As part of a string of international airport closures and travel restrictions, Norway will temporarily close its airports to foreigners from Monday (March 16th). The government of the country has put these measures in place in a bid to handle the coronavirus outbreak
Forbes reports that Prime Minister Erna Solberg announced that from 08:00 on March 16th, all of Norway’s airports and seaports will be closed to foreigners.
The politician shared that the country has been overwhelmed with the impact that the spread of COVID-19 has had on it. With over 1,000 confirmed cases and two deaths of Norwegian citizens, she wants to focus even more on the fight against the virus.
“These last days have been completely unreal for me and it has certainly been the same for all of you,” Solberg said, as reported by Forbes.
“This affects our everyday lives, our healthcare system and our economy. Many people feel that everyday life has been turned on its head. I thank everyone on the front line, in the healthcare system and everywhere else.
“We will close airports and seaports, and will have stricter control over our borders.”
Series of closures
Solberg adds that the government won’t be able to completely close the border. This is because essential items such as pharmaceuticals and food will need to be brought in.
This move matches recent initiatives by other European countries like Denmark and Poland, which have both temporarily suspended passenger flights coming in. Norway has not confirmed how long the new restrictions will last. Nonetheless, with the virus situation continuing to change, measures will constantly be under review.
Several airlines have been rocked by the policy shifts set by governments amid the outbreak. While plenty of airlines will be able to ride out the storm, others will find it hard to continue fighting.
More problems for Norwegian
Moreover, Norwegian Air Shuttle would have already been devastated following the White House’s temporary travel restrictions between the United States and Europe. Now, its home’s stance will mean that it will have to suspend even more of its operations.
The low-cost carrier has already had a struggling year with dire financial results but these suspensions will push it even further into the red. Earlier this week it had announced that it was cutting 4,000 flights and plans to release up to 50 percent of its employees. Now, it may have to place even more drastic measures.
What are your thoughts on how authorities are continuing to close airports and suspend flights coming in? Have you been affected by these measures? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.
Simple Flying reached out to Norwegian for comment on how these closures will impact the company. We will update the article with any further announcements.