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  • Transport of patients/users

Transport of patients/users

Here you will find advice and information about transporting patients/users in Norway during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here you will find advice and information about transporting patients/users in Norway during the COVID-19 pandemic.


With high vaccination coverage and a new phase of the pandemic, many infection control recommendations and measures for the population have been removed. The general infection control advice for the population, such as staying home when you are ill and practising good cough and hand hygiene, still applies.

In light of this, companies should reduce specific covid-19-related infection control measures, and at the same time emphasize that employees, users and companions should be informed about general infection control advice.

Though the national covid-19 related measures are phased out, municipalities can, based on the risk of transmission locally, introduce stricter measures.

Requester's responsibility

The requester should follow ordinary routines for ordering patient transport. The requester should state which infection control measures should be implemented before and during transport. The information shall not contain patient information.

  • The need for assistance and the need for aids such as a walker, wheelchair or similar must be clarified when ordering transport.
  • As far as possible, the need for assistance should be taken care of by a companion/ relative.

Transport company's responsibility

The transport company follows ordinary routines for transporting users based on information from the requester. The company has a responsibility to assess whether the transport heeds general infection control advice and is adapted to local conditions. 

The transport company should establish routines based on the following:

  • Ensure that there are routines for employees to stay at home in the event of new-onset symptoms of respiratory infection and that employees are familiar with this advice.
  • Ensure that all employees are familiar with these routines and have received training in current routines and facilitate the implementation of these.
  • Arrange for the infection control measures to be followed by both the driver and the patient/user before, during and after transport.
  • Provide information about current infection control advice in effect to patient/user.
  • Ensure that drivers receive training in current infection control routines when transporting patients / users with suspected COVID-19.
  • Develop routines for cleaning vehicles.

Driver's responsibility

Each driver has an individual responsibility to familiarise themselves with the current routines for transporting patients/users. The driver should stay at home if they develop symptoms of illness and be tested if COVID-19 is suspected. The driver should assist patients/users so that they can follow current infection control advice.

Patient/user's responsibility

The patient/user should receive information so that they will be able to follow the current infection control advice specified by the transport company during the entire journey. In the event of new-onset respiratory symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, the patient / user should consider the need for transport and whether to postpone the trip.

Transport of unvaccinated patients/users without suspected or confirmed COVID-19

The transport company and driver follows ordinary routines for transport. However, for longer transport stages (for example more than one hour), the following measures may be considered:

  • Patients/users/companions and the driver wear face masks during the journey.
  • Passenger cars/taxis: In order to maintain distance, the patient/user/companion can sit in the back seat.

Transport of patients/users with confirmed COVID-19

A patient/user with confirmed COVID-19 should be transported alone, except for necessary companions.

If possible, transport should be postponed. If transport cannot be postponed, transport and necessary precautions should be clarified in advance and in consultation with the health and care service (hospital / municipal health services / private health provider).

  • Maintaining distance between driver and patient/user is recommended.
  • Regardless of vaccination status, the driver should wear a face mask during the entire transport.
  • The patient / user must wear a face mask unless there is a medical reason why they cannot wear one. The patient / user and companion must put on a face mask before getting into the vehicle. The face mask can be removed after the patient / user and companion have left the vehicle.

Vehicle cleaning after transporting patients/users with suspected or confirmed COVID-19

Cleaning includes areas that patients/users have been in direct contact with and surfaces near to where the patients/user were sitting.

Clothing, luggage, walking frames and other belongings are assumed to cause little contamination in a vehicle. It is therefore not necessary to clean the luggage compartments.

History

07.10.2021: Comprehensive revision of text, including change of heading, updating links.

02.06.2021: Inserted a point about changed advice when the patient / user is protected and for the unvaccinated. Minor adjustments in text

09.02.2021: Moved a sentence about advice from Directorate of Health to the first part of this article.

01.02.2021: Replaced "passenger" with "patient/user" throughout. Moved sentence about smittestopp 

29.01.2021: 

  • Clarified infection control measures related to the transport of patients / users without suspicion of covid-19 and the transport of patients / users with suspected or proven covid-19.
  • Clarified and shortened paragraph about responsibility with new descriptions for each actor; requester, transport company, the individual driver and patient / user.
  • Clarified enhanced infection control measures.
  • Updated measures for transport of patient / user with suspected or proven covid-19.

29.10.2020: Article is updated throughout according to the Norwegian version

05.10.2020: Under paragraph "When patient cannot wear a face mask" - changed first bullet point from "Surgical face mask (type I)" to "Medical face mask"