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 transmission

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

  • 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.
  • If you do not have tissues available, cough/sneeze into the crook of your elbow 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.


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Good hand hygiene is important to prevent contact transmission

​Hand hygiene is an effective means to prevent disease.

  • If you are ill you should wash your hands carefully when there is a risk of contagious material on your hands (e.g. after blowing your nose), prior to touching objects in your 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.
  • If you are ill, it is also important for family members and others to be extra attentive to their hand hygiene after having been in contact with you or any objects that can contain infectious material, such as tissue paper.

The use of face masks outside of the health services

Keeping a minimum distance of one metre to others and frequent washing of hands is important to prevent transmission. A face mask can serve as a measure for infection control in situations where the risk of infection is increased or high but can never replace the standard measures (social distancing and hand hygiene).

Here you can find recommendations on the use of face masks.

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 perform 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 the 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.