Story By: Alex Cope, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
These images show Norway’s Transport Minister cutting the ribbon to open a much-awaited undersea tunnel in his office instead of on-site to respect social distancing.
Minister Knut Arild Hareide marked the opening of the Ryfast road project, which includes an undersea tunnel linking the city of Ryfylke in Rogaland county with the Stavanger area in south-eastern Norway, with a remote ribbing cutting ceremony.
Hareide was snapped cutting the ribbon at his desk with only some balloons in Norwegian colours for company.
Local media report the minister was on a live stream with other officials to cut the ribbon and officially open the tunnel remotely.
A grand opening ceremony had been planned, but it had to be delayed before eventually being cancelled in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The minister told state broadcaster NRK: “What I miss most is meeting the people and project managers who have completed a fantastic project.
It is unique in a world context, and I would love to be there and thank them. This is long-awaited and will make travel easier for both people and businesses in and around Stavanger.”
The images were widely shared online and one netizen jokingly commented: “Last week they launched a new ferry, it was great. He christened it by smashing a bottle of champagne on his desk.”
Norway began easing its coronavirus lockdown measures this week, with children soon being allowed to return to nurseries.
The country’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg said that their early implementation of lockdown regulations had allowed the country to “get the virus under control”.
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