On Tuesday and Wednesday, a total of 16 COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the Faroe Islands. The first cases were linked to ólavsøka, which was celebrated last week.
The question of who is to blame for this new outbreak, and whether it was wrong not to cancel ólavsøka has been posed, but Prime Minister Bárður á Steig Nielsen didn’t want to assign blame to anyone.
– People wanted to live. They wanted to have a summer without following our guidelines to limit their social interaction. It’s not our job to find scapegoats. Now, it’s important that we look ahead and make people behave as responsibly as they did this spring, when we succeeded in stopping the spread of the virus, he said at a press conference on Wednesday.
Michael Boolsen, police chief and chairman of the Epidemics Commission says that evidence suggests that the celebration did contribute to the spread of the virus, but he understands how important the celebration is to the people of the Faroe Islands.
– It’s as important to the Faroe Islands as Christmas and I don’t plan on cancelling Christmas this year, so I won’t say whether or not it was wrong to celebrate ólavsøka, he tells Portal.fo.