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Advice for sports associations and fitness centres

Published Updated

This article includes advice about sport and organised leisure activities, including fitness centres, organised swimming and school swimming.

Illustrasjon koronavirus

This article includes advice about sport and organised leisure activities, including fitness centres, organised swimming and school swimming.


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. 

The basic infection control advice about staying home when you are sick, good hand hygiene and good cough etiquette also apply to all the activities discussed in this article.

Sport clubs and associations (non-elite)

In collaboration with the Norwegian Directorate of Health, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health has prepared a guide for infection control for COVID-19 for sports teams / clubs.

Sporting events

Matches, cups and tournaments are considered to be events, but not regular training sessions. A training camp will only be considered to be an event if there are spectators. For further information about events, see Events, gatherings and summer activities.

Sports events for children and adolescents under 20 years

Children and adolescents under the age of 20 can participate in sports events with participants from the same municipality.

  • Indoors, there can be up to 50 people at sports events without fixed, designated seats, this includes participants, coaches, referees and any spectators / guardians.
  • Outdoors, there can be up to 200 people at sporting events without fixed, designated seats, including participants, coaches, referees and any spectators / guardians.

It is recommended that the number of support staff, guardians and spectators be limited as far as possible.

If children and young people train with a sports team in another municipality, they will be able to compete with this team as long as the infection situation allows it.

Children and young people under the age of 20 who engage in sports that do not involve close contact, can participate in sports events outdoors that gather participants from the same sports district or region, where the region is used as a geographical division.

Sports events for adults

Sports events for adults that gather people from different municipalities are still recommended to be postponed or cancelled. The number restrictions that apply to sports events for adults are stated in the COVID-19 regulations §13 a.

Training

For adults, the current national recommendation is not to take part in organised sports indoors. Adults can exercise outdoors if it is possible to keep at least 1 metre distance between people.

Children and adolescents under the age of 20 can carry out organised training both indoors and outdoors, unless stricter measures have been introduced locally. This group can be exempt from the distance recommendation of at least 1 metre where it is necessary for normal performance of the activity. It is recommended to avoid mixing  between the defined groups. In all situations outside the activity, for example during breaks, in the changing rooms, before and after training, it is important to keep at least 1 metre from other people.

For regular training, a group of up to 20 people is recommended. Several groups of up to 20 people can be together if the groups are kept separate, and that they can individually and collectively comply with the infection control advice.

Organised swimming and school swimming

Organised swimming refers to all activity with a responsible organiser (school or club / team, etc.) in the form of swimming lessons, swimming training, courses and competitive swimming arranged by swimming clubs. Organised swimming should follow the general advice for swimming pools and bathing facilities: 

For organised swimming, this advice also applies:

Other organised leisure activities

Advice for other organised leisure activities, such as music rehearsals, cultural activities, scouts, leisure clubs, homework help and activities for children and young people of longer duration, can be found in the article Organised leisure activities.

Fitness centres

  • Fitness centres are covered by the requirements given in the COVID-19 regulations § 15b.
  • Keep at least 1 metre between people who are training at all times, but at least 2 metres in high intensity groups sessions. In less physically demanding group sessions such as yoga and pilates, 1 metre distance is sufficient.
  • Hand hygiene should be performed before and after the session.
  • Enhanced cleaning of frequently used contact points and equipment.
  • Equipment that is touched with hands over time (e.g. weights and exercise equipment) should be cleaned according to the usual routines by each user, and by the centre at the end of the day.
  • Avoid queues at the entrance / reception, toilets, wardrobes and at the various equipment.
  • The centres should have an overview / plan of the maximum number of people who can be in the centre at the same time given current distance requirements, access to wardrobes, toilets and shower facilities.

The fitness industry has developed an industry standard for safe operation within infection control measures with input from the health authorities, which the fitness centres are expected to follow:

About the risk of transmission in fitness centres

The risk of infection in fitness centres is associated with many common touch points for those who exercise, increased respiration with corresponding droplet production, that people are close to each other, and that activity mainly takes place indoors. Fitness centres often gather people from different geographical areas.

Transmission potential in fitness classes with high physical activity is higher than with activities such as pilates and yoga.

Ventilation

In general, it is recommended to ensure good ventilation in enclosed environments and enclosed rooms. In enclosed rooms without a ventilation system, it is recommended to air the room regularly. Ventilation should follow normal routines. More information about indoor climate and advice on ventilation can be found here:

History

23.02.2021 New paragraphs about sporting events

03.02.2021 Added links to organised leisure activities

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

19.01.2021 Updated according to latest decisions by the Government

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

07.01.2021 added section about stricter measures 4-17 January 2021

26.11.2020: Minor changes to language used in the text. Added paragraph about ventilation. Advice about swimming pools and bathing facilities moved to its own article. 

12.10.2020: Shortened paragraph about events because it is described in detail in another chapter (with link).

04.09.2020: A training camp will only be considered to be an event if there are spectators.

10.08.2020: The paragraph about Events for up to 200 people is updated with the point that people under 20 years are exempt from distance requirements in sporting events within their district from 1st August 2020.

15.06.2020: Changed title from Sports and organised leisure activities" to "Sports and training". Changed paragraph title from "Events for 50 people" to "Events for up to 200 people". 

04.06.2020: Changed sentence under "events for 50 people" to Events for up to 50 people with a distance of at least 1 metre are allowed. Matches and cups are considered to be events, but ordinary training sessions are not considered to be an event. 

29.05.2020: Added "There is a distinction between adults and children/adolescents for contact-limiting measures. Child/adolescent refers to people aged up to and including 19 years" in the section about sport.

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