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– Now we are very relieved, says Katrine Lilleland, who runs Matros Bar in Stavanger together with her husband Stian Robberstad.
They opened the taps in December, but barely managed to hold on for a week before the government introduced a national liquor ban on 13 December.
Now, exactly one month later, the bar stop has been removed.
– Now we have to dry dust and “shine up” again, says Stian Robberstad.
Now they may have to throw themselves around to be ready to reopen as early as tomorrow.
– We have to order wine and goods, we have not dared to order so much yet. But now we must be ready to open at 16 tomorrow, says Lilleland.
The government opens the taps again
Before tonight’s press conference, both the Norwegian Directorate of Health and NIPH published theirs recommendations.
There it was suggested that the national bar stop could be removed. FHI proposed to stop drinking from 22.00 or kl. 24.00.
And at tonight’s press conference, the government reopened the taps, but with a bar stop from 23.00.
– Pouring of alcohol will be allowed until 23:00 for restaurants. Serving must take place at the tables, said Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre
The change will apply from tomorrow.
– Hailed in with table reservations
Fru Juske restaurant in Grimstad has been closed since before Christmas, but is already fully booked both tomorrow and on Saturday.
– After it was on Dagsrevyen, it has hailed in with table reservations, says owner Tommy Hushovd.
He is brilliantly pleased that they can now open.
– We are very happy that we got to pour for 23. It holds for us. We probably gambled a bit with opening already yesterday, but luckily it worked out. Everyone has been laid off and we have lost a lot of money, says Hushovd.
We also open the bar, but the nightclub does not work until 2 o’clock at night. “
Owner Tommy Hushovd is brilliantly pleased that they can now open.
In Stavanger, there is also jubilation at the Bellies restaurant.
– This was absolutely great, says Christoffer Bergøy, restaurant manager at Bellies in Stavanger.
Like many other restaurants and eateries, they have experienced a decline in reservations, but have managed to keep it going.
Now they are crossing their fingers that it will be a very good weekend.
– I think most people are ready to enjoy themselves a little, says Bergøy.
Can retrieve all laid off
In Hjørnevikbua Pub in Florø, Christmas decorations are still hanging on the walls in the room, which testifies to the sudden stop before Christmas.
– It was very nice to be told that we can finally open up again. I will celebrate it a bit tonight, says Terje Andersen, who runs Hjørnevikbua.
In recent weeks, he has laid off 16 employees. Now everyone can come back.
– We really want a full opening, but we understand that we get time-limited pouring. If there is room for that, we hope that they will open at normal opening hours.
NHO: – makes it easier to get started
– First and foremost, we are very easy to get started. It has been closed, the income has been completely gone and the help has been poor. So the fact that we can get started with the serving and that the guests can return, is incredibly important, says Kristin Krohn Devold is CEO of NHO Reiseliv
Now Devold hopes that the government will put in place a normal pouring time and a normal distance as soon as possible.
– But not today. Today we can be happy that we can stay open until 11 pm, then we will work really hard to get normal conditions back.
She is also clear that the industry will still need all the help they can get.
– Both the distance requirement and the bar stop at 11 pm limit the number of customers, so you only get a small part of the income you want, she says.
Has been heavy for the nightclubs
Norway has been the only country in Europe with a full stop to drinking, which has attracted strong criticism from the nightlife industry.
– I hope it is the last time, and that there will not be another round. There are many who have had to pull out the plug, says Robberstad in Matros Bar.
Bård Hoksrud in the Progress Party reacts to the fact that the government has spent so much time lifting the liquor ban.
– This is a lost week for the catering industry. Because they have lingered so much, it has cost a lot because they could stay open. This has led to lost jobs and that the industry has lost a lot of money.