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Advice to retail, restaurants, travel industry, taxi, police, tradespeople, etc.
January 4, 2021: The Norwegian Government has introduced stricter national infection control measures for the next two weeks until January 19: Introduction of further national infection prevention measures (government.no).
General infection control advice that applies in all situations:
- People who are sick shall stay at home
- Make sure that people can maintain a metre distance
- Good hand hygiene, cough etiquette and thorough cleaning
Every company should follow the general advice about how to prevent transmission in the workplace:
In areas with high transmission, municipalities can introduce local measures, in addition to the specific advice described in this article. Check your local municipality's website for information about local measures.
Retail and merchandise
From 4 January: All shopping centres and shops should introduce number restrictions so that it is possible to keep your distance and have entry control. Over the next few days, the Government will consider whether number restrictions and entry control should be added to the regulations.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is not transmitted directly from food or water, so there is no need for restrictions on the supply of goods in grocery shops.
Advice for retailers:
- Ensure that all employees and customers can follow the general infection control advice at any time
- Review cleaning routines
- Consider using plexiglass to protect employees and customers
- We do not recommend the general use of face masks or gloves. In areas with increased transmission, the municipality can introduce a recommendation or order to use face masks in shops where you cannot keep 1 metre distance.
More detailed advice can be found at the Directorate of Health:
- Advice on all retail trade, including grocery shops (in Norwegian).
Restaurants where food is served can stay open if the necessary measures are in place to ensure safe operation according to infection control advice. The same applies to restaurants that do not sell food if they have table service. A national ban on alcohol serving in bars, restaurants and events has been introduced from 04.01.21.
Safe operation according to infection control advice means:
- that the business must ensure that visitors and personnel can keep at least 1 metre distance to people from another household
- that it has developed routines for good hygiene and thorough cleaning, and that these routines are complied with.
If the restaurant is licensed to serve alcohol, this shall only be served at the table and there shall be seating for all guests. Licensed restaurants must register contact information for those guests who give consent. See which rules apply at the Norwegian Directorate of Health (hdir.no).
In areas with increased transmission, the municipality may introduce local recommendations or orders as part of the measures to reduce the risk of transmission. For example, this may include limiting the number of people who can be gathered in groups at a restaurant, use of face masks, restrictions on alcohol serving and reduced opening hours.
Advice for restaurants:
- The number of people who can be present at the same time must be adapted to the size of the premises. Guests must be able to keep a distance of at least 1 metre.
- Avoid crowding at the entrance, cloakroom, in the toilets, at the table, the bar and otherwise in the room.
- Facilities for hand hygiene must be easily accessible
- Review the cleaning routines
If the restaurant has a buffet restaurant, these tips also apply:
- Arrange for a distance of 1 metre between guests, for example with floor markings or other measures
- Divide the guests into groups that are served at different times
- Have hand disinfection available both before and after the buffet
- Replace serving utensils regularly
- Frequent contact points should be cleaned / disinfected regularly
- Hospitals and nursing homes should not have buffet service
For events at a restaurant, the requirements for events given in the COVID-19 regulations apply:
See also (in Norwegian):
- Kan man spre koronasmitte ved profesjonell matlaging? (Norwegian Food Safety Authority)
- Til kantiner, serveringssteder og matbutikker om koronavirus (Norwegian Food Safety Authority)
- Trygg mat (Norwegian Food Safety Authority)
- Grunnleggende hygiene for serveringssteder (pdf) (Norwegian Food Safety Authority)
Hotels, campsites, holiday centres and rental cabins
Hotels, campsites, holiday centres, rental cabins etc., can stay open as long as the necessary infection control measures are followed to ensure safe operation.
- Ensure that it is possible to keep the necessary physical distance from each other in all areas; at the entrance, reception, in the toilets/ sanitation facilities, kiosks, common rooms and communal kitchens.
- Sanitation facilities on campsites and similar places should be open.
- Review the cleaning routines.
- Restaurants and cafes at hotels, campsites and holiday centres should follow the requirements for locations that serve food and drink described above.
- Fitness rooms at hotels and similar places should follow the advice for fitness centres.
- Spas and hotel pools should follow the advice for swimming pools and bathing facilities
- One-to-one treatment in spas and hotels should follow the requirements for Operations in companies with one-to-one contact such as hairdressers, beauty salons, etc.(in Norwegian)
- Events, gatherings and activities have their own requirements.
The tourism industry has issued branch standards:
- Norwegian Hospitality Association:Branch standards and guidelines for infection control(in Norwegian)
- Virke: Infection control guidelines for tourism(in Norwegian)
Alpine Ski Resorts
Alpine Ski Resorts Association has prepared an infection control guide for the winter season 2020-2021, with input from the NIPH. The guide (in Norwegian) is based on the NIPH's guide template where the basic infection control measures are discussed.
The following advice applies to the operation / use of ski resorts:
- People with newly arisen respiratory tract symptoms, or who are in quarantine or isolation, shall not visit the resort or affiliated establishments.
- Everyone at the resort should keep at least 1 metre away from other people in all situations.
- In the lift queue, guests are asked to keep at least 1 metre away from people who are not their close contacts. The company is responsible for facilitating this. It is recommended that «single queues» are removed. When using a chairlift, keep one free seat between people who are not close contacts. A close contact means:
- Household members (includes boy/girlfriends)
- Children who belong to the same cohort in childcare centre or primary school
- For adolescents and people who live alone, the recommendation is that they can have 2-3 friends they can be physically close to, who should be the same over time
- The ski resort should make arrangements to avoid congestion in lift areas, shops etc.
