Government gives up its ban on drinks

Pressure from opposition parties in Parliament all but forced Norway’s Conservatives-led government coalition to drop its nationwide ban on serving alcoholic drinks from Friday. Now local officials will be able to decide for themselves if restaurants can, for example, offer wine with dinner. Health Minister Bent Høie of the Conservatives confirmed Tuesday evening that the […]

Erna retains tough anti-infection rules

Still shaken by the post-holiday spike in Covid-19 infection in Norway, Prime Minister Erna Solberg is extending most of the “social shutdown” rules her government imposed right after New Year. There will be some easing of visitation rules at home, but Solberg still sees a pressing need for strict regulations to keep infection from spreading. […]

Government seeks curfew permission

Alarmed by the prospect of a third wave of Corona infection, the Norwegian government has proposed imposing curfews for the first time. The proposal calls for ordering Norwegians to mostly remain indoors for as long as 21 days, but Justice Minister Monica Mæland hopes it won’t be necessary. The proposal from the health ministry comes […]

Premier retains her popularity

Prime Minister Erna Solberg has been firmly guiding Norway through its worse crisis since World War II during the past year, and that’s clearly maintained her popularity among Norwegian voters. Fully 53 percent favour her over the opposition’s candidate for prime minister, and her Conservative Party remains the largest in the land. The numbers confirmed […]

Corona vaccine arrives in Norway

Prime Minister Erna Solberg could smile over news that Norway is getting much more Corona vaccine than initially planned, and it finally arrived on the holiday known as Annen juledag (Second Christmas Day). The first shipments were driven into Ullevål Hospital Saturday morning, with vaccinations set to begin on Monday. “I’m glad we’re able to […]

Stricter rules loom as infection rises

Norwegians were heading into the Christmas holidays with rising uncertainty, as state and local officials warned of more social restrictions to combat another rise in infection levels. A ban on flights from the UK, meanwhile, was extended. Few people probably need a Christmas break more than Health Minister Bent Høie and other state health authorities, who’ve […]

‘Light at the end of the Corona tunnel’

That’s how Norwegian Health Minister Bent Høie expressed reason for optimism on Friday, when announcing that the state will likely be able to offer free Corona virus vaccinations to more than a million Norwegians during the first three months of the New Year. Høie confirmed that Norway is due to receive up to 2.5 million […]

EFTA questions quarantine hotels

Debate has been swirling around Norway’s new “quarantine hotels” that opened last month, right after the country’s Corona virus containment measures were tightened. Now the European Free Trade Association’s surveillance authority (ESA) is questioning whether mandatory quarantine at the hotels complies with its rules that Norway is also obliged to follow. The EU itself is […]

Vedum emerges as premier candidate

NEWS ANALYSIS: Norwegians woke up Wednesday morning to news that the leader of the formerly small, protectionist and (some claim) populist Center Party is now in the running to be their next prime minister. Trygve Slagsvold Vedum refuses to discuss the possibility, but a new poll shows his party can now claim nearly as many […]

Høie preparing stricter Corona rules

Health Minister Bent Høie confirmed on Tuesday that the government will be rolling out even stricter Corona rules later this week, aimed at halting or least slowing down Norway’s suddenly rapid rate of infection. “Now it’s serious,” Høie said at the government’s press conference on Tuesday. The decision to issue a new Corona crackdown comes […]