Karianne Jæger is a producer in Stage Evenings at the Folketeateret in Oslo. When the news came that the government was opening up to more people, she immediately thought it would mean good news for them.
– First, when I read the headline, I cheered. And I thought that “my God, the enormous work we have put in has worked”, but when I dived into the details I realized that the Folketeateret, with the rules associated with cohorts, can not handle more than 400 people in the hall. So this is not good news. And we are very disappointed, simply, she says to TV 2 Nyhetskanalen on Thursday night.
1500 inside, 3000 outside
Just an hour earlier, the press release came from the government that they make changes to the number of guests allowed at indoor and outdoor events from Friday at 12 o’clock. The new rules are:
- At indoor events with fixed allocated seats be up to 1500 people and a maximum of 50 percent capacity, divided into cohorts of up to 200 people. There must always be at least two meters distance between the cohorts
- The rules for outdoor events with fixed allocated places are that there can be up to 3,000 people and a maximum of 50 percent capacity, divided into cohorts of up to 500 people. There must always be at least two meters distance between the cohorts.
In the last week, the limit has been 200 indoors and 600 outdoors.
– The increase in the number limit is a big step in the right direction and will mean a lot to organizers, spectators and performers. This means that many can return to their jobs in the cultural sector, and that we audiences can finally experience theater, concerts and sports to a far greater extent than before, said Minister of Culture and Gender Equality Anette Trettebergstuen in the press release about the new rules.
At the beginning of February, the government will present a new assessment of the infection control measures.
– Then I hope that we can open more, both for events with and without fixed allocated places, wrote Trettebergstuen.
– Give us confidence
When asked by TV 2 Nyhetskanalen about how Jæger in the Folketeateret would have it, she answers that she thinks it can be opened completely.
– We have meant all the way that we can open to full halls. We have so much data and figures now, which the whole industry has provided itself, that this is not where the infection is big, scary and dangerous. So that we believe that the cultural arenas in Norway should be able to open, but with infection control rules. Where it is not possible to hold the meter, you sit with a mask, she says.
Jæger also points out that omicron causes milder disease, and that there is a high vaccine level in Norway.
– So we believe that it should be possible for our industry to be allowed to get started again on an equal footing with the nightlife industry and other industries in Norway that are allowed to manage their industry under the infection control measures that apply. And we are very good at that in the cultural industry, so give us the confidence to do so.
– How do the changes that came today affect their events in the future?
– This means that the Folketeateret is unfortunately still closed. We also do not have support schemes that are predictable and help us get started. So as of now, there are many, many people who are not allowed to return to work and who are without income. So it’s a sad day for cultural Norway today.
TV 2 has tried to get a comment from the Ministry of Culture on Thursday night, but did not have the opportunity to respond.