- The management of each individual alpine resort must assess the facility's capacity with regard to the number of visitors. Arrangements should be made to book in advance and pre-register lift tickets.
- Resorts that are able to should establish systems to register visitors to the resort.
- The ski resort should arrange a queuing system and advance reservation to avoid clusters of people near to ski and equipment rental.
- Rental equipment is cleaned / quarantined between each user.
- Restaurants connected to the alpine resort must comply with the requirements for responsible operation at restaurants, according to in §14a in the COVID-19 regulations.
- Ski resorts should provide good information about current infection control measures to all visitors to the resort.
Activities and equipment rental
Companies that offer activities can be open as long as they implement the necessary infection control measures to ensure safe operation.
The following advice applies:
- For rental equipment, follow the advice on Cleaning and disinfection for COVID-19 in sectors outside the healthcare service.
- Clean contact points on equipment such as bicycles, oars, climbing equipment, etc. with ordinary detergents.
- Disinfectants can be used as an alternative to washing contact points.
- For textiles used close to the face (dry suits, survival suits, etc.) you can wash hoods, collars etc., and use them immediately. Alternatively, leave the equipment unused for at least 24 hours.
Amusement parks, indoor play centres and fairgrounds
These can be open as long as they implement the necessary infection control measures to ensure safe operation.
The following advice applies:
- The park manager should have an overview of how many people can be present at the same time, based on the size of the premises, capacity of the cloakromms, toilets and other facilities.
- Tailor the necessary infection control measures to each activity. The requirements for responsible operation may mean that some activities / equipment cannot be used because it will not be possible to maintain sufficient hygiene.
- Restaurants and cafes in the parks should follow the requirements for locations that serve food and drinks described above.
- Individual events should follow the current requirements for Events, gatherings and activities.
- To avoid crowding, the management can arrange buying tickets online in advance and digital queues, in addition to limiting the number of guests per activity, (e.g., by closing every second carriage on rollercoasters and encouraging people to sit with those they usually have close contact with).
Museum can remain open as long as they implement necessary infection control measures to ensure responsible operation. For guided tours, lectures etc., the requirements for Events, gatherings and activities apply.
Advice to sectors working with people who may be infected with COVID-19 (police, customs, prison etc.)
Sectors that need to have contact with people who are ill or potentially infected should follow this advice:
- If possible, keep a good distance from people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 (at least 2 metres).
- If closer contact is necessary, use protective equipment such as face masks, eye protection and gloves if needed. This also applies if you shall visit people who are in quarantine or isolation. Contact the local municipal health service for advice about the use of protective equipment.
- Use an overall or plastic apron if there is a danger of splashing or spills from bodily fluids.
- Ensure good hand hygiene, especially after close contact. Wash hands with soap and water, or use alcohol-based disinfection if hand washing options are unavailable.
- Set aside separate enclosed areas for people infected with COVID-19.
- Other measures must be clarified in consultation with the municipal health service.
- Advice on home quarantine
- Advice for patients who are isolated at home
- Hand hygiene, cough etiquette, cleaning and laundry
- Face mask and visor use by the general public
Advice to sectors in contact with private individuals or work in private homes (taxis, tradespeople, chimney sweeps, etc.)
The following advice applies to sectors that are in close contact with private individuals:
- Remember to keep at least one metre away from customers at all times, and wash your hands or use hand disinfectant after customer visits / transport.
- Contact those you are going to transport / work with. Ask if they are healthy and if they are in quarantine or home isolation (confirmed COVID-19 disease).
- If they are sick with respiratory tract symptoms, in quarantine or home isolation; postpone the work if possible.
- If this is not possible, we recommend that you keep at least 2 metres away from the customer or use protective equipment such as face masks, eye protection and possibly gloves. You can ask the municipal health service for advice on how the work can be carried out in a safe way and about the use of protective equipment.
- For patient transport/taxis that transport people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 disease there is separate advice:
- Transport by patient transport service/taxi
For taxi firms, see also
- Airport, ship, public transport and infrastructure (Norwegian Directorate of Health) - in Norwegian only.
Advice to sectors where workers live on site (civil engineering, shipyards, ships etc.)
Advice for sectors with employees that live on site, for example, construction companies, shipyards, ships:
Water and wastewater industry
There is no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been transmitted via drinking water or for how long the virus survives in surface water.
Norwegian waterworks normally use chlorine, UV radiation or ozonation as a disinfection method. These disinfection methods are effective against most disease-causing viruses, and the World Health Organization concludes that the common disinfection methods used (chlorine and UV) are also sufficient to inactivate this virus.
It has not been reported that COVID-19 virus has been transmitted through wastewater or sewage.
- Use standard precautions and procedures that are used for other diseases that can be spread via wastewater
- In rare cases, breakages and leaks occur in the water mains and wastewater can enter drinking water pipes. It is then common practice to issue warnings to boil water, and people will be informed that the water should be boiled or not drunk.
Avoid Legionella in the system
In order to reduce the risk of infection from Legionella, measures / procedures should be implemented before the buildings are used again. Continue any routine maintenance procedures regularly, until the buildings are to be used again.