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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.


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

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. 

Local stricter measures

Municipalities can introduce stricter measures locally based on the transmission situation both for private gatherings and for events. See your municipality's website for information about local measures.

Private gatherings

Up to 20 people can be gathered in a private venue, but it must be arranged so that there can be at least 1 metre between guests who do not belong to the same household or are equivalent close contacts. If the venue is not large enough, the number of guest must be reduced. People who are sick should not participate, even if they only have mild symptoms. It is also important to be able to maintain good hand hygiene.

This advice applies to all private gatherings, both indoors and outdoors, that do not take place in a public venue with a responsible organiser.

Events

It is allowed to have events in public places for up to 200 people at the same time indoors.

For events that last for a longer time, cohorts with 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.

Up to 600 people can be present at the same time at outdoor events, divided into groups / cohorts of up to 200 people. There must be at least two metres of distance between the cohorts and there must be at least one metre between the participants in each cohort.

Employees or contractors who are responsible for the event are not counted in the number of participants at the event. Employees and organisers can be the same for both cohorts.

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 and infection control measures are followed throughout the event

About different events

Events include:

  1. sporting events, including tournaments, cups and matches, but not organised training or training matches. A training match will only be considered to be an event if it has spectators.
  2. cultural events, including concerts, exhibition openings, opera, ballet, theatre and cinema, but not organised training, rehearsals or exams.
  3. other events, including seminars, exhibitions, temporary markets, birthdays, weddings, funerals, religious gatherings, etc. 

A public place is defined as a place intended for public use or a place frequented by the public. In addition, the same conditions apply for events in premises and outdoor areas that are rented or borrowed, including hotels, community centres, assembly halls and conference halls. 

Events that are licensed to serve alcohol shall have table service. 

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.

Other markets must be arranged in accordance with current requirements for events in the COVID-19 regulations. For markets that last for a longer period of time, cohorts with up to 200 participants can be replaced during the day (see below). A market must be arranged in a limited area, and the rules on distance between people, requirements for registration of participants, hygiene measures, etc. apply.

Distance

Participants shall keep a distance of at least one metre between people who do not live in the same household or are in their closest circle of contacts, and the distance should be maintained during the entire event. The distance from face to face is most important. Standing back-to-back, or behind each other as in a queue, has less risk of transmission, but  distance should still be maintained. When sitting side by side, there should be a metre from shoulder to shoulder.

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.

To ensure that distance can be maintained throughout the event, consider the available area in the room. The area estimate will depend on the design of the room and whether people will sit still. 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 and therefore an increased risk of infection, so take this into account when assessing the space requirement.

Some groups may be exempt from the physical distance requirements at an event if it is necessary for the activity to be performed normally, see the COVID-19 regulations for which groups are exempt.

The exemption from the distance requirement applies only to people who are not in quarantine or isolation, see Social distance, quarantine and isolation.

Exemptions to the distance requirement cannot be made at the event for the audience or spectators. The exemption only applies during the activity and that performers should otherwise follow the general infection control advice.

Ventilation:

Rooms with poor ventilation and high occupancy can increase the risk of transmission. However, it is uncertain whether increased ventilation fan speed will reduce the risk of infection, so normal ventilation speed used daily for the building is recommended. Where there is no mechanical ventilation, open the windows before and during the event.

Events with more than 200 people indoors/ 600 people outdoors

Currently, events with more than 200 people gathered at the same time indoors are prohibited. The possibility of increasing or decreasing the number from 200 people will be assessed regularly. Up to 600 people can be present at the same time at outdoor events, divided into groups of up to 200 people.

Planning and risk assessment

For all events, implementation needs to be planned to ensure good infection control management. The organiser is responsible for ensuring that the requirements for implementation will be met and to decide whether it is justifiable to hold the event. Therefore, it is important to read the current advice for infection control.

For larger events, contact the local health authorities for questions about implementation. The organiser should have made a risk assessment and implentation plan in advance.

