Foreign construction workers must show negative COVID-19 test on arrival after outbreak hit smolt facility site

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Six out of twelve new infected persons were from Poland. They worked for construction company Total Betong, which is currently building a new smolt facility for Salten Smolt, a subsidiary of Salten Aqua.

In a press release, Salten Smolt has informed Bodø municipality in Northern Norway, that an outbreak occurred when Polish workers travelled in teams to the town from their home country.

But according to the local infection control chief Kai Brynjar Hagen, the company has followed the infection control rules.

Salten Smolt CEO Børge Andreassen told local news site Bodø Nu that the company now requires workers that are travelling from abroad, to be able to present a negative covid-19 test on arrival.

“It was not done in this case. We introduced it as a consequence of the infection that arose now,” said Andreassen.

The Polish workers are being put in isolation, and close contacts are quarantined. Construction of the land-based smolt facility is continuing as normal, but with somewhat lower capacity, according to Andreassen.

Total Betong CEO Knut Helland told Bodø Nu that he felt they have been strict all along and that the testing regime has worked, but now it is becoming even stricter.

“Because of the infection, Total Betong has introduced stricter rules nationally. Everyone who works in Total Betong who comes from abroad is tested before they get on the plane. They must then provide proof that they are healthy.

Salten Smolt’s new plant has a price tag of around EUR 55 million. If everything goes to plan, the first smolt will be ready by summer 2022.