Norway is seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases due to the fast spreading Omicron variant. The government has taken action to strengthen regulations in order to curb the virus spread. One of the new regulations is a temporary ban on serving alcohol in pubs and restaurants in the country. Reducing alcohol availability during the pandemic is a recommended policy solution to protect people and the health system.

The fast spreading Omicron variant is causing a spike in COVID-19 cases in Norway. As a result the Norwegian government has improved regulations in the country to curb the spread of the virus.

Part of the new Omicron counter-measures is the decision that serving alcohol in bars and restaurants will be temporarily banned in the country. Other measures are that Norway will impose stricter rules in schools and that the country will speed up the vaccination campaign as part of new efforts to limit an expected surge of the Omicron variant.

As Movendi International previously reported, Norway implemented a temporary alcohol sales ban back in March, 2021 as well to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Now, the country is seeing record highs in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, partly due to the new Omicron variant. It is expected to become the dominant variant in the country in the coming days. Without effective counter-measures, the nation of 5.4 million people risked having between 90,000 and 300,000 new COVID-19 cases on a daily basis from early January 2022, according to public health experts, as ABC reports.

A lack of action now could lead to large negative consequences for society, not just for health services and municipalities,” said the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI), as per ABC News.

Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI)

Preventing alcohol harm is an effective solution to curb the pandemic

Reducing alcohol availability during COVID-19 is a recommended solution by the World Health Organization to contain the spread of the coronavirus and to prevent other negative consequences during lockdowns.

This lethal interaction between alcohol and the COVID-19 pandemic was revealed in a groundbreaking report

  1. Alcohol increases the health and societal problems arising from the pandemic. For example, alcohol weakens the immune system and makes people more susceptible to infections. And alcohol-centric social contexts have been COVID-19 super spreader events. 
  2. Alcohol increases the burden on healthcare and emergency services which are already stretched due to the COVID-19.
  3. The alcohol industry exploits the pandemic to change alcohol laws to their private benefit.


Reuters: “Norway bans serving of alcohol in bid to halt Omicron outbreak”

ABC News: “Norway introduces new COVID restrictions, bans serving alcohol in bid to curb Omicron outbreak