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CHRISTMAS

WATCH: Viral Norwegian Christmas ad where Santa has a boyfriend

A Christmas advert by Posten, the Norwegian postal service, which depicts Santa in a same-sex relationship, has been branded "fantastic" and "perfect" after going viral. 

Pictured is a screenshot from Posten's Christmas advert.
The advert where Santa Claus falls in love with Harry, both pictured above, has caused a stir on social media. Picture from screenshot Youtube/ Posten.

Posten’s Christmas advert titled “When Harry met Santa” — a nod to the 1989 rom-com “When Harry met Sally…” — has caused a splash since it premiered on social media before airing on Norwegian screens this week. 

The new ad follows up on last year’s offering where Santa was angry at the postal service for taking away his “business”. 

The nearly four-minute film sees Santa and Harry build up a bond over several years. However, the pair are restricted to fleeting encounters due to Santa’s packed schedule- until he enlists Posten to ease his workload so the two can spend more time together before sharing a kiss in the final scene. 

The advert was made to mark next year’s 50th anniversary of same-sex relationships being decriminalised in the Scandinavian country.

“This year, it’s all about love – highlighting the fact that 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Norway,” Posten said in a statement to newswire Reuters.

“In addition to showing the flexibility of our services, we want to put it in a socially relevant setting,” it said.

Mats Strandberg, who is married to Johan Ehn, the actor who plays Harry, tweeted, “That’s my husband kissing Santa!”. 

Below you can watch the ad with English subtitles. 

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CHRISTMAS

Could Christmas in Norway be affected by new Covid-19 measures?

Norway’s government has in the last two days announced tightened rules relating to Covid-19 isolation and face masks. Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre sought to reassure the public over plans for the Christmas holidays.

Norway's PM Jonas Gahr Støre expects the country's residents to be able to celebrate Christmas normally but cannot rule out new Covid-19 measures before December 24th.
Norway's PM Jonas Gahr Støre expects the country's residents to be able to celebrate Christmas normally but cannot rule out new Covid-19 measures before December 24th. Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash

The government on Tuesday announced new measures relating to quarantine rules for confirmed Covid-19 cases and face mask guidelines.

The measures, which are being introduced in response to increasing infection numbers, include more stringent isolation rules, face mask recommendations and a push to vaccinate over 65s with booster jabs as soon as possible.

“On one side, we must avoid full hospitals and strain on the health system. On the other side we must live as normally as possible. We must keep finding the right balance in the measures,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said in a statement.

Tighter quarantine rules for suspected cases with the new Omicron variant were meanwhile launched on Monday. People who test positive for or are believed to be infected with the Omicron variant will need to isolate for longer than others with the virus.

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In comments during a briefing to press on Tuesday, Støre sought to reassure the public over plans to spend Christmas with loved ones.

“The measures we have introduced are settings that make it possible to celebrate a good Christmas while keeping in mind what you can do with your loved ones,” the PM said in comments reported by newspaper VG.

“We can plan to be with our families at Christmas,” he added.

Last year saw Christmas in Norway significantly impacted by restrictions on the number of people who could meet and mixing between households.

Such far-reaching restrictions are not expected in 2021. Støre did not however rule out additional measures being introduced before December 24th.

“What we have presented today is based on the knowledge we already have,” he said.

“It is the total restrictions that count. If we are in the same situation (as now) when we get to December 24th, you can celebrate Christmas normally,” Støre said, but noted the virus would be present throughout the winter.

The aim of any measures is to keep the pandemic under control throughout the winter, he added.

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