Norway PM allows Christmas and New Year celebrations, but 10 guests only
OSLO (NORWAY) – Norwegians can invite up to 10 guests in their homes on two separate occasions between Christmas and New Year, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on Wednesday.
European countries are grappling with what guidance to give their inhabitants on how to celebrate during the coming holidays while trying to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
“We do not wish to start the new year with rising infection numbers and new restrictions in January,” Solberg told a news conference.
A household, regardless of its size, can receive up to ten guests, on two separate occasions. Those not in the same household should keep a distance of one metre (39 inches).
“The distancing rules is valid during the whole party. From the moment you serve spiced wine until you sit down at the table. When the presents are opened. And when coffee and Christmas cakes are served,” said Solberg.
For all other times, the current rule of up to five guests is maintained until the New Year, she added but called on Norwegians to seek and limit social contact. In churches, up to 50 people can gather together.
Norway’s 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants was 128.8 as of Tuesday, the fourth-lowest in Europe behind Iceland, Ireland and Finland, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
Over the past two weeks, the number of weekly infections has declined nationwide, after they had been rising in the two weeks previously.
The biggest source of concern for authorities is Oslo and its surrounding area, where there are most cases of COVID-19.
On Nov. 6, Oslo shut theatres, cinemas, training centres and swimming pools, with bars and restaurants no longer able to serve alcohol, causing many to close altogether.
Nationwide restrictions include limiting public gatherings to 20 people and quarantining people arriving from abroad for ten days.