Party time Norwegian style: Even Culture Minister Abid Raja joins the celebrations dancing the night away as the country’s covid restrictions are lifted
Norway’s Minister of Culture was seen dancing the night away at a nightclub in Oslo as he joined in the celebrations following the country’s lifting of all inperking restrictions after 561 dae.
Video footage shows Abid Raja singing and dancing with a friend and other party-goers at the Kulturhuset nightclub in the capital on Saturday night.
It comes after the Norwegian government abruptly announced on Friday it was going to lift the remaining social distancing requirements on Saturday at 4pm, meaning that nightclubs could open and restaurants and bars could fill to capacity.
The end of the lockdown restrictions sparked rowdy celebrations, with mass brawls and revellers passing out in nightclub queues.
Mr Raja was among those who was seen celebrating the return of a sense of normality at the nightclub, as he was filmed busting some moves as he danced with party-goers in footage obtained by Norwegian TV channel NRK.
Norway’s Minister of Culture was seen dancing the night away at a nightclub in Oslo as he joined in the celebrations following the country’s lifting of all lockdown restrictions after 561 dae
Video footage shows Abid Raja singing and dancing with a friend and other party-goers at the Kulturhuset nightclub in the capital on Saturday night
Mr Raja was among those who was seen celebrating the return of a sense of normality at the nightclub, as he was filmed busting some moves as he danced with party-goers
Many of the revellers were seen trying to take selfies with the Culture Minister as they all danced together.
On his way to the nightclub, Mr Raja told NRK: ‘This is absolutely fantastic. Now the whole of Norway has been waiting this for 18 maande.
‘We are ready to dance and take back the culture and everyday life. I encourage everyone to go to the theatre, cinema, concerts and nightlife and use the offers we have.’
Announcing the easing of restrictions, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said: ‘It has been 561 days since we introduced the toughest measures in Norway in peacetime.
‘Now the time has come to return to a normal daily life.’
Many of the revellers were seen trying to take selfies with the Culture Minister as they all danced together
Mr Raja was seen dancing and singing at the nightclub in Oslo on Saturday night after the restrictions were lifted
The PM’s unexpected unlocking kicked off boozy celebrations the following afternoon which lasted late into Saturday night, with an impromptu rave in Stavanger, a mass brawl in Tønsberg and no less than 50 fights reported to police in Oslo.
Neither vaccination status nor a negative test result was required for any venue, leading to blockbusting queues outside nightclubs and restaurants packed with dinner reservations as people returned to their favourite hangouts in droves.
Queues for the clubs in Trondheim were so long that several people fainted while waiting to get inside.
Police in the city reported a generally good-natured atmosphere, with revellers singing the national anthem in the streets.
In Tønsberg, police were called after a group of around ten young men started scrapping outside a nightclub near the pier. Fortunately nobody was seriously injured and the police arrested a 20-year-old man.
In Tønsberg, police were called after a group of around ten young men (op die foto) started scrapping outside a nightclub near the pier. Fortunately nobody was seriously injured and the police arrested a 20-year-old man
Fireworks during a street party in Stavanger on Saturday evening. Thousands of people across the country went out after the government announced an end to social distancing, meaning nightclubs could open and bars and restaurants could fill to capacity for the first time in more than 500 dae
People out on the streets to celebrate the end of the COVID-19 restrictions, in Oslo, op Saterdag. Police in Oslo received no less than 190 reports of disturbances, slightly less than they might expect to deal with on New Year’s Eve.
The chaos on the streets provoked an angry response from some, including nightclub manager Johan Hoeeg Haanes in Oslo, who said the prime minister have given more warning.
‘That’s exactly what I predicted would happen,’ he told the VG newspaper. ‘It was a life-threatening situation in the city because they (regering) didn’t give us at least a few days advance notice. This was a dangerous situation, as police said all places were packed.’
Egter, others were grateful to be getting back to business despite the challenges for staff.
‘It was a bit of an evening, but I’m very happy that we got to open. We are very happy with the evening in general,’ said general manager at Heidi’s Bier Bar in Oslo, Adrian Sneen.
‘It was a bit abrupt – more than a bit – but it went well. It’s just a matter of adapting and we expected that the whole of Norway would be out!’
Ms Solberg responded to criticism of the sudden move to reopen society by saying that Norwegian health experts had supported the measure.
‘We shall not have strict (coronavirus) measures unless they are professionally justified. People must be allowed to live as they wish,’ she said late Saturday.
Norway is the second country in Nordic region to lift COVID-19 restrictions after Denmark did so on September 10.
Meer as 76 per cent of Norway’s population have received one vaccine dose, and nearly 70 per cent have had both shots, volgens amptelike syfers.
PM Solberg said: ‘Even though everyday life is now back to normal for most people, the pandemic is not over. People will still get sick and therefore it is important that everyone gets vaccinated.’
She warned, egter, that those who do contract COVID-19 must still go into isolation to avoid spreading the virus.
Travel restrictions will also be relaxed, and the government will no longer advise against travelling outside of Europe.
Some restrictions will still apply to those arriving from countries considered to have a high rate of infections, the government said.
Solberg thanked the different government agencies involved in the response as well as the general public.
‘I want to say: Thank you very much, Noorweë,’ sy het gese.