“We are playing our part in the infection control dugnad, and are also doing our best to make sure that the Storting can carry out the responsibilities that are so key to our society,” said Tone Wilhelmsen Trøen, President of the Storting.
“We were hoping that a lower rate of infection would allow us to ease some of the restrictions, and that we could start to get back to normal during the autumn, not least with regard to visits and guided tours. But this is simply not possible as things stand now,” the President added.
Consequently, the restrictions and recommendations that have been in place since mid-March will continue in order to reduce the spread of infection.
After speaking to the parliamentary leaders and the chairs of the standing committees in the Storting, the Presidium has made the following decisions and recommendations:
Core parliamentary business
- The Presidium recommends that the parliamentary party groups restrict the number of MPs present in the Chamber to 87 when sittings are called to order and during voting.
- The timetable of sittings will take place as normal.
- Question Time will take place as normal.
- Committee work will proceed as normal, but with the continued option of digital solutions.
- Where possible, committee hearings will be held digitally or by written submission.
- As a rule, international parliamentary work will be conducted digitally.
- All foreign travel has been cancelled until the end of September.
- Domestic travel will be assessed on the basis of the infection situation at the place of departure and destination, the necessity of the travel, and whether any at-risk groups will be present during the trip.
- Infection control considerations will be taken into account during the State Opening of the Storting and the presentation of the draft Fiscal Budget.
Visits to the Storting
- Visits to the Storting will only be permitted if they are considered to be strictly necessary for core parliamentary business.
- State and official visits will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
- The public gallery will be open and infection control measures have been implemented.
Digital and written hearings
As mentioned above, committee hearings will be held digitally or by written submission.
“The experience we gained during the spring has demonstrated that it is possible to arrange hearings without everybody having to be in the same room at the same time. For some, such as those who have a long way to travel or who are in an at-risk group, this can actually be an advantage,” said Tone Wilhelmsen Trøen.