The Norwegian government on Thursday announced a ban on night-time alcohol sales and tightened the limit on private gatherings to curb a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.
“We’re heading in the wrong direction,’’ Prime Minister Erna Solberg told parliament.
As of Friday, alcohol sales are to be banned from midnight (2300 GMT) as restaurants and bars will not be allowed to let in new guests from 10 p.m.
The current limit of 50 people for private gatherings was lowered to 20 people, starting Monday.
Residents were urged to limit their social contacts and stay at home as much as possible, including avoiding non-essential domestic travel.
Non-residents arriving from countries with high infection rates will have to present a negative test result taken at least 72 hours before entry, and must self-isolate in designated quarantine hotels for 10 days to be tested again.
This will also apply to visiting relatives without residency in Norway, Mr Solberg said.
The only exceptions are for employees commuting from neighbouring Finland and Sweden.
Municipalities or cities with very high infection rates should also consider measures such as closing training centres, swimming pools, libraries and museums, Mr Solberg said.
The measures became necessary to ensure that the health system can cope, Solberg said, noting that the number of new infections was 3,000 in the last week of October, compared to 300 in early August.
Norway, a country of 5.3 million, has recorded about 22,000 coronavirus cases and 282 virus-related deaths.
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