The serious situation Norway is now living through challenges us in many ways. We are facing death, illness, grief, financial downturn and numerous other consequences for both individuals and society as a whole. We now have to use all the measures that our society has at its disposal to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.
The measures taken are primarily of a guiding and advisory nature. The advice from our health authorities are based on the trust and human compassion characterising the Norwegian society. As Prime Minister Erna Solberg recently said: "It is no longer about me, but about us." The current situation affects the lives of most people in our country right now. Almost everyone is taking on a personal burden to prevent contagion.
The police will also always first to try to give advice and guidance before resorting to giving orders or using force. However, since some people are not taking the various orders seriously enough, new regulations accompanied by penal sanctions have recently been laid down. As the situation is, society has to make use of its strongest measure – punishment – with the sole objective of reducing contagion.
The Director of Public Prosecutions has recently issued guidelines saying that violation of these regulations will be met with the utmost seriousness, a fact that is emphasised by the high level of fines. The National Police Directorate is about to issue more detailed guidelines on how to enforce the rules, which will make it easier for police employees to navigate difficult waters.
However, we have the following message to those of you who are not realising the seriousness of the advice and orders now given: The police and the prosecuting authority are also affected by the virus and the quarantine provisions. And in this demanding situation, we will still do our best to ensure the population's safety, secure our border crossings and retain our ability to investigate serious crime.
We therefore come with an earnest request to you: Comply with the health authorities' advice and orders! Do not put your needs ahead of those of the community. Do not make us waste our time on violations of contagion control provisions – we have so much else to do. This crisis will pass, and when it does, we as a society will look back at how we handled it. We hope that the conclusion will be that we got through it by showing compassion, wisdom and trust in the authorities and each other, hopefully with little use of penal sanctions.