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: 

The following general measures to reduce the risk of infection should be in place:

  • Ensure adequate capacity and resources for good implementation
  • 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
  • Good capacity for hand hygiene, either hand washing with soap and water or alcohol-based hand disinfectant. This is especially important for toilet areas and for dining areas. See Hand hygiene, cough etiquette, face masks, cleaning and laundry
  • Information about general hygiene advice (e.g., posters)
  • Arrangements to avoid congestion where participants are expected to form queues or gather in groups. Clear marking (e.g. tape on the floor, marks on the ground etc.) can help. If several groups will be gathered, different meeting times/places should be considered, and meeting places should be clearly marked with colour-coded signs or tape, etc.
  • It is recommended to divide participants into smaller groups to reduce the number of contacts. This reduces infection risk, aids work with subsequent contact tracing and prevents too many people being followed up with testing or quarantine.
  • Increased focus on cleaning (for example, food service areas, toilets and frequent touch points). See Cleaning and disinfection for COVID-19 in sectors outside the healthcare service
  • Provide information about symptoms of illness and what participants / performers / audiences should do if they develop symptoms and where to go (e.g., posters). See When you suspect that you have COVID-19 disease
  • Major events should have a plan, in collaboration with the local healthcare service, for how suspected cases should be managed, isolated and followed up. Consider the consequences for people who become ill or close contacts who depend on flights or public transport to travel home. There may be a need for isolation / quarantine in hotels or similar.

If the event includes activities where equipment is shared, see Cleaning and disinfection for COVID-19 in sectors outside the healthcare service

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.

It can be useful to contact the local health authority/municipality for help in evaluating whether the plans are considered to be an event or not.

Events and activities of longer duration for children and adolescents

The general advice for events described above also applies to events and activities for children and young people. By events and activities of longer duration we mean daytime activities lasting several consecutive days or that include overnight accommodation. 

For certain events and activities, people under the age of 20 years may be exempt from the distance requirements where this interferes with the normal performance of the activity, in accordance with the COVID-19 regulations.

This applies to:

a) people under the age of 20 who participate in summer school, summer camps, activity camps, cultural school, school camp, end-of-term ceremonies and other school-like leisure services, as well as those responsible for the event

b) dancers, musicians and performing artists under the age of 20 during cultural events, if they usually practise or rehearse together and

c) athletes under the age of 20 who participate in sporting events or competitions that are carried out within the same sporting district boundary, or within the same region if a region is used as a geographical boundary, as well as support staff and referees.

Similarly, children / adolescents at activities that are not considered an event can be exempt from the recommendation to keep a distance of 1 metre if they socialise normally, for example a school class, training group etc.

Although events with up to 200 people are permitted, at events for children it is recommended to divide participants into smaller groups to make it easier to maintain general infection control measures, as described in Guidelines for infection control in childcare centres and schools (Directorate of Education and Training). The number of children/adolescents in a group should be adjusted according to the type of activity, age, development, need for participant supervision and how many adult supervisors are needed to conduct the activity. Generally, the size of the groups should not exceed 20 people. For activities for younger children (primary school and younger) the size of groups should be reduced even further.

Where possible, groups should have the same participants throughout the entire event, and mixing of groups should be avoided. This means that the groups should be separated when conducting activities that demand a certain proximity between the participants, for example, sleeping, eating etc. 

Participants should be encouraged not to attend the event / activity before it is scheduled to start and to leave the activity area at the end of the event / activity to avoid gatherings in oversized groups with the result that the distance recommendations are not followed. 

Guardians should avoid staying in common areas associated with the event / activity beyond that necessary for delivery and collection. Parents should also keep at least 1 metre distance to other children and adults.

Everyone should be encouraged to use alternatives to public transport to and from the activity. If shared transport is used, the infection control advice should be followed, including avoiding mixing groups.

For more information on infection control advice in connection with organised sports activities, see Sport and training.  Several of the individual cultural, sports and activity associations also have additional information related to the corona eruption on their website.

If, after a risk assessment, it is considered that the event can be carried out, it is recommended to use the proposed checklist to ensure that all the infection control advice is met.

You can download the risk assessment table or the checklist for events of longer duration for children and adolescents here (PDF or Word):

History

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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