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Advice to retail, taxi, police, tradespeople, civil engineering and other sectors

Published Updated

This article gives advice to sectors that may need specific measures to prevent transmission of COVID-19.

This article gives advice to sectors that may need specific measures to prevent transmission of COVID-19.

This page will be updated shortly according to changes announced in the Government's press conference 25 October 2020.

Every company should follow the general advice about how to prevent transmission in the workplace: 

Advice to retail and merchandise

There is no evidence of COVID-19 contamination from food or water, according to reports from both WHO, EFSA, BfR (Germany) and ANSES (Argentina). Therefore, there is no need for restrictions on the supply of goods in grocery shops. Businesses should intensify cleaning of frequent contact points in shops and follow general hygiene advice. The use of face masks or gloves in retail and merchandise is not recommended.

Safe service from buffets and salad bars

Important measures to prevent infection are that sick people stay away, people maintain a safe distance and perform good hand hygiene just before serving themselves from the buffet. The number of common contact points should be reduced and they should be frequently cleaned.

Licensed dining places can serve food and soft drinks as a buffet. Alcohol must be served by table service. There must be seating for all guests. The municiplaity can ban serving of alcohol according to the Infection Control Act § 4-1.

For nursing homes and hospitals, it is still recommended to avoid buffet service. 

Sick people should stay at home

People should not use the buffet if they have an acute respiratory infection, fever, or are in quarantine.

Keep your distance

It is important that guests can keep a safe distance from each other (at least 1 metre). Plan how to arrange the buffet so guests can keep their distance and avoid standing in a tight queue. Distance marking, service at different times or in small groups can prevent congestion.

There are restrictions on the number of people who can gather in one event. Read more about this at the Norwegian Directorate of Health: 

Good hand hygiene

It is important that guests wash their hands or have access to hand sanitiser before and after serving themselves from the buffet. Limit the number of common touch points, e.g. with service at the buffet, use of fixed portions / sachets or individual grip cutlery when serving themselves. Routines must be in place to ensure frequent cleaning of common touch points such as serving cutlery (e.g. tongs and spoons). These should be washed with soap and warm water. Routines for frequent cleaning of other touch points must also be in place.

Good cough etiquette

There should be information at the buffet that guests must avoid sneezing / coughing near the buffet and that if they have to cough / sneeze, they should use a paper tissue (which is thrown away afterwards), or into the crook of the elbow hook if paper tissues are not available. Hands must be washed or disinfected before using the buffet.

Remember good hand and kitchen hygiene

Before preparing food, wash hands thoroughly and follow the general kitchen hygiene advice. Do not cook for others if you have an acute respiratory infection, fever, influenza symptoms, gastroenteritis or inflamed sores on your hands.

Location and routines

Place the salad bar or buffet so that the employees can monitor the serving and ensure compliance with infection control routines.

Each organisation should carry out its own risk assessments of critical points at the entrance, around the buffet, throughout the serving period and prepare local routines based on these, for example, about movement patterns around the buffet.

See also (in Norwegian):

Advice to sectors working with people who may be infected with COVID-19 (police, customs, prison etc.)

People who are ill with COVID-19 should be in home isolation and they are considered to be contagious. People who are in home quarantine are not sick, but have been in a situation where infection may have occurred.

Sectors that need to have contact with people who are ill or potentially infected should follow this advice:

  • Keep a good distance from people who may be infected with COVID-19 (at least 1 meter).
  • Good hand hygiene with thorough hand washing is important after contact with people who are in quarantine or who are isolated at home. Use alcohol-based disinfection if hand washing options are unavailable.
  • In general, the use of protective equipment such as face masks is not recommended. If the police, prison officers or others need to visit people who are in quarantine or isolation, the use of protective equipment must be clarified in consultation with the municipal health service. The most important protective equipment is a face mask, and gloves if available.
  • If there is a danger of splashing or spills from bodily fluids, an overall or plastic apron may be needed to protect work clothes.
  • If people infected with COVID-19 are, for example, in a police station, it is recommended to set aside separate enclosed areas for this. Other measures must be clarified in consultation with the municipal health service.

See also:

Advice to sectors in contact with private individuals or work in private homes (taxis, tradespeople, chimney sweeps, etc.)

Consider your own state of health with regard to symptoms of acute respiratory infection and avoid going to work if you are ill.

Contact the people who you are going to transport / work for to check if they are in home quarantine or in home isolation.

It is not recommended to transport people who are isolated or in home quarantine or to work in their home, unless it is agreed with the municipal health service beforehand.

Otherwise, the general advice applies to keep a distance to other people (minimum 1 metre) and avoid shaking hands. Good hand hygiene with thorough hand washing is important during and after the work. Alcohol-based hand disinfection can be used if handwashing facilities are unavailable. 

For essential transport / work that cannot be postponed, agree transport / work and necessary precautions in consultation with the municipal health service.

Advice to sectors where workers live on site (civil engineering, shipyards, ships etc.)

Workplaces where employees live for periods in barracks or similar accommodation in close proximity to each other will be particularly vulnerable to transmission. Therefore, it is especially important to intensify hygiene measures and limit contact between employees in these workplaces.

People with respiratory tract symptoms must not go to work or stay in common living areas. Most people with mild respiratory symptoms are not tested for COVID-19, but should avoid contact with colleagues until their symptoms are gone.

People who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 should be in home isolation. If they cannot travel home, a separate area must be set aside for this purpose. There should be a separate bathroom / toilet available. Food should be served in the room. Otherwise, follow the general advice on home isolation. Afterwards, the rooms, toilets and other areas where people in home isolation have been should be cleaned with ordinary cleaning products. The District Medical Officer is responsible for following up COVID-19 cases and for contact tracing according to current guidelines.

People identified as close contacts should be in home quarantine. If they cannot go home, a separate area must be set aside for this purpose. People in quarantine should not stay in common living areas with others. They need to be extra alert for any respiratory symptoms that may develop.

Consider reducing the number of employees working at the same time, in order to reduce to contact between employees and to reduce the risk of transmission at work.

If there is a shared canteen or dining hall, limit the number of people eating at the same time, to reduce contact between employees.

Limit the number of people staying in common living areas.

Where possible, try to have different teams of workers who are not in contact with each other, and avoid mixing different teams. In this way, infection in one team will not have consequences for the other team.

Advice to sectors in the water and wastewater industry

There is no evidence that COVID-19 viruses have 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.
  • Standard precautions and procedures used for other diseases that can be spread via wastewater are sufficient.
  • It is important to maintain good hand hygiene.
  • 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.

Advice to producers of fruit and vegetables

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority has issued guidance for producers of fruit, berries, vegetables and potatoes.


17.07.2020: Added paragraph about alcohol service . Added sentence about avoiding buffet service in nursing homes and hospitals. Specified hand hygiene just before using the bufffet.

15.07.2020: Added section about safe service from buffets and salad bars

06.07.2020: Removed a paragraph about legionella after closure. Added section about fruit and vegetable production.

24.06.2020: Corrected link to Directorate of Health. Changed advice about avoiding contact with colleagues until a day after symptoms are gone to avoiding contact until symptoms are gone.


Added link to Norwegian Directorate of Health in paragraph about taxis, as per Norwegian version


Added information about Legionella, as per Norwegian version 


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