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Advice for organised leisure activities
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Practical advice for reducing the risk of transmission
The basic infection control advice about staying home when you are ill, reduced contact between people and good hand hygiene and cough etiquette also apply to the activities discussed in this article.
In addition, the following advice applies to the implementation of organised leisure activities:
The association / club / business should:
- Provide information to participants, parents and instructors / volunteers that sick people, even with mild symptoms, and people who are in quarantine or in isolation cannot participate.
- Provide necessary training and information about infection control measures to instructors / volunteers, participants and parents.
- Assess whether there is a need for information in several languages.
- Assess how many instructors are needed to ensure that the infection control measures are taken care of.
- Register who is present (both participants and leaders / instructors) so that contact tracing is possible if applicable.
- Establish a dialogue with participants / instructors / volunteers who belong to risk groups and who may need facilitation.
Distance and premises
- The premises must be large enough for participants to keep at least 1 metre distance from each other at all times.
- Participants in all age groups are exempt from the recommendation of a distance of 1 metre indoors and outdoors when partaking in the activity, where distance limitation hinders normal activity. When close contact between the athletes is unnecessary for the activity, it is recommended to keep a distance of 1 metre.
- For high-intensity training, singing and the use of wind instruments, a distance of 2 metres between participants is recommended.
- For children up to and including primary school age, it can be challenging to keep a distance. For activities with regular participants, it is therefore not necessary for children up to and including primary school age to keep their distance from each other, in line with the advice given in guides for childcare centres and primary schools (udir.no).
- The premises should be completely emptied before a new group uses the premises.
- During breaks and in other social contexts associated with the activity, the same recommendations apply for a distance of at least 2 metres and good hand hygiene.
- The risk of infection is lower outdoors.
- The risk of infection may be increased in rooms with poor ventilation. The use and maintenance of ventilation systems should follow normal routines and be maintained at the usual level. Where there is no mechanical ventilation, air the room through the windows before and possibly during the exercise / activity.
- Participants should be encouraged not to show up before the planned start-up time and to leave the venue at the end of the activity to avoid gatherings in too large groups.
- For adults, a group size of up to 30 people is recommended indoors and up to 40 people outdoors.
- Several groups of people can gather if they are kept separate. It is an advantage if the groups are in separate rooms. If they can at all times observe at least 2 metres distance and otherwise can follow the infection control advice, they can still be in the same room. The groups should also not have contact before or after the activity.
- It is recommended to practise or gather in regular groups.
Cleaning and good hand hygiene / cough etiquette
- Facilitate good hand hygiene. If handwashing facilities are not available, use hand sanitiser. For more information, see Hand hygiene, cough etiquette, cleaning and laundry
- Ensure good cleaning, see Cleaning for COVID-19 in sectors outside the healthcare service.
- Limit the use of common equipment that is in close contact with the face or hands. Common equipment should be cleaned between each user if possible, and it is important to ensure good hand hygiene when using common equipment.
Infection control guidelines for sports
For organised sports, the advice in the Guide to Infection Control for Sports (COVID-19) applies:
- Guide to Infection Control for Sports (COVID-19) (Norwegian Directorate of Health)
Infection control guide for music rehearsals
The Norwegian Music Council has developed an infection control guide for music exercises with input from the health authorities, which can be found on their website.
- Infection control guide - Norwegian Music Council
About the risk of infection during music rehearsals
The risk of infection may be increased by singing and the use of wind instruments due to increased droplet production and that saliva droplets may spread over longer distances. The risk of infection is also related to the fact that people like to stand or sit close to each other and that the activity mainly takes place indoors.
Leisure clubs, homework help and other open leisure activities
The general infection control guidelines also apply to these. It is important to register who is present for subsequent contact tracing. In periods of high infection burden, consider reducing the number of people per group and otherwise follow the advice above.
Stricter measures in the event of increased risk of infection and local outbreaks
Leisure activities should be considered according to the level of measures in schools and childcare centres. Maintaining leisure activities for all children and adolescents is important for well-being, physical activity, social interaction, etc. In areas with stricter measures in schools, the burden of measures for children and adolescents is high, and the effect of measures in schools can also be reduced if leisure activities are kept closed because young people need to be social and find alternative arenas. It is therefore important to strive to keep such offers open.
In situations with an increased risk of transmission, the introduction of stricter infection control measures for organised activities can be considered.
Measures can include:
- At least 1 metre distance between the participants throughout the activity. Then the risk of outbreaks is reduced, contact tracing becomes easier and fewer people have to be quarantined in the event of infection.
- Recommend outdoors activity
- Consider temporarily stopping the activity
Events can be, for example, matches, cups, concerts, theatre performances and similar, but not ordinary rehearsals but not ordinary training/ rehearsals. However, a training match would be considered an event if it attracts spectators/many parents.
Children, adolescents and adults can participate as athletes in sports or cultural events or competitions across regions / grouping (nationally), both outdoors and indoors, without the requirement to keep a distance of 1 metre. However, arrangements should be made so it is possible to keep at least one metre distance.
For supplementary infection control advice and current guidelines for the number of participants and requirements for organisers, see
Camps and activities of longer duration (for children, adolescents and adults)
By events and activities of longer duration we mean daytime activities lasting several consecutive days or that include overnight accommodation. The general advice for leisure activities described above also applies to activities of longer duration for children and adolescents.
Most activity camps / summer camps etc. will not be covered by the event decisions in the COVID-19 regulations. However, a football cup or a school band convention will be considered an event. If the camp ends with a cup or a show with spectators (for example parents or others who have not participated in the camp), the show / match / cup etc. itself will be considered an event.
Number and group size
The recommended number of participants in total is up to 300 people, and the recommended group size is up to 40 people. The recommended number limits can be adjusted. The number of people per group should be adjusted according to the type of activity, the age, development, state of health, need for supervision and how many supervisors are needed to carry out the activity.
In situations with high infection pressure, consider reducing the group size.
Fixed participants in groups
Where possible, groups should have the same participants throughout the entire activity, and mixing of groups should be avoided. This means that the groups should be separated when conducting activities that demand close proximity between the participants.
Everyone should keep their distance from others who are not in the same group. Within the group, children and adolescents do not need to keep their distance, while adults should maintain a distance where possible. Protected adults do not need to distance themselves from others in the same group, unless they know they are unvaccinated and in a risk group.
Parent/ guardian participation at camps/ activities for children and adolescents
Most adults are now vaccinated. For those who are unprotected, it is recommended to avoid staying in common areas associated with the activity beyond that necessary for delivery and collection, while keeping a 1 metre distance to other children and adults.
Handling of sick participants
There must be a plan for handling participants who become ill or who must be quarantined. This means having available facilities for isolation / quarantine and routines for returning home. Good routines must be ensured for information, both in advance of gatherings and if illness occurs or infection is detected. This means that participants must be able to be taken home when needed.
Planning and risk assessment
A risk assessment should be made prior to the activity, see tools for risk assessment and checklist for good infection control below. In municipalities with high infection burden, or if many participants come from municipalities with high infection burden, risk-reducing measures should be considered. Relevant measures are, for example, to reduce the total number of participants and / or to reduce the group size.
In municipalities with a very high transmission or ongoing outbreaks, consider whether it is justifiable to carry out the activity. The municipal health service / Municipal Medical Officer where the activity is to be carried out should be contacted for advice on planning.
Participants with special needs
For advice regarding participants with special needs, see the guide on infection control for schools.
Checklist and tools for organisers
You can download the risk assessment table or the checklist for events of longer duration for children and adolescents here (PDF or Word):