“It’s dangerous now”: Within three weeks, according to the scenarios, there could be up to 300,000 new omicron infections per day in a country of five million people. Alcoholic beverages may not be served nationwide.
Omicron’s massive fears prompted the Norwegian government to tighten the country’s coronavirus measures a week and a half before Christmas. “Now it’s serious,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said at a press conference in Oslo on Monday evening. Among other things, there is a complete nationwide pause when alcohol is served: Restaurants, bars, and hotels are not allowed to serve alcohol for four weeks.
There are also stricter rules for public events, in cultural life and organized leisure activities. Store said those who can work from home should do so. Universities and vocational schools have to switch to online teaching. The use of masks will be expanded to other locations. According to the government, all regulations go into effect on Wednesday night and initially apply for four weeks – that is, for the entire holiday period.
The tightening of measures follows warnings from the National Institute of Health (FHI) that Omikron’s condition has deteriorated significantly. The alternative will soon dominate the country and cause a wave in December with many patients and hospitalizations as well as a heavy burden on the health system and society, according to the risk assessment conducted by the authority on Monday.
According to the initial FHI scenario, it is estimated that there could be between 90,000 and 300,000 new cases of Omicron per day in just three weeks if measures do not significantly slow the epidemic. However, the agency noted that such calculations should be interpreted with caution due to significant uncertainty about the most important characteristics of the virus variant.
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