(Bloomberg) -- Norway is scaling back some of its infection restrictions as it moves into a new phase of the pandemic.

The omicron variant has pushed infection rates to records, and the country now needs to ready itself to tolerate living with the virus, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store told reporters on Thursday. It isn’t possible to stop an omicron-driven wave, but the likelihood of hospitalization is lower and vaccination provides good protection against serious sickness, he said.

Restaurants and bars will be able to serve alcohol again before 11 p.m., while high schools and colleges can allow more interaction between students. Face masks will still be required in shops and shopping centers, eateries and on public transport where social distancing isn’t possible.

One of the most resilient nations last year in the Bloomberg Covid Resilience Ranking, Norway had one of the steepest declines last month after returning to a semi-lockdown to rein in resurgent virus.

Health authorities have also been asked to consider concrete proposals on how proof of vaccination or previous infection can be used at events and places where food and alcohol are served. The government is in favor of differentiating between the vaccinated and those who haven’t received a dose, it said.

Read More: Europe Slowly Starts to Consider Treating Covid Like the Flu


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