Coronavirus: Norway relaxes restrictions for holiday gatherings ahead of Christmas

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Norway said Wednesday it would relax its coronavirus restrictions slightly over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, raising the number of guests allowed to be invited to parties to 10.

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Currently, a household is allowed to invite a maximum of five guests into their home as long as people stay one meter apart from each other.

That rule will remain in place until 2021 but during the holidays, people will be allowed to make exceptions on two occasions per household, inviting up to 10 guests, the government said.

It emphasized the importance of social distancing.

“You’ll have to improvise and maybe extend the table a bit this year,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg told reporters.

Norway Prime Minister Hoyre Erna Solberg. (File photo: Reuters)
Norway Prime Minister Hoyre Erna Solberg. (File photo: Reuters)

Neither domestic nor foreign travel is advised, and most of those who do go abroad must quarantine on their return to Norway.

While the country has not imposed a new lockdown like many other European countries, strict curbs are in place until December 16.

The city of Oslo has in addition banned alcohol sales in bars and restaurants, causing many establishments to close.

The Scandinavian country has one of the lowest coronavirus infection rates in Europe. As of Wednesday, it had reported 36,591 cases and 351 deaths.

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