Norway is cooperating with the EU on a common framework for the certificate. Solberg is concerned that versions available today can’t be verified, and that needs to be fixed.

“We must be sure that no one cheat with these certificates,” Solberg said. “The EU is working on a certificate that can be ready at the end of June. If Norway has a certificate in place before that, we’ll evaluate whether we’ll open up for travel to and from the EU.”

Concerts, cruises, tours…
Details of what the certificate can allow are still being hammered out. Solberg revealed, however, that the certificate may be used to authorize participation in public events, cruises or other types of package tours. That in turn would increase the numbers of those able to travel, go to concerts or other events this summer.

The government is also working on a program that would enable rapid testing at the entrance to events. Use of the certificate requires various modifications in the law, which are being sent out to hearing.

State broadcaster NRK reported how Denmark already has started using a similar certificate that shows whether the bearer has been vaccinated, had various illnesses or a current negative Corona test result. It has allowed Danes to go to concerts, for example. The EU is working on a digital so-called “green certificate” that would make it easier to travel between EU member countries. Norway is not a member of the EU, but the EU is open to Norway being part of the program.

More liberalization of the rules
Solberg also confirmed at Wednesday’s press conference that Norwegians who’ve been fully vaccinated, vaccinated with the first shot at least three weeks ago and been present in Norway for at least the past 10 days are now exempt from national recommendations against “unnecessary” travel.

There’s also been liberalization within professional sports, with top league football and handball allowed to start competing. Media will also be allowed to cover matches in person and a total of 600 spectators in three groups of 200 can attend. Berglund



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