How to prevent transmission?

Washing hands
Foto: The Norwegian Directorate of Health

The coronavirus spreads by what is referred to as droplet and contact transmission. The virus is found in small droplets that become airborne from the mouth and nose of an infected person through sneezing or coughing.

The most typical route of transmission is when you inhale virus-containing droplets that float in the air or when your hands come into contact with the virus and you then touch your face.

Good habits to prevent infection

​Here's what you can do to prevent infection:

  • Avoid coughing or sneezing directly onto others.
  • Keep a distance of at least one metre to others.
  • Cough / sneeze into a paper tissue that you then dispose of. You should then wash your hands.
  • Cough / sneeze into the crook of your elbow if you do not have tissues available to avoid spreading droplets into the air.
  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and luke-warm water, especially when you have been in contact with other people.
  • You can also use an alcohol-based disinfectant if soap and water is not available
  • Find alternatives to shaking hands and hugging.


Good hand hygiene is important to prevent contact transmission

​Hand hygiene is an effective means to prevent disease.

  • Persons who are ill should wash their hands carefully when there is a risk of contagious material on their hands (e.g. after having blown their nose), prior to touching objects in their surroundings.
  • Hand washing with soap and luke-warm water is recommended, but an alcohol-based disinfectant is a good alternative that can also be used.
  • It is also important for family members and others in contact with the person who is ill to be extra attentive to their hand hygiene after having been in contact with the person who is ill or any objects that can contain infectious material, such as tissue paper.

Cleaning in households and public places

​It is not known precisely how long the virus can survive on surfaces. This will vary depending on the surface, temperature, sunlight and humidity. As the virus can be found on surfaces, washing of hands is the key measure.

The Norwegian Directorate of Health is encouraging providers of public transport to initiate extra cleaning of subway cars, buses, trams etc.

The Norwegian Directorate of Health is also encouraging extra cleaning of areas where many people frequent.

What should I do if I suspect that I am infected?

  • ​If you are ill, stay at home.
  • If you are ill and need medical attention, or need individual health advice, contact your doctor via phone or electronically
  • If you need urgent health care and your doctor / GP is not available, call the emergency out-of-hours clinic at 116 117.
  • For life-threatening illness or injury — call 113.