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Advice for workplaces and businesses

The article provides advice about how infection control advice can be implemented in the workplace.

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The article provides advice about how infection control advice can be implemented in the workplace.


Normal operation is recommended in the general infection control advice to all businesses and sectors. Basic infection control recommendations will limit transmission of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

Planning and risk assessment

There are still requirements for infection control in accordance with regulations for environmental health, which apply to all businesses, and which indicate that the activity must be planned, operated and closed down so that infectious diseases can be prevented.

There may still be a need to facilitate working conditions so that risk groups have the necessary flexibility.

It may be relevant to contact the occupational health service and / or the municipal health service if you have questions about infection control.

Vaccination status is personal health information. The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority has assessed that the collection of information about the employees' vaccination status must be justified according to the company's needs and the collection must be proportionate and assessed against the employee's need to safeguard personal integrity.

See: 

In cases of increased transmission and where health personnel and other personnel in critical jobs are home due to COVID-19 infections, it might be necessary to ask them to come to work in order to ensure necessary operations. Personnel who come into work should be asymptomatic, or only have light symptoms.

Employees who are exempt from isolating at home due to COVID-19 infection, should keep a distance to others wherever it is possible, and should use a face mask.

Infection control advice

Employees with new-onset respiratory tract symptoms and / or malaise are not recommended to attend work. This also applies to vaccinated people.

The company should facilitate good hand hygiene for employees and visitors. Both hand washing and alcohol-based hand disinfection are good, effective methods for hand hygiene.

The company’s routines should ensure sufficiently good cleaning.

Ventilation and airing

The risk of transmission is increased in rooms with poor ventilation, especially when many people are gathered. Good ventilation is therefore an important infection control measure. For people in moderate activity it is recommended a minimum air supply of 7 litres per second per person, and a maximal air speed of 0.2 meters per second. Carbon dioxide (CO2) from a persons breath could give a good indication of the ventilation levels, and should not exceed 1000 ppm. It is recommended a CO2 level of under 800 ppm for rooms where infection risks are increased, such as rooms with continuous speaking (lectures), singing (choir practice), and high intensity training (gyms).

Working from home and flexible working hours

In some situations, home office / flexible working hours can help ensure continuity by limiting the risk of high sickness absence among employees.

Working from home should not be used in services where this prevents employees from performing necessary and statutory duties when meeting vulnerable groups, children and adolescents. It is particularly important to consider whether the service quality is equally good and available for everyone.

For some, working from home is difficult due to psychosocial / social conditions, domestic situation, etc. The employer should make it possible for people with a need to be fully or partially present at work to do so.

Risk groups

Home office or other facilitation of work can still be appropriate for individuals with an increased risk of a severe disease course of COVID-19. Such an assessment should be made individually. A medical certificate may be needed.

For up-to-date information on people who may be at higher risk for COVID-19:

Advice to sectors where employees live on site - construction companies, shipyards, ships, etc.

In places where many people live close together, it can be difficult to keep a physical distance. Workplaces where employees live in close proximity to each other over time, such as barracks or similar accommodation, can be particularly vulnerable to transmission. 

See: 

Local advice and rules

If the local infection situation so requires, local authorities may recommend or legislate local infection control measures. 

History

17.06.2022: Shortened text, removed information about time in isolation

15.02.2022: Added recommendations for employees in critical jobs who might need to come to work while infected with COVID-19.

14.02.2022: Updated according to changes in national measures 12.02.2022

03.02.2022: Updated according to the Government's decision to remove some rules and regulation, per 01.02.2022.

02.02.2022: Updated according to changes in regulations 01.02.2022

17.01.2022: Updated according to new national measures from 14.01.2022

21.12.2021: Updated text about ventilation.

16.12.2021: Added examples of businesses that are included in the regulations. Added a clarification that it is possible to serve alcohol in minibars and room service.

15.12.2021: Updated according to decisions from the government 13.12

09.12.2021: Changed the title. Adjusted the text in accordance with national measures that came into force on 9 December 2021. Added sections with advice and rules for specific sectors outside the healthcare service.

03.12.2021: Reactivated the article. The content has been shortened and updated in accordance with advice and recommendations from the government. The section on the company's role in contact tracing has been updated. Updated links.

26.07.2021: Updated - assessments for use of home office

23.06.2021: Removed checklist for assessment of home office (integrated into text, some shortening and updating with regards to step in re-opening.

22.02.2021 Full revision, as per Norwegian version

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

19.01.2021: Updated according to Government's recommendations

04.01.2021: Updated according to Government's recommendations about working from home from 04.01 and two weeks onwards

30.10.2020: Added sentence in "If someone in the household of an employee has a confirmed case of COVID-19"

28.10.2020: Added paragraph with advice for sectors where workers live on site

04.09.2020: Explained what is meant by good general condition.

27.08.2020: Updated bullet points in the section "Sick people should stay at home" under people who can be physically present and people who cannot be physically present at the workplace.

12.08.2020: "Green areas" changed to "yellow areas"

14.07.2020 Added a paragraph about work travel in Nordic and EU/EEA/Schengen areas under "Transport to and from work"

29.05.2020: added link to article on Government's webpage about impending changes to quarantine rules.

22.5.2020: Text revised as per Norwegian version.

08.05.2020
Changed quarantine duration from 14 to 10 days


05.05.2020
Text revised as per Norwegian version, added more advice about working from home. Removed advice to universities.

24.03.2020
Moved section about advice for specific sectors to its own article, as per Norwegian text.

19.03.2020
Added advice for different sectors

17.03.2020
Text updated to reflect Norwegian text

13.03.2020

General update throughout the text to reflect the Norwegian version

12.03.2020 
Added advice about avoiding shaking hands, hugging and kissing