– I thought it was completely crazy. There is so much back and forth, says nightlife owner Paal Mangerud to TV 2 after the message from the Minister of Finance.
On Sunday, Trygve Slagsvold Vedum told Dagbladet that if there is no heavy, professional advice to continue the national liquor ban, the measure should be revoked this week.
TV 2 has tried to get a comment from Trygve Slagsvold Vedum, but is informed that he has time off with the family, and is not available on Sunday.
Mangerud, who owns Blå og Feber in Oslo, among other places, does not rejoice for that reason.
– This is of course positive for our industry. But even if you raise this bar, there are still compensation schemes that must be in place, he says.
– Must keep in mind this part of the industry as well
He believes it will not help to open the bar until 10 pm or until midnight, because bars and clubs will still struggle to get it going.
– This industry is also people who do not serve food. We have to keep in mind that part of the industry, he says.
He also fears that the bar stop will in any case be maintained in Oslo.
– In that case, we must get help. We have lived with completely closed or reduced opening hours for so long.
Clear signal from the industry
CEO of the Furset group, Gjøran Sæther owns about 30 restaurants in Oslo, including Grand Cafè and the Ekeberg restaurant.
Sæther says there are very nice signals from the government, but at the same time a clear signal from the industry.
– It is very important for us and the industry, but we also expect it. We have not received good enough reasons for this, so they have no other choice now, he says.
– When do you expect this to take effect?
– Preferably yesterday. In any case, we must have some advance notice early in the week so that we can prepare for the weekend. Then guests can book a table for the weekend.
Recently, criticism of the measures has grown. Sæther agrees with the criticism.
– We have followed all debates and do not understand how they can defend it, when almost no other country has done so. Then people start asking questions, he says and adds:
– It is so intrusive in people’s lives, and we have almost got a business ban.
Wants a stamp of security from the authorities
Restaurant owner Jørn Lie views the signals from the government positively, but believes that stopping the bar itself has not been the only challenge.
– One of the problems in December and January has been that people have been told not to gather in larger congregations and to stay at home. Lifting the liquor ban now will not make the world light blue again, he says.
He wants a clear message from the authorities that people can safely use the restaurants again.
– We depend on people daring to go out and find their way back to us.
In addition, he will have clear guidelines to adhere to when it comes to how many people can gather if the bar stop is lifted next week.
Want a corona passport
The employers’ organization Virke believes that these are positive signals from Vedum. They are clear that they believe the national liquor ban must be lifted, and that it must be possible to serve alcohol until 24, as long as the other infection control rules are complied with.
– It will not solve all the challenges in the industry, but it will contribute to the financial losses being smaller and that employees can stay in work. The alternative is bankruptcy and loss of jobs and valuable skills, says CEO, Ivar Horneland Kristensen.
He believes that both restaurants and some bars can stay open with current infection control.
– In addition, the government must put in place a solution with a corona certificate, which can be used as soon as the infection situation dictates it, Kristensen says.