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Events, gatherings and activities

Published Updated

Organisers of culture and sporting events must follow the rules about number of participants and social distance.

Organisers of culture and sporting events must follow the rules about number of participants and social distance.


National and local infection control measures smitteverntiltak

The Government has initiated the first step of the plan for a gradual reopening of society. The new national measures will apply from 16 April 2021.

For businesses where 1 metre is regulated in the COVID-19 regulations, the requirement of 1 metre distance will still apply, e.g., to shops and hairdressers. This also means that there will still be a distance of 1 metre in guidelines and industry standards.

Municipalities can introduce stricter measures locally according to the infection situation. Check your municipality's website for information on local measures.

The Government recommends that events that gather people from different municipalities should be postponed or canceled. See The government unveils the first step of its reopening plan (government.no).

For local events or for events that cannot be postponed, these rules apply:

Table: Number restrictions at events and gatherings. 

Type of gathering / event

Number 

Examples

Private gatherings in own
home (recommendation)

Up to 5 guests in addition to those who live in the home

 

Private gatherings in a public
place or in rented or borrowed premises

Indoors: Up to 10 people

Outdoors: Up to 20 people

Birthday party, wedding, baptism, memorial, company party etc.

Children in the same cohort in childcare centre or primary school can meet with the necessary amount of adults as arrangers.

Indoor events without fixed designated seats

Up to 10 people

Up to 50 people at an indoor sports event for athletes under the age of 20 who belong to a sports team in the same municipality.

Parent meetings at school, member meetings, courses, local concerts / performances, sports events, conferences, indoor markets and trade fairs

Indoor events with fixed designated seats

Up to 100 people

Cinema, opera, concert, theatre, conference etc.

Outdoor events without fixed designated seats

Up to 200 people

Sports events, outdoor concerts, outdoor markets and trade fairs,  pop-up concerts, etc.

Outdoor events with fixed designated seats

Up to 600 people, in cohorts of up to 200 people with at least 2 meters distance between each cohort

Sports events, outdoor concerts, etc.

This article describes

  • recommendations and requirement for events,
  • how the risk of transmission at events and gatherings can be evaluated and which measures to reduce risk are appropriate.

The advice is general and should be considered together with the current regulations and the recommendations from the Directorate of Health. 

Gatherings in private homes

Everyone is recommended to reduce their total number of contacts, so that you are with fewer people in social settings, for a shorter time and not with too many different people during a week. People are encouraged to socialize outdoors. 

In private homes, gardens or cabins, there should not be more than 5 guests in addition to household members. If all the guests come from the same household, you can be more, but not so many that you cannot keep your distance.

For these gatherings:

  • Sick people should not participate, even if they have only mild symptoms.
  • There must be enough space for guests to keep a distance of 1 meter if they are not from the same household or similarly close contacts.
  • Good opportunities for hand washing or the use of hand sanitizer if necessary.

Children in kindergarten or primary school cohorts can have visits from their own cohort, so that the entire cohort can be invited home for a children's birthday, for example.

Regulated requirements

By events, the regulations refer to the following gatherings in public places or in premises and outdoor areas that are rented or borrowed, including hotels, community centres, assembly halls and conference halls:

  1. sporting events, including tournaments, cups and matches, but not organised training or training matches 
  2. cultural events, including concerts, exhibition openings, opera, ballet, theatre and cinema, but not organised training, rehearsals or exams
  3. seminars, conferences, courses, member meetings and other professional gatherings, including dining without serving of alcohol, but not meetings or gatherings that are part of ordinary work or education at school or university
  4. religious and non-religious gatherings and ceremonies, including weddings, funerals, christenings and confirmations
  5. exhibitions and temporary markets, but not flea markets to raise money for voluntary organisations
  6. private gatherings; gatherings for family, friends and acquaintances or social gatherings related to work or school, including events or ceremonies, parties and dining with serving of alcohol related to seminars, conferences, courses and other professional gatherings.

