We should all maintain a greater distance to others than what we usually do. This is to avoid transmission of the virus. Those who have a confirmed coronavirus infection must be in isolation.
Those who live in the same household as someone who is infected, or has nursed someone who has fallen ill without the use of recommended infection control equipment, should be in quarantine.
Others who have been in close contact (two metres or closer for 15 minutes or more) with a person with a confirmed infection within 48 hours prior to their symptoms appearing do not need to be in quarantine. They should however be followed up for 10 days with testing and advice. Twice daily (morning and evening) you should monitor whether you develop symptoms such as fever, coughing or breathing difficulties. You should also contact the health services in order to be tested after three days or as soon as possible, followed by a second test 2–3 days after the first test.
We need to be extra attentive and follow the recommendations for infection control, for instance
those mentioned here (in Norwegian). Wash your hands, maintain a distance to others, and stay at home if you are ill.
Advice for the population in general
We should all maintain a greater distance to others than what we usually do. When we meet socially, we should not be more than 20 persons in a group and maintain a distance of at least one metre to others (face-to-face distance is most important – while standing back-to-back or in a line will represent a lower risk of transmission). It does not apply to people who live in the same household or those who are closest to you. It is up to you to define who "your closest" are,
but they should not be too many, and they should remain the same persons over time.
It is important to continue to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. This includes washing your hands prior to leaving home, as soon as you get home and prior to eating. Try to avoid touching your face.
You and those closest to you, can associate as you normally do. This includes children of divorced parents. You should refrain from shaking hands, kissing and hugging those that are not part of your own household.
If you are experiencing symptoms of a respiratory infection, you should stay at home until you are recovered and without symptoms. Members of the same household can still go outside but must be attentive to their own symptoms. This also applies to healthcare personnel.
Why should everyone who experiences symptoms of a respiratory infection stay at home until all symptoms are gone?
With more acquired knowledge about covid-19, it is increasingly clear that transmission most often occurs just when you turn ill and at the beginning of the course of the disease. There are clear indications that the risk of transmission is relatively high one to two days before the onset of symptoms.
The findings also indicate that we quickly become less contagious when the symptoms are gone. Anyone showing symptoms of a respiratory infection or a fever should therefore, as a general advice, stay home until the symptoms are gone.
Who should be in quarantine?
There are two groups that should be in quarantine:
1. After travelling abroad (travel quarantine)
If you have been abroad, you must stay in travel quarantine for 10 days from the day you returned home. Exceptions to quarantine rules apply if you arrive from areas in the Nordic region with a low level of transmission. See a map of the relevant areas (fhi.no).
Read more about travel advice and quarantine rules.
2. After close contact with a person with covid-19 (transmission quarantine) according to specific criteria
Not all close contacts now need to be in quarantine. A distinction is made between "members of the same household and equal" who should be in quarantine and "other close contacts" that do not need to be in quarantine as long as they undergo testing and pay close attention to their own symptoms. You will be notified as to what applies to you.
Infection risk is closely related to the amount and degree of physical proximity. It is also relevant whether the infected person coughs or sneezes a lot, whether people share the same small volumes of indoor air, and whether contact occurs during the most infectious period at onset and early phase of the disease.
You should be in quarantine if you:
- Live with a person with confirmed covid-19
- Are in close contact equal to a member of the household (such as a boyfriend/girlfriend, a close colleague in a shared office space, someone in the same cohort in kindergarten or levels 1st through 4th of primary school, someone you spent time with during a contagious period like a stay at a holiday property or close physical contact)
- Nursed someone who has fallen ill without the use of recommended infection control equipment
If any of the above criteria applies to you, you must stay in home quarantine for a minimum of 10 days from the day of contact.
Testing instead of quarantine (applies to "other close contacts")
Others who have been in close contact with a person with a confirmed infection within 48 hours prior to their symptoms appearing do not need to be in quarantine but must pay close attention to their own symptoms. Close contact means more than 15 minutes with a distance of less than 2 meters indoors or face-to-face outdoors, or having been in physical contact, for example a handshake without using recommended protection. You should also contact the health services in order to be tested after three days or as soon as possible, followed by a second test two-to-three days after the first test.
If you live with a person who is in isolation with a detected coronavirus infection, you must be in quarantine until the person is no longer in isolation, for at least eight days after the quarantine started.
If you live with a person who is in quarantine, you should follow the advice given to the general population. Maintain a distance of at least one metre to those you do not live with, practise good hand hygiene and stay at home if you are ill. Should a member of your household develop symptoms while in quarantine the recommendation from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health is that you also stay at home in quarantine.
If you are tested for coronavirus while in quarantine and the test comes back negative, you must still complete the quarantine period of 10 days.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) are updating
information on testing for coronavirus (in Norwegian).
See information letter from NIPH: You are a close contact, but do not need to go into quarantine ("other close contact").
Exemption from quarantine duty
Employers may give exceptions to the quarantine rules regarding people who are deemed essential for maintaining functions critical for health and safety. Such functions may include
- on-duty personnel in the healthcare services
- police, fire and rescue services
- top management of critical social functions
The exception does not apply in leisure time, only when at work or traveling to and from work with anything other than public transport. They should, as far as possible, avoid close contact with other persons.
Who should be in home isolation?
You must be in isolation if you have a confirmed coronavirus infection.
In addition, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health recommends you go into isolation if you develop a fever or symptoms of a respiratory infection while in quarantine. This applies even if you are not tested, when you are in quarantine due to having been in close contact with a person with a confirmed coronavirus infection. You are then defined as
likely being infected by covid-19 (in Norwegian).
You will be in isolation in your home, in a health institution or somewhere else if required.
Persons who have had covid-19 are predominantly likely to be protected against a recurrence of the disease, but it is not yet known for how long this protection will last.
It has therefore been decided that those who have had a confirmed (laboratory tested) covid-19 infection within the last six months are exempted from quarantine. Anyone showing symptoms of an acute respiratory infection shall – like everyone – stay at home for an additional 24 hours after being free of symptoms.
Ending the isolation
You should be completely free of symptoms in order to end the isolation. You need to be free of symptoms for 72 hours with a period of at least eight days having passed since the first symptoms appeared. For persons in hospital or who undergo immunosuppressant treatment the requirement for isolation may be longer.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health provides advice on isolation and how long you should be in isolation (in Norwegian).