Crown Prince Regent Haakon, together with his mother Queen Sonja, have received leaders of the Norwegian health authorities at the Royal Palace in Oslo. The royals invited them to lunch on October 29th 2020 to thank them for their ongoing work during the pandemic. For infection control reasons, there was a distance of two meters between everyone present at the lunch and food and drink was set up in advance and there was no serving during the meal.
Nine people attended the event. Currently in Norway, advise is to invite only five people into your home but the Royal Palace is also regarded as a workplace and the large rooms and the high ceilings provide good opportunities for a safe distance from infection. The Norwegian health authorities were represented by Minister of Health Bent Høie, Director of Health Bjørn Guldvog, Director of Public Health Camilla Stoltenberg, Global Health Ambassador John-Arne Røttingen and Ministerial Councillor Bjørn-Inge Larsen.
The Crown Prince Regent brought with him a greeting from His Majesty the King. He then thanked the health authorities and the entire Norwegian health service for the enormous work that has been done since the pandemic hit Norway earlier this year.
His Royal Highness the Crown Prince said: “No one knew for sure how Covid-19 would hit us. You made decisive choices in a time of doubt. The dilemmas have kept on coming, but together you still found solutions, on behalf of us all.”
Crown Prince Haakon went on to talk about what the pandemic has taken from us, following restrictions on personal freedom, a rise in unemployment and the loss of many who have passed away. The Crown Prince continued: “It could still have gone much worse, as we now know. There is a lot that is still uncertain. Nevertheless, we know some things are important, and we have learned that from you: keep one meter distance to all. Wash your hands. Be at home if we have symptoms.”
Minister of Health Bent Høie thanked the Crown Prince for the lunch. The minister said in his speech: “We do not know where the next outbreak will come, we just know that it will come. Therefore, the whole country must limit the number of people we are now with. And if we limit the number of people we are with, we limit the spread of infection and make infection detection easier”.