Norway to re-open alcohol stores days after Covid-19 closure

Norway to re-open alcohol stores days after Covid-19 closure
Photo: Leonora (Ellie) Enking/Flickr
Norway is to reverse the closure of stores operated by the country’s Vinmonpolet alcohol monopoly in the Oslo and Follo regions.

Vinmonopolet stores were in the two regions had been forced to close as part of a range of measures introduced on Saturday to restrict the spread of mutated forms of Covid-19.

READ ALSO: Norway imposes tough shutdown measures in Oslo after Covid variant outbreak

But health minister Bent Høie said on Sunday evening that the alcohol sellers in the ten affected municipalities could now open again.

That followed a recommendation by the Norwegian Directorate of Health that the stores should reopen.

“Our advice, after re-evaluating including in light of what happened at the weekend is that we could have a problem with people travelling further to get to a Vinmonopol if they are closed (locally),” the authority’s deputy director Espen Rostrup Nakstad said according to newspaper VG.

The CEO of Vinmonopolet, Elisabeth Hunter, backed the decision, saying it could help reduce the risk of infections.

“We take the government’s decision to re-open Vinmonopolet in the Oslo and Follo regions into account, we think it will contribute to reduced mobility and the spread of infections in society,” Hunter said to VG.

“Our societal role is responsible sale of alcoholic drink products – including effective measures against the virus,” she added.

The newspaper reported long queues and a drastic increase in customer numbers at the stores prior to the closures at noon on Saturday.

 


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