Norwegian Minister of Culture joins celebrations by dancing as covid restrictions are lifted
The Norwegian Minister of Culture was seen dancing the night away at a nightclub in Oslo as he joined in the celebrations after the country lifted all lockdown restrictions after 561 days.
Video footage shows Abid Raja singing and dancing with a friend and other revelers at the capital’s Kulturhuset nightclub on Saturday night.
It comes after the Norwegian government abruptly announced on Friday that it would lift the latest social distancing requirements on Saturday at 4 p.m., meaning nightclubs could open and restaurants and bars could fill to capacity. .
The end of lockdown restrictions sparked raucous celebrations, with mass brawls and revelers passing out in line-ups at nightclubs.
Mr Raja was among those seen celebrating a return to a sense of normalcy in the nightclub, as he was filmed making a few moves as he danced with revelers in footage obtained by Norwegian TV channel NRK.
The Norwegian Culture Minister was seen dancing the night away at a nightclub in Oslo as he joined in the celebrations after the country lifted all lockdown restrictions after 561 days
Video footage shows Abid Raja singing and dancing with a friend and other revelers at the capital’s Kulturhuset nightclub on Saturday night
Mr Raja was among those seen celebrating a return to a sense of normalcy at the nightclub, as he was filmed making a few moves as he danced with revelers
Many revelers were seen trying to take selfies with the Culture Minister as they all danced together.
On the way to the nightclub, Mr Raja told NRK: âIt’s absolutely fantastic. Now all of Norway has been waiting for this for 18 months.
âWe are ready to dance and reclaim culture and everyday life. I encourage everyone to go to the theater, movies, concerts and nightlife and use the offers we have. ‘
Announcing the easing of restrictions, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said: âIt has been 561 days since we introduced the toughest measures in Norway in peacetime.
âNow the time has come to get back to normal everyday life. “
Many revelers were seen trying to take selfies with the Culture Minister as they all danced together
Mr Raja was seen dancing and singing at Oslo nightclub on Saturday night after the restrictions were lifted
Unexpected PM unlock kicked off alcohol celebrations the following afternoon which lasted late Saturday night, with an impromptu rave in Stavanger, a mass brawl in TÃ¸nsberg and no less than 50 brawls reported to the police in Oslo.
Neither vaccination status nor a negative test result was required for any location, resulting in queues outside nightclubs and restaurants filled with dinner reservations as people returned en masse to their favorite hangouts.
The lines for clubs in Trondheim were so long that several people passed out while waiting to enter.
City police reported a generally good-natured atmosphere, with revelers singing the national anthem in the streets.
In TÃ¸nsberg, police were called after a group of around ten young men started to get rid of a nightclub near the pier. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured and the police arrested a 20-year-old man.
In TÃ¸nsberg, police were called after a group of around ten young men (pictured) started to get rid of a nightclub near the pier. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured and police arrested a 20-year-old man
Fireworks at a street party in Stavanger on Saturday evening. Thousands of people across the country have come 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 days
People take to the streets to celebrate the end of COVID-19 restrictions in Oslo on Saturday. Oslo Police have received as many as 190 reports of unrest, slightly less than they might expect on New Year’s Eve.
The chaos in the streets provoked an angry reaction from some, including the manager of the nightclub Johan Hoeeg Haanes in Oslo, who said the prime minister had given more warnings.
“This is exactly what I predicted would happen,” he told VG newspaper. âIt was a potentially life-threatening situation in the city because they (the government) didn’t give us at least a few days’ notice. It was a dangerous situation, as police said all places were crowded.
However, others were grateful to resume their activities despite the difficulties faced by the staff.
âIt was a bit of an evening, but I’m very happy we were able to open. We are very satisfied with the evening in general, âsaid Adrian Sneen, Managing Director of Heidi’s Bier Bar in Oslo.
âIt was a bit abrupt – more than a bit – but it went well. It’s just a matter of adaptation and we expected all of Norway to be out! ‘
Ms Solberg responded to criticism of the sudden decision to reopen the company, saying Norwegian health experts backed the measure.
âWe will not have strict measures (coronavirus) unless they are professionally justified. People must be allowed to live as they wish, âshe said on Saturday evening.
Norway is the second country in the Nordic region to lift COVID-19 restrictions after Denmark on September 10.
More than 76% of the Norwegian population has received a dose of the vaccine, and nearly 70% have received both vaccines, according to official figures.
Prime Minister Solberg said: âEven though daily life has now returned to normal for most people, the pandemic is not over. People will always get sick, so it is important that everyone gets vaccinated.
She warned, however, that those who contract COVID-19 must still self-isolate to avoid spreading the virus.
Travel restrictions will also be relaxed and the government will no longer advise against traveling outside of Europe.
Some restrictions will still apply to people arriving from countries considered to have high infection rates, the government said.
Solberg thanked the various government agencies involved in the response as well as the general public.
âI mean: thank you very much, Norway,â she said.