Due to the coronavirus, the Norwegian Royal Family has cancelled its participation at the Holmenkollen Ski Festival this weekend, the Royal Court said in a press release on Friday afternoon.
The full release stated the following: “Unfortunately, the Royal Family finds reason to cancel their presence at the Holmenkollen Ski Festival. This is in line with the decision made by the authorities to cancel the public event.”
The virus has now affected many royal families. The Belgian state visit to Italy has been cancelled due to fear of infection. Princess Estelle’s school is closed after one of the students got the virus, and the Swedish Royal Family also postponed a Representation Dinner in fear of the virus.
As of 6 March, a total of 105 Norwegians have tested positive for the virus.
It has been known for several weeks that Princess Astrid, King Harald and possibly other members of the family were expected both on Saturday and Sunday at the ski festival. The municipality of Oslo said the event will take place without spectators but will be broadcast on TV. It was expected that around 30,000 people would attend the ski festival in Holmenkollen this weekend.
Guri Varpe, Head of Communications at the Royal Palace, does not want to comment further on the issue. However, when King Harald and Queen Sonja met with the Norwegian press in Petra in Jordan earlier this week, the royals explained that they were not particularly afraid of the virus. His Majesty the King said then: “We are here, so the virus has not had any impact. We follow very simple rules of hand hygiene and such, which should make it more difficult for the virus to get us.”
On Friday morning, there was a known total of 105 cases of coronavirus in Norway. As a result, several changes have been made to Norwegian airlines and other institutions. On 26 February, Norway confirmed the first case of COVID-19. The Norway Institute of Public Health announced that someone tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 after returning from China the previous week.