Number of participants at private gatherings (indoors and outdoors)

For private gatherings there can be up to 10 guests indoors and up to 20 participants outdoors. Private gatherings are where family, friends and acquaintances, school pupils or colleagues can gather in social events (e.g. birthday parties, baptisms, weddings, school balls or work parties) in a public place or in rented or borrowed premises. Children from the same cohort at childcare centre or primary school can meet outside the home with the necessary number of adults to supervise. 

Number of participants at other events (indoors and outdoors)

It is allowed with events in a public place for up to:

  • 10 people indoors where the audience does not sit in fixed designated seats. Up to 50 people at an indoor sports event for athletes under the age of 20 who belong to sports teams in the same municipality.
  • 100 people indoors where everyone in the audience sits in fixed designated seats.
  • 200 people outdoors where the audience does not sit in fixed, designated places.
  • 600 people outdoors where the audience sits in fixed, assigned places, divided into groups / cohorts of up to 200 people. There must be at least two meters distance between the cohorts and there must be at least one meter between the participants in each cohort.

At sporting events for people under the age of 20, everyone present, including participants,  shall be counted in the total number of people. This includes parents and guardians.

At "open events" that often take place outdoors, such as pop-up concerts, the rules for events also apply. If these events are to be carried out, the event area must be physically delimited (within a fenced area, an area surrounded by barricades etc.) Delimitation is necessary to be able to limit the number of participants and be able to register participants to have an overview of who is present.

Number of participants at events that last over time

For events that last for a longer time, cohorts of up to 200 participants can be replaced during the day. The cohorts must be changed in a way that meets infection control requirements and there must be no contact between the cohorts. Employees and organisers can be the same for multiple cohorts.

Employees and others in addition to the number of participants

The following people should not be included in the total number of people who may be present at the event:

a) employees and contractors who are responsible for the implementation of events.
b) performers carrying out cultural activities under the direction of a professional actor
c) top athletes, support staff and referees when conducting sporting events
d) players, support staff and referees when conducting league matches in elite football (football league) that the Norwegian Football Association has decided are ready to follow the association's infection control protocols prepared in collaboration with the Norwegian Directorate of Health.

Arrangement with fixed designated seats

The term "fixed, designated seats" is used to regulate the number of people who may be present at an event. This means that the audience can sit on a chair, bench or similar, or in a fixed place on the floor during the entire event. The following criteria should be present at such events:

  • The audience sits in fixed, designated, possibly numbered places with a sufficient distance (at least 1 metre).
  • The spaces should be placed to avoid face-to-face contact.
  • The audience participates as spectators and is not active in the event itself. There is limited mingling / interaction between the participants before and after the event and during possible breaks.
  • When serving food and drink, it must be carried out in a responsible manner to maintain infection control and avoid congestion.
  • The use of guards if it is necessary to ensure proper infection control management.

Exemptions from distance requirements

In venues with fixed seating, one vacant seat between fixed seats between spectators in the same row of seats will be considered a sufficient distance. People from the same household or equivalent close contacts can sit together. It is not possible for people to sit in more than half of the fixed seats, unless everyone can keep at least 1 metre distance in all directions to people in another household. In rooms where chairs or benches can be moved, a requirement of at least 1 metre distance between people applies.

Children and young people who are in the same cohort in childcare centre or primary school are exempt from the distance requirement for events. Some other groups can also be exempt from the distance requirement at an event if it is necessary for the activity to be carried out normally, see the COVID-19 regulations §13 c for which groups are exempt.

No exemptions can be made from the distance requirement for the audience or spectators at the event. The exemption only applies during the ongoing activity, and it is important that the participants relate to each other according to the current infection control advice.

Requirements of the organiser

A person or company must be appointed as the organiser with responsibility for the event meeting the requirements of the COVID-19 regulations. Those who are present must be informed about who is the organiser and who can be contacted with questions about infection control.

