Norway bans bars from selling alcohol

Norway has banned alcohol sales in bars and restaurants for a month in a bid to slow the spread of the Omicron variant.

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store announced that the new curbs will come into effect from midnight tonight and last for at least four weeks.

Hospitality venues will be permitted to remain open, but they can only sell soft drinks.

Norwegians have also been told to work from home where possible, while mask mandates have been extended.

“For many this will feel like a lockdown,” said the Prime Minister, but he added that the curbs are necessary to stop hospitals from being overwhelmed.

“The Omicron variant will already in December cause a wave with many sick, many hospitalisations, [leading to a] significant burden on the health care system and society through, among other things, widespread sickness absence,” the Norwegian Institute of Public Health said.