OSLO (Reuters) - The Norwegian government introduced stricter rules on Tuesday to limit the spread of COVID-19, including a cap on the number of visitors in private homes and shortening the hours bars and restaurants can serve alcohol.
The Nordic country has seen a surge of COVID-19 infections in recent weeks, followed by a rise in the number of hospitalisations.
"We really wished we were done with the pandemic. But the situation is now so serious that we must put in place new measures to keep control," Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere told a news conference.
"Therefore it will be a different Christmas holiday this year as well," he said.
No more than 10 visitors will be allowed in private homes, and people must keep a distance of at least one metre from anyone who is not a member of their household. The serving of alcohol must stop at midnight (2300 GMT) every day, he added.
Companies hit by the restrictions will receive compensations from the government, Finance Minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum said.
The government last week reimposed some restrictions on travellers, requiring that anyone arriving in the country must test for the coronavirus and that people wear face masks in most crowded places, but infections have still continued to rise.
(Reporting by Terje Solsvik and Nerijus Adomaitis, editing by Gwladys Fouche)