The organiser is responsible for:

  • having an overview of who is present, in order to assist the municipality in the event of subsequent contact tracing. If it is necessary to make a list of participants with contact details for this purpose, this should be deleted after 14 days. The organiser shall inform those present that an overview is being made.
  • implementing measures to ensure that people who are sick do not participate in the event
  • following relevant standards for infection control
  • ensuring that distance requirements, licensing decisions and infection control advice are followed throughout the event, if necessary with the use of guards.

Alcohol licensing

For events with a license to serve alcohol:

  • Serving of alcohol only takes place during table service.
  • Alcohol can only be served to those who are served food.
  • Serving of alcohol must stop at 22.00.
  • Consumption of the served alcoholic beverage must cease no later than 22.30.
  • Guests are not allowed in after 22.00.

Events that are not included in the regulations about events

Flea markets to generate income for voluntary organisations are not included in the regulations for events. However, the general requirements of at least one metre distance between people who are not in the same household and good hygiene should be maintained when flea markets are arranged.

General measures to reduce transmission risk

Planning and risk assessment

All organisers need to make a plan to ensure good infection control management. As an organiser, you must have sufficient capacity and resources for good implementation.

The organiser must carry out a risk assessment and decide whether it is justifiable to hold the event. Therefore, it is important to read the current advice for infection control. See the table for risk assessments below. 

For larger events, contact the local health authorities for questions about implementation.  The organiser should make a risk assessment and make an implementation plan before meeting with local health authorities. Together with the local healthcare service, a plan should be made for how the suspected infected people shall be handled. Assess the consequences for people who become ill or close contacts who depend on flights or public transport for travel home. For these, there may be a need for isolation / quarantine in hotels.

In the case of "open events", the organiser should, in addition to planning for the event itself, also consider the risk that the event will attract a larger number of people outside the limited area and whether this will involve a risk of transmission.

Information to employees and participants

  • Provide information in advance that people with symptoms of respiratory tract infection should not attend the event. This also applies to people who are in home isolation or quarantine. See Social distance, quarantine and isolation
  • Provide information about

Assessing the venue

Participants must be able to keep a distance of at least 1 metre throughout the entire event, so you must assess the available area within the premises you will use. As a rule of thumb, estimate 4 m2 per person. In rooms where people will sit during the event (e.g. at a table or in a hall), the space requirement may be somewhat smaller.

Singing / shouting among the audience can lead to increased droplet secretion (spit) and therefore an increased risk of infection, so take this into account when assessing the space requirement.

Ventilation

Rooms with poor ventilation and high occupancy can increase the risk of transmission, particularly when many people are gathered. A normal ventilation level is recommended, with normal maintenance of the ventilation system. Increasing the level of ventilation in an already well ventilated room can potentially increase the transmission risk. Where there is no mechanical ventilation, open the windows before and during the event.

Measures to limit contact

Avoid congestion where participants are expected to form queues or gather in groups. Examples of measures include: 

  • Clear marking (e.g. tape on the floor, marks on the ground etc.) 
  • Staggered meeting times/different meeting places, clearly marked with colour-coded signs or tape, etc.
  • Divide participants into smaller groups to reduce the number of contacts. This will aid work with subsequent contact tracing and prevents too many people being followed up with testing or quarantine.
  • Consider having guards to maintain infection control measures.

Events with congregational singing

People with COVID-19 patients throw out droplets and particles from their mouth and nose that may contain virus. The droplets have different sizes, and the number excreted varies depending on how they breathe or use their voice. The amount of droplets increases during physical activity, when coughing or sneezing and when singing or shouting. Singing among the participants at events, for example in churches and other denominations, can therefore lead to increased droplet secretion and increased risk of infection.

  • It is recommended to arrange for a distance of 2 metres between people who will sing together indoors in areas with increased transmission.
  • People from the same household can sit / stand together.

Hand hygiene and cough etiquette

Cleaning

Tools for organisers

As an aid to the organisers, a template has been developed for risk assessment of events and a checklist to ensure that infection control measures are in place. 

Download the template for risk assessment and checklist in Word or pdf: 

Events at venues serving food and drink

See the guidelines for evaluating events in restaurants and bars on the Norwegian Directorate of Health's website.

