NO ALCOHOL AFTER MIDNIGHT: Upward trend in national COVID-19 infections results in new restrictions including serving time limits in bars/restaurants

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The stoke of midnight Sunday will be a sobering chime for patrons in bars and restaurants in Longyearbyen as well as the rest of Norway, as a ban on serving alcohol after that hour will go into effect indefinitely to slow down the adverse COVID-19 related impacts resulting from the “reopening” of Norway beginning in June.

“There is a connection between alcohol consumption and how you behave,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg told Dagbladet.

The restriction is among several being immediately enacted, including opening COVID-19 test centers at border crossings, airports and ports, and requiring travellers arriving from “red” countries to wear face masks from their arrival until they reach where they will spend a mandatory ten days in quarantine.

“I think most people realize the party is now over,” Bent Høie, Norway’s health minister, said at a press conference Friday.

There were 196 new coronavirus infections in Norway for the week beginning July 27, compared with 94 the previous week.

Apparently some folks in Svalbard were hoping for an exemption from the post-midnight alcohol ban, since the archipelago is one of the few remaining places in the world with no diagnosed COVID-19 cases and “the rules” in general can be different from the mainland. But The Governor of Svalbard quickly quashed any such thoughts with its own short statement shortly after the national announce, simply declaring “this also applies to restaurants and nightclubs on Svalbard.”

Local restaurant and bar managers interviewed by Svalbardposten generally said they understood the restriction from a safety and government perspective, but it likely will have severe impacts that may affect the relatively few employees they’ve been able to retain or hire back since the pandemic erupted.

About Post Author

Mark Sabbatini

I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.
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One thought on “NO ALCOHOL AFTER MIDNIGHT: Upward trend in national COVID-19 infections results in new restrictions including serving time limits in bars/restaurants

  1. As a Floridian, I am shocked and bewildered that anyone stays up that late! But seriously, we loved visiting Svalbard a couple of years ago and treasure our memories of a gorgeous place and meeting lots of neat, interesting and savvy young students. So we do hope, by following the new rules, that the virus will stay away from you. Be safe and be careful.

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