Onset of Omicron Variant Prompts Booze Ban in This Country
Struggling with record hospitalizations from a delta-variant COVID-19 outbreak that is expected to worsen as the omicron strain spreads like wildfire, Norway announced intense lockdown measures, including halting the sale of alcohol in bars and restaurants.
Outside of booze, Norway will bring back limits on schools, require people to work from home, mandate face masks at indoor events, close amusement parks and expand quarantine rules to all suspected virus variants. Adults are advised to cancel sport and leisure activities and limit social interaction to ease pressure on the health system.
“It is a heavy burden that we are announcing now, for many people and many companies,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said, according to the National Post. “For many, this will be experienced as a lock down — if not of society, then of their lives and livelihoods.”
Norway had great success handling the pandemic during until a spike in cases brought on by the delta variant. With the highly contagious omicron variant beginning its spread, the country clearly felt a lockdown was necessary. The government aims to administer third vaccination doses to all over 45 by mid-January.
Last month, Ireland imposed a curfew on bars due to surging COVID-19 cases.
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