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COVID-19: Norway bans alcohol in bars and restaurants

COVID-19: Norway bans alcohol in bars and restaurants

No alcohol in bars or restaurants, vaccinations speed up, teleworking popularized… Norway unveiled a new set of health measures to tackle COVID on Monday after publishing worrying forecasts.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) has warned that without any measures – including those already in place – this Scandinavian country of 5.4 million people could record in three weeks between 90,000 and 300,000 new cases of COVID per day and 50 to 200 hospital admissions per day. the morning.

The high hypothesis of this range is more or less consistent with the number of people who have officially contracted the virus in Norway since the beginning of the epidemic, which reached 317,870 on Monday, of whom 1,136 have died from it.

“Now it’s serious,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said at a brief press conference.

He stressed that the continued spread of the delta variant and the emergence of a new variant of Omicron, considered more contagious, could lead to “complete congestion in the health system.”

Less than a week after reinforcing health measures, the government has consequently tightened the noose again.

The serving of alcoholic beverages in bars and restaurants will be prohibited, although until now it was possible to do so until midnight.

This should mean the end of the traditional pre-Christmas parties organized by employers. One of these “goalboards” became the focus of the Omicron variant at the end of November in Oslo.

Like other measures, this ban will go into effect overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday and will last four weeks until further notice.

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Teleworking will be mandatory when possible, the obligation to wear an extended mask and access to public swimming pools and gyms restricted to certain population groups. It is also recommended to cancel sports gatherings.

Vaccination will also be accelerated by reducing the interval between the second and third injections to 4.5 months for those over 45 and health workers. A reminder should have been given to all people in these categories by mid-January.

Norway sees records of contamination and hospitalizations for several days.

As of Monday, 958 cases of the Omicron variant had been detected in the country, including 472 in Oslo, according to the FHI.