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Norway introduces new COVID restrictions, bans serving alcohol in bid to curb Omicron outbreak

Norway will ban the serving of alcohol in bars and restaurants, impose stricter rules in schools and speed up vaccinations as part of new efforts to limit an expected surge of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Dec 6, 2021: Omicron spreads to 48 countries, party in Norway becomes superspreader event for coronavirus variant

Presenting the country’s fourth round of measures in two weeks, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said there was “no doubt the new variant changes the rules”.

“That’s why we need to act fast and we need to act again,” he said.

“For many, this will feel like a lockdown, if not of society then of their lives and of their livelihoods.”

Britain on Monday recorded the first publicly confirmed death globally from the swiftly spreading strain.

To speed up vaccination with booster doses, the government said the armed forces, as well as pharmacies, would assist in the inoculation campaign.

At the same time, quarantines would apply more widely, the government added.

Norway is setting record highs both in terms of new COVID-19 infections and hospitalisations, partly due to the spread of Omicron, which is expected to become the dominant variant in the coming days.

“A lack of action now could lead to large negative consequences for society, not just for health services and municipalities,” the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) said.

Dec 3, 2021: Norway on guard over new variant as dozens test positive after Christmas party

Unless effective measures were established, the nation of 5.4 million people risks having between 90,000 and 300,000 new COVID-19 cases on a daily basis from early January, the FHI added.

Sep 28, 2021: The Norwegian government abruptly announced on Friday it was going to lift the remaining social distancing requirements on Saturday at 4pm, meaning that nightclubs could open and restaurants and bars could fill to capacity. ‘It has been 561 days since we introduced the toughest measures in Norway in peacetime,’ Prime Minister Erna Solberg told a news conference. ‘Now the time has come to return to a normal daily life.’

Norway’s new restrictions could cast doubt on the central bank’s plan to raise interest rates later this week, DNB Markets said.

The crown currency weakened by 0.9 per cent during the day as news of the new measures emerged.


Published by amongthefray

News with a historical perspective. Fighting against misinformation, hate, and revisionist history.

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