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

Aker Brygge Norway
Read about new Covid-19 rules, power outages and how much the electricity support scheme is likely to cost the government. Pictured is Aker Brygge, Oslo. Photo by Ranurte on Unsplash
Find out what’s going on in Norway on Friday with The Local’s short roundup of important news.

New Covid rules take effect

Several new Covid rules come into effect today. Firstly, the national ban on serving alcohol in bars, restaurants and other licensed venues has been lifted.

However, there will be restricted hours on when venues can serve alcohol. For example, the sale of liquor will only be allowed until 11pm, and table service is required, meaning you can’t order at the bar.

Additionally, the number of people allowed to gather at private events in public settings, for example, restaurant bookings, will be increased to 30.

In a public setting without fixed seats, up to 30 can attend. When fixed designated seating is in place, the limit will be 200.

New self-isolation rules are also being introduced for close contacts who are not a partner or share the same household as someone who tests positive for the virus. They will not be required to isolate but are being asked to test themselves on days 3 and 5 after being identified as a close contact. 

READ MORE: Norway lifts alcohol ban as Covid rules eased

Increased electricity support to cots the government billions of kroner

Finance Minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum has said that the increased support the government will provide for household electricity bills over the winter will cost them an additional 3.4 billion kroner, on top of the cost of existing support.

The government has proposed raising the proportion of the bill it covers when the spot price, the cost of raw energy, rises above 70 øre kWh from 55 percent to 80 percent.

The extra support would bring the total bill for the scheme to around 13 billion kroner.

READ ALSO: Norwegian government to increase energy bills subsidy to 80 percent

11,597 new Covid-19 cases in Norway

On Thursday, 11,597 new cases of infection were recorded in Norway over the last 24 hours. This is 4,240 cases more than the average for the previous seven days, which is 7,357.

Thursday’s figure is also 3,718 infections more than the same day a week before, 7,879.

As of yesterday, 243 people in hospitals were infected with Covid-19. Of those 243, 79 are in intensive care, and 60 are on a respirator.

Power outages in 14 municipalities 

Several thousand households have been affected by power outages in southeast Norway this morning.

The power outages were reported by network Elvia and power is back on for most of the firms’ customers.

Asker and Bærum were among the areas affected by the outages.

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