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  • Close contacts and infection quarantine

Close contacts and infection quarantine

Here you will find information and advice to close contacts and those who are in quarantine.

Here you will find information and advice to close contacts and those who are in quarantine.


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New national measures

The Norwegian Government has adopted new national measures (in Norwegian) in effect from 9 December 2021 00:00 a.m. – our pages are being updated.

Please check your municipality's website for information about regional measures.

On 29.11.2021, changes were made in the COVID-19 regulations for situations where the omicron variant is confirmed or suspected. The measures are described under «Spesifikke TISK-tiltak for omikronvarianten» [in Norwegian]

Advice for close contacts

If you are defined as a close contact, you are basