Norway | Corona crisis

Oslo prohibits serving alcohol

Stricter Corona rules come into force in Norway on Wednesday night, including a four-week ban on serving alcohol in restaurants, pubs and hotels.
Imago / ANP
Stricter Corona rules come into force in Norway on Wednesday night, including a four-week ban on serving alcohol in restaurants, pubs and hotels.

Immense Omikron concerns have prompted the Norwegian government to sharply tighten Corona measures in the country just over a week and a half before Christmas. "Now it is serious," said Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre at a press conference in Oslo on Monday evening. Among other things there is therefore a complete and nationwide stop in serving alcohol: For four weeks it will not be allowed to drink alcohol in restaurants, pubs and hotels, said Støre.

There are also stricter rules for public events, cultural life and organised leisure activities. Those who can work from home should do so, Støre said. Universities and vocational schools are to switch to online teaching. The use of masks will be extended to more places. All regulations come into force on Wednesday night, according to government sources, and will initially apply for four weeks - i.e. over the entire holiday period.

The tightening of measures follows warnings from the National Institute of Health (FHI) of a dramatically worsening omicron situation. The variant will dominate the country in a short time and cause a wave as early as December, with many people falling ill and hospitalized, as well as a significant burden on health care and society, the agency said in a risk assessment on Monday.

A preliminary FHI scenario estimated there could be between 90,000 and 300,000 new omicron cases per day in as little as three weeks if measures did not significantly slow the epidemic. The agency cautioned, however, that such calculations should be interpreted with caution because of the high degree of uncertainty surrounding key characteristics of the variant virus.
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