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Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Monday

Pictured are powerlines running past a snow covered cabin.
Read about the government saying that it wants to increase the share of the electricity bill it will cover for households and potential changes to Covid restrictions in schools and the national bar stop in today's roundup of what's going on in Norway. Pictured are electricity lines passing by a cabin. Photo by Juho Luomala on Unsplash
Find out what’s going on in Norway on Monday with The Local’s short roundup of important news.

PM wants to lift nationwide alcohol ban

Jonas Gahr Støre, Norway’s prime minister, has said that he wants to lift the nationwide ban on restaurants and bars selling alcohol, provided the advice from health authorities say it is safe to do so.

“If the professional advice allows for it, we will, of course, abolish the ban,” he told public broadcaster NRK.

His comments come after finance minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum said that the ban should be lifted and municipalities left to make their own decision on whether to retain the restriction or not at a local level.

The government is set to update its Covid-19 rules on January 14th.

The government wants to drop red-level in high schools

Education minister Tonje Brenna said that the government intends to move high schools away from the red level, which sees partial home-schooling while making the yellow level more fit for purpose.

“The goal is to lower the measures. Schools operating at red level is a natural place to start,” Brenna told NRK.

Education state secretary Hallvard Hølleand said changing what the yellow level in schools encompasses would be one way of moving schools away from red-level.

“We want to change traffic lights in high school from red to yellow. There must be a yellow level that makes it possible for students to be present a lot, at the same time as we ensure infection control,” he told NRK.

The change in school infection control levels is likely to come before the current measures are reassessed later this week.

Government to increase electricity support to 80 percent

The government will increase the share of the electricity bill it will cover for households from 55 to 80 percent when energy prices rise above 70 øre per kilowatt-hour.

The decision will be subject to a vote in parliament, but the government’s intentions were confirmed to VG by PM Jonas Gahr Støre and finance minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum.

The 80 percent is deducted from households bills automatically, and if implemented, the 80 percent deduction will first appear on the bill for January, which will arrive in February. Last week the government came under increasing pressure to readjust its energy bills support package.

READ MORE: Norwegian government urged to improve energy support scheme for households

4,184 new Covid-19 cases in Norway

On Sunday, 4,184 new Covid-19 cases were registered in Norway, 1,277 infections more than the same day last week.

Over the last seven days, an average of 6,435 coronavirus infections have been reported. The same average a week prior was 3,568.


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