Chaos in Norway as street fights break out after Covid restrictions lifted

·2-min read
An ambulance takes care of the injured as Norway reopens from the coronavirus restrictions in Trondheim (AP)
An ambulance takes care of the injured as Norway reopens from the coronavirus restrictions in Trondheim (AP)

Rowdy Norwegians got into brawls outside nightclubs and bars hours after their lockdown was lifted after nearly two years, police said.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg announced on Friday that all Covid-19 restrictions will end the next day at 4pm local time.

The PM said: “It is 561 days since we introduced the toughest measures in Norway in peacetime. Now the time has come to return to a normal daily life.”

Police in Norway on Sunday reported dozens of disturbances and violent clashes including mass brawls in the Nordic country’s big cities.

Fights broke out as streets, bars, restaurants and nightclubs were filled with people celebrating the end of lockdown which lasted for more than a year.

Norwegian media reported police received an alert about a man carrying a machete on a bus in Oslo and people fainted while waiting to get into pubs in Trondheim.

“There was a significantly greater workload (Saturday) than during the summer. There were a lot of people out already in the afternoon and it continued during the night,” Oslo police spokesman Rune Hekkelstrand told the Norwegian public broadcaster NRK.

Hundreds of citizens were involved in rowdy celebrations across Norway which started on Saturday afternoon and lasted until the early hours of Sunday.

Police said unrest was reported in several places, including in the southern city of Bergen and the central city of Trondheim, but officers said the situation was the worst in Oslo.

Long lines were seen outside Oslo’s nightclubs, bars and restaurants late Saturday.

Police registered at least 50 fights and disturbances during the night.

Neither vaccination status certificates nor negative test results are required to enter such venues in Norway.

“That’s exactly what I predicted would happen,” angry nightclub manager Johan Hoeeg Haanes in Oslo told Norwegian newspaper VG.

“It was a life-threatening situation in the city because they (government) didn’t give us at least a few days advance notice. This was a dangerous situation, as police said all places were packed.”

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