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Infection control advice for religious festivals

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The health authorities want everyone to have safe religious celebrations by following national advice and recommendations. Here is the most important infection control advice.

The health authorities want everyone to have safe religious celebrations by following national advice and recommendations. Here is the most important infection control advice.


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The infection situation in Norway varies between regions. Many municipalities therefore have stricter advice and rules than the national measures. Check the rules that apply in your municipality

General advice

Social gatherings increase the risk of transmission, and everyone must limit how many people they are with. It is safer to meet outdoors than indoors.

The general infection control advice that applies in all situations:

  • Sick people shall stay at home
  • Contact reduction measures - keep a distance of 1 metre to others than those you live close to (family members or similar close contacts). Avoid physical contact, including handshakes and hugs, and limit the number of social contacts.
  • Good hand hygiene and cough etiquette and thorough cleaning.

Protected people (those who are vaccinated or have had COVID-19) must follow the same advice as others in the community. At home or in their car, those who are protected do not have to keep their distance from others, with one exception; they must still keep their distance from people who are not protected and who are in risk groups.

See also:

Gatherings at home

For recommendations on the number of guests you can have at home, see Events, gatherings and activities. There can be no more people than everyone can keep 1 metre apart. For private gatherings in the home, protected people are not counted in the numbers and can attend in addition.

Infection control advice for gatherings at home:

  • Do not visit or have guests if you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Be tested as soon as possible if you suspect you may be infected with COVID-19.

  • Quarantined people may not visit or have guests. It is important to follow the rules that apply to quarantine to avoid transmission.

  • Make sure that everyone who does not live together keep 1 metre apart (separate advice for protected, see above).

  • It is better to gather outdoors than indoors, because the transmission risk is lower outdoors.

  • Everyone should wash their hands well or use hand disinfectants regularly.

Private events

If you rent or borrow premises for the gathering, or gather outside in a public place, different rules apply than when gathering at home. For rules on the number of participants in private events / private gatherings (indoors and outdoors), see Events, gatherings and activities 

One or more people must be responsible for infection control at the gathering and:

  • Inform that sick people must stay at home.

  • Arrange for all guests who do not live together to stay 1 metre distance at all times.

  • Have a list with the names and telephone numbers of everyone who is present so that they can help the municipality with contact tracing if an outbreak occurs.

  • Ensure thorough cleaning and the availability of hand washing facilities or hand disinfectants.

Gatherings in churches, mosques, temples, synagogues, prayer houses or other religious venues

Gatherings at religious meeting venues are considered an event and everyone must therefore follow the infection control advice for events. National guidelines for events and private gatherings can be found here:

It is recommended to limit the number of participants in religious gatherings, and to limit the total number of religious gatherings in order to reduce the risk of transmission.

The transmission risk increases if many participants gather at various events over several days.

The number of people who can be present at such events depends on whether you are outside or inside and if you have fixed, designated places. All participants must keep at least 1 metre away at all times, including when they arrive and leave the event. Employees and organisers are not included in this number.

  • Sick people should not participate, even with mild symptoms.

  • The organiser must not allow more people present than everyone can keep 1 metre distance during the entire ceremony.

  • Organisers must ensure that there is no crowding outside the meeting place before and after the event. If necessary, allocate people (corona hosts) to help with the event.

  • Ensure good cleaning, and place hand disinfectant at the entrance and near other common points of contact, such as door handles and light switches.

  • Ensure thorough cleaning, especially for frequently touched contact points and toilets.

  • Air the room well before the event, and use the ventilation system as normal.

  • The organiser must register who is present (name and telephone number), in order to be able to help with contact tracing, if necessary.

Travel

Domestic travel can be completed. Those who are not protected should be extra careful, and plan the trip in a way where you come into contact with as few people as possible and thus reduce transmission. This especially applies to people traveling from an area with higher infection rates. Those who are protected are those who have been fully vaccinated, those who have received the 1st vaccine dose (after 3-15 weeks) and people who have undergone COVID-19 infection during the last 6 months.

Travel abroad is not recommended. If you must travel, you will most likely have to stay in a quarantine hotel when you return to Norway, see:

Advice about coronavirus and vaccination

More about coronavirus and vaccination:

History

16.06.2021: New section on general advice. Shortened text on local regulations. Added information about those who are protected.