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Advice for organised leisure activities

Published Updated

Here you will find advice and guidance on organised leisure activities, such as music rehearsals, cultural activities, scouts, leisure clubs, homework help, etc. The advice must be adapted to local conditions, and the association / organiser who is responsible for arranging for the infection control recommendations to be followed.

Here you will find advice and guidance on organised leisure activities, such as music rehearsals, cultural activities, scouts, leisure clubs, homework help, etc. The advice must be adapted to local conditions, and the association / organiser who is responsible for arranging for the infection control recommendations to be followed.


The Government has introduced stricter national infection control measures, see government.no for the current recommendations and regulation changes. The measures will last as long as they are needed, and the situation will be continuously assessed.

The municipalities can introduce stricter measures locally, based on the infection situation. Check the website of your municipality for information about local measures. 

Infection control guidelines for sports

For organised sports, the advice in the Guide to Infection Control for Sports (COVID-19) applies:

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.

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.

Practical advice for reducing the risk of transmission

At present, the national recommendation is that children and young people under the age of 20 can exercise and participate in leisure activities as normal, both indoors and outdoors. For adults, the recommendation is not to engage in organised activity indoors.

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:

General

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 on implemented 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.
  • For children and young people under the age of 20, a distance of at least 1 metre should be sought between the participants within the group, unless this hinders the normal exercise of the activity. For children up to and including primary school age, it can be challenging to keep a distance between the children throughout the activity. For activities that involve 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).
  • Parents should avoid staying in common areas associated with leisure activities beyond that necessary for delivery and collection. Parents should also keep at least 1 metre away from other children and adults if it is necessary for them to be present.
  • The premises should be completely emptied before a new group uses the premises. Contact points should be cleaned before the next group arrives.
  • During breaks and in other social contexts associated with the activity, the same recommendations apply for a distance of at least 1 metre and good hand hygiene.
  • The risk of infection is lower outdoors.
  • The risk of infection may be increased in rooms with poor ventilation. 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, for example 30 consecutive minutes before taking a break with ventilation indoors.
  • 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.
  • A group size of up to 20 people is recommended. Several groups with a maximum of 20 people can gather if the groups 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.
  • With increased local transmission, we recommend reducing the group size. if you divide into smaller groups, the risk of outbreaks is reduced, contact tracing becomes easier and fewer people have to be quarantined in the event of infection.

Cleaning and good hand hygiene / cough etiquette

  • Encourage and facilitate the maintenance of good hand hygiene. Where handwashing facilities are not available, hand sanitiser should be readily available. For more information, see Hand hygiene, cough etiquette, cleaning and laundry
  • Ensure good cleaning, especially of surfaces and objects that are touched by many. For in-depth information on 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.

Participation in several different activities

Some participants take part in several different organised leisure activities in parallel and participate in several groups per week. To limit the number of close contacts, consider limiting the number of different activities per week. For the same reason, switching between different groups within the same leisure activity should also be limited.

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 and strict measures in society, reduce the number of people per group and otherwise follow the advice above.

Maintaining leisure activities for all children and adolescents is important for well-being and facilitates play, physical activity and social interaction, etc. In areas with a red level in schools over time, adolescents experience both reduced contact at school and at the same time closure of important activities and meeting places in their free time. When there is a need for a red level of measures over time, the burden of measures for this group of young people is high, and the effect of the measures can also be reduced because young people need to be social and find alternative arenas. It is therefore important to strive to keep these activities open.

Events

Events can be, for example, concerts, theatre performances and similar, but not ordinary rehearsals. For supplementary infection control advice and current guidelines for the number of participants and requirements for organisers, see

For some groups, there are exceptions for distance requirements for events. This is described in § 13 of the COVID-19 regulations.

Activities of longer duration for children and adolescents

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

Group size

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. In situations with high infection burden, 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 a certain proximity between the participants, for example, sleeping, eating etc. 

Parent/ guardian participation

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

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):

History

23.02.2021: Minor adjustments to the text

03.02.2021: New article in English

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