Stores in the entire Oslo region announce major layoffs due to lockdown

Oslo - BjørvikaPhoto: Berit Roald / NTB
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Shops in the entire Oslo region have been closed due to the outbreak of the mutated coronavirus, and major layoffs have been announced. 

During the weekend, the Norwegian government decided that all shopping centers and most shops in the Oslo area will have to close due to the outbreak of the British coronavirus variant.

“It is a dramatic situation for many companies and employees. The government will quickly consider how we can make the situation easier, also for companies,” Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (H) told news bureau NTB.

All shops must be closed, with the exception of grocery stores, pharmacies, petrol stations, and pet food shops. 

Vinmonopolet was also closed, but then the government turned around and reopened it on Sunday.

Major layoffs

As a result of the lockdown, the store chain Nille, among others, has announced that around 300 of their employees in their 80 closed stores will be laid off.

“We can hope this is short-lived. It is very sad, even though we have a great understanding that this is happening and take our responsibility,” General Manager of Nille Kjersti Hobøl told Nettavisen.

Around 300 employees are affected, according to Hobøl. They are now working on setting up an online store, which – according to the company – could be up and running in a few days.

Kid Interiør is also laying off around 300 people in its 38 stores. Elkjøp is closing 27 stores in the same area but has only announced possible layoffs.

Efforts are being made to find an alternative job for the employees, Elkjøp stated in a press release. Around 280 of the 400 employees in question have already been employed to take care of online shopping and inventory counting, among other things.

Closed this week

Initially, the closure applies this week, until Sunday, January 31, depending on how the outbreak develops. 

A total of 25 cases of the British mutation of the coronavirus in Nordre Follo have now been detected.

The Minister of Labor said that the government’s goal is still to help healthy companies through the corona crisis, which has already led to large waves of redundancies since March last year.

“There are different ways to do this, and we are looking at different solutions. We have close contact with both the business organizations and the unions about this,” Røe Isaksen said.

Source: #Norway Today, #NorwayTodayFinance

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