The municipality of Oslo has decided to let Muslim women wear swimming suits that cover the whole body in public baths. A number of women have asked for permission, and authorities saw no reason to refuse. It is just a matter of hygiene, the head of the sports department, Jan Zander, told document.no.

The department consulted Public Health authorities (Folkehelsa), who saw this strictly as a hygienic matter. Its division chief Truls Frogner told document.no that the rest of the public had noe reason to take offense. He stressed that they did not consider ethical or normative questions, as this was not within their mandate.

The chief of the sports department likewise stressed that this was purely a practical matter, and should not concern the public as such.

The decision has been taken on an administrative level, and was not considered by the politicians in city government.

If left to stand, permission for full body swimsuits would be likely to set an example for other public baths.