Norway announces new corona measures: One meter of distance and alcohol-serving restrictions reintroduced

Photo: Annika Byrde / NTB

The requirement to keep a distance of one meter from others, which was phased out on Saturday, September 25, is being reintroduced.

Seventy-four days after the then Minister of Health Bent Høie (H) announced that the measure was being revoked, the Støre government is now reintroducing it.

The government confirmed the information at its corona press conference on Tuesday night.

The distance requirement has been one of the most important of the government’s corona measures throughout the pandemic.

The business community has several times been critical of the demand since it limits spectators at events, as well as capacity at bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and shops.

National alcohol-serving restrictions 

Alcohol-serving will have to stop at midnight at bars, restaurants, and nightclubs, and a requirement for table service at venues will be reintroduced.

Thus, restaurants, bars, and pubs will have to close their beer taps when the clock strikes midnight.

After being introduced in the winter and spring of 2021, the national alcohol-serving restrictions were lifted on Sunday, June 20. In Oslo, they remained in place just over a week longer.

Moving forward, venues will only be able to serve alcohol at tables, and all the guests will have to be seated for everyone.

Mandatory use of face masks in a number of places

The government is also introducing the mandatory use of face masks when it is not possible to keep at least one meter of distance from others in a number of places.

These include shops, restaurants, and public transport.

The recommendation for the use of face masks applies in workplaces where it is not possible to keep a distance from others unless physical barriers are used, such as partitions and the like.

The regulations on the use of face masks in the workplace do not apply to services where such a measure would prevent employees from performing necessary tasks in meetings with vulnerable groups, children, and young people.

Limits for indoor training for adults 

Adults over the age of 20 should not gather in groups of more than 20 people when conducting organized exercise indoors. 

Despite the recommended maximum limit, there will be no requirement for keeping a distance of one meter from others.

“We also do not give recommendations on group size for children and young people under the age of 20 when they train and participate in sports, culture, and leisure activities. They can still train together as they have done usually,” Minister of Health Ingvild Kjerkol pointed out.

For high-intensity training, the government recommends keeping a distance of two meters. Top sports can continue to function and be carried out as normal.

Otherwise, leisure activities should be carried out outdoors as far as possible, and changing rooms should be kept closed.

Private gatherings 

The government is introducing a limit of a maximum of 20 people at private gatherings in public places and in rented premises.

Memorial services, funerals, and burials will be allowed to have a maximum of 50 people – the same number allowed at public events without fixed allocated seats.

At public events with fixed seating, there can be three cohorts of 200 people with a distance of 2 meters between the cohorts.

National compensation scheme reintroduced 

The government announced that the national compensation scheme for business and industry in Norway would be reintroduced. Furthermore, the municipal support schemes will be strengthened by one billion kroner.

“Now that we are tightening the infection control measures, there is also a need for the government to stand up financially for the companies and employees who are affected,” Minister of Finance Trygve Slagsvold Vedum (SP) noted.

“With the proposals we present today, we want to give people and companies financial security, and make it easier to keep the wheels in motion in line with infection control measures.”

The national compensation scheme for business and industry will be relaunched for the months of November and December, with some adjustments. The maximum payout will be lower than before so that the scheme primarily affects smaller players.

Recommendation for increased use of home office 

The government is also introducing a national recommendation for increased use of home offices in workplaces where possible.

In the past, a regional requirement for home offices has been introduced in the Oslo region, where possible, without compromising important and essential services.

There have also been regulations in the Bergen region that require work from home when possible, without compromising important and essential services. 

More use of home offices is a mobility-limiting measure that has been introduced both nationally and locally several times before through the pandemic.

The government’s new corona regulations and recommendations will take effect on the night of Thursday, December 9, at midnight.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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1 Comment on "Norway announces new corona measures: One meter of distance and alcohol-serving restrictions reintroduced"

  1. Very good to see facemasking finally being addressed but 1 meter indoors (without facemasks) would be ludicrous. Again, the 9Mar20 South China Morning Post article reported people on the bus – a closed atmosphere – contracting COVID 3 meters away from the infected individual.

    All those on the bus wearing facemasks were not infected, although the principal effectiveness of facemasks is to prevent it getting out of people who are infected and don’t know that they are.

    Also, how are people in restaurants supposed to keep their facemasks on when eating? … have them cover the nose only? That diminishes taste.

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