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Norway PM Erna Solberg Fined For Flouting COVID-19 Restrictions On Birthday

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Erna Solberg fined: Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, was fined for flouting the COVID-19 restrictions forefronted by her own government, during a birthday party. As per Norwegian police, the leader assembled a gathering of over the stipulated 10-person limit for her 60th birthday celebrated at a ski resort in February this year.

“Even though the law is the same for everyone, not everyone is the same,” police told media on Friday, as per Bloomberg. Authorities cited Solberg’s fining, notwithstanding her top position as head of state, as being held up as a public example of the importance of adhering to COVID-19 regulations.

She has been issued a fine of 20,000 kroner, which converts to $2,350 or over Rs 2,00,000.

Erna Solberg Fined: Authorities Say Should Be Held Up To Example For Citizens

When news of Solberg’s breach first surfaced last month, she had issued an apology. “We planned a dinner at a restaurant, which we believed to be in line with coronavirus guidelines… I can only apologise for the fact that we did not comprehend that this, as defined by the law, was an event,” she was quoted telling the press.

Norwegian police had opened investigations into the COVID-19 breach incident concerning the two-term PM of the Conservative party. Solberg’s own administration too expressed criticism over the actions.

COVID-19 Situation In Norway

As Norway heads to elections later this year in September, public appeal for Solberg’s party seems to be high in view of her successful national action against the pandemic since it took over in 2020. Her government was quick to restrict movement and issue safety guidelines early during the COVID-19 spread, which kept case numbers lower than many countries.

Official data by the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicate that between 3 January 2020 and 8 April 2021, Norway has recorded 1,00,147 cases of the virus and 683 deaths. Vaccines in Norway, being given free of cost as per the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, include Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Moderna. Over 959,176 doses have been administered.