Events and activities of longer duration for children and adolescents

Vaccination and implications for planning of future events and gatherings

It is continuously assessed how the measures to prevent the spread of infection can be adapted to the development of the pandemic. It is still uncertain how the measures will change in the months ahead when larger parts of the population have been vaccinated.

History

3/25/2021: Changed according to updated national recommendations

16.04.2021: Updated according to the Government guidelines for events and gatherings from 16.04.2021

24.02.2021: New advice about licensing according to changes in regulations

23.02.2021: Specified about considering the need for guards at events

22.02.2021: Updated according to Norwegian version

03.02.2021: Moved information about organised activities for children to another article

25.01.2021: Added new, stricter measures in 25 municipalities in Eastern Norway

19.01.2021: Updated according to new guidelines for events and gatherings presented by the Government on 18.01.2021.

08.01.2021: Clarification that temporary recommendations are implemented from January 4th to January 19th

04.01.2021: Updated with new guidelines for number of people at events and private gatherings as decided by Government on 03.01.2021.  New paragraph about vaccination and implications for planning of events.

14.12.2020: Added section about congregational singing and updated text about ventilation.

23.11.2020: Updated with advice about open events, such as switching on Christmas tree lights.

16.11.2020: Corrected sentence: 600 people outdoors where the audience sits in fixed seats, divided into groups / cohorts of up to 200 people. 

13.11.2020: Updated paragraph about fixed seating.

09.11.2020: Updated article according to new, stricter measures, see specification 05.11.2020
30.10.2020: 
Text updated with information about the changes that apply from 28 October (announced at government press conference 26 October)

13.10.2020: Removed the sentence: "Alcohol cannot be served after midnight and should not be consumed after 00.30 a.m." Changed from 10 to 14 days and added second sentence:  "If it is necessary to make a list of participants with contact details for this purpose, this should be deleted after 14 days. The organiser shall inform those present that an overview is being made."

12.10.2020: Updated text with changes that come into effect today, removing "from 12th October.." 

07.10.2020: General updates to text as per Norwegian version. Updated files. 

05.10.2020: Updated files under "Checklist" and "Risk assessment"

16.09.2020 Updated files under "Checklist" and "Risk assessment"

27.08.2020 Added sentence under Events, point 1 "A training match will only be considered to be an event if it has spectators."

21.08.2020 added sentence about table service when alcohol is served

17.08.2020 Added paragraph about flea markets. 

14.08.2020 Updated advice regarding changes and specifications in the COVID-19 regulations, and new paragraph about private gatherings.

10.08.2020 Added sentence about people under the age of 20 being exempt from the distance requirements during sports events within their sporting district - under "Events for up to 200 people."

16.07.2020: Added link about safe service at buffets and salad bars

26.06.2020: added section about exemption from distance for matches and competitions. Added section about food-serving venues 

18.06.2020: Updated with more details about advice about keeping a physical distance.

15.06.2020
Information about events and summer activities for children and adolescents, plus advice about planning and risk assessment is revised and added, in addition to checklist and risk assessment for events for adults and children/adolescents under 20 years.

12.06.2020
Added that from 15th June 2020 it is allowed to have events in public places for up to 200 people, which events this applies to and which groups are exempt from the physical distance requirements in order for the event to be performed as normal. Added that it will not be opened for events for more than 500 people before 1st September at the earliest. Removed the paragraphs "Events and summer activities of longer duration for children and adolescents", "Planning" and "Organisation."

29.05.2020
Removed amusement parks from section about arrangements with over 500 people as per Norwegian version.

20.05.2020
Added information about "Events and summer activities of longer duration for children and adolescents" 

11.05.2020
Added information about planning and risk assessments.

08.05.2020
Updated as per Norwegian version. Advice about planning and risk assessments will be translated soon.

04.05.2020
Updated according to Directorate of Health's recommendations published on 30th April, and link to Infection Control for Music Practice. 

26.04.2020
Updated text with new advice from Directorate of Health about events in the summer. 

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