Anna Nohr invited neighbors to take part in a fun backyard quiz in Oslo, Norway on March 23, 2020 as all have to stay home due to the new coronavirus COVID-19. (AFP/Stian Lysberg Solum)
Norway on Friday extended its advisory against non-essential travel throughout the summer, telling its citizens to holiday in the Scandinavian country this year.
"For those who want as much predictability as possible, the recommendation is to plan your holidays in Norway," Prime Minister Erna Solberg told reporters.
"Take advantage of these summer holidays to get even better acquainted with the fantastic holiday destination that Norway is," she said.
The country advised against all non-essential travel on March 14, which on Friday it extended until August 20.
However, Norway plans to review the possibility for leisure travel to other Nordic countries by June 15, and for travel to other nearby countries such as Germany and the Baltic states by July 20.
Asking Norwegians, who are normally avid travelers, to holiday at home is also a way for the government to boost the economy, which has been doubly hit by the health crisis and the weak price of oil, which the country exports.
On Wednesday, the European Union urged its members to reopen their borders in a bid to save the tourism sector. Norway is not a member of the EU but does belong to the passport-free Schengen zone.
Norway appears to have the coronavirus epidemic until control, with a small number of hospitalizations and deaths in recent weeks.
It has reported a total of 8,197 cases and 232 deaths.
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