If there is no heavy, professional advice to continue the national liquor ban, the measure should be revoked this week, says Minister of Finance Trygve Slagsvold Vedum.
The municipalities must be allowed to decide for themselves whether drinking stops or limited serving times are necessary, he warns.
– If there is no heavy professional advice that advises against it, then we must relax the drinking stop this week. The norm must be to have as open a society as possible. The goal is open cranes, says Vedum (Sp) Dagbladet.
The government has been under increasing pressure about the infection control measures, including whether the decision to introduce a national liquor ban is a proportionate measure.
– New model
On Friday, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (Labor Party) announced to Aftenposten that there will be relief in the infection control measures. The package of measures that was introduced before Christmas, expires on Friday 14 January.
Vedum does not want to advance what the government will present, but says it is working on a model where the municipalities have influence over measures, including a stop to drinking.
Criticism of the ban on drinking has grown sharply in recent days. Before the weekend, the interest organization for small and medium-sized companies notified SMB Norway that it could go against mass lawsuits. The organization believes that the government has not given good enough justification for the measure being proportionate.
There have also been clear demands from the big cities that the national ban must be lifted. KS ‘metropolitan network informed Minister of Trade and Industry Jan Christian Vestre (Labor Party) on Friday that the cities themselves will decide whether it is justifiable to keep the taps open.
Criticism of the compensation scheme
Players in the nightlife and restaurant industry have also pointed out that the compensation scheme does not apply, partly because parts of the industry are seasonal.
– No schemes are ideal. But the municipal schemes are unbureaucratic and help the smaller companies best. The big machines work, but the small companies, pubs and restaurants are the ones that have the toughest time, Vedum tells Dagbladet. He promises that the compensation schemes will be continued and strengthened.
At the same time, Vedum defends that the bar was introduced nationally, also for restaurants and restaurants. He points out that the National Institute of Public Health and the Norwegian Directorate of Health were “crystal clear” that it was necessary.
– Everyone sees that stopping drinking is difficult, but in the broad team I think there is an understanding that it was necessary. But then we must not maintain it longer than necessary. The norm and the goal must be that society is open, including restaurants and bars, he says.