Rowdy celebrations erupt in Norway as COVID restrictions end

The Norwegian government abruptly announced Friday that most of the remaining coronavirus restrictions would be scrapped beginning Saturday and that life in the nation of 5.3 million would return to normal.

The unexpected announcement by outgoing Prime Minister Erna Solberg to drop coronavirus restrictions the next day took many Norwegians by surprise and led to chaotic scenes in the capital, Oslo, and elsewhere in the country.

“It has been 561 days since we introduced the toughest measures in Norway in peacetime,” Solberg said on Friday at a news conference. “Now the time has come to return to a normal daily life.”

Rowdy celebrations by hundreds of citizens across Norway started 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 the situation was the worst in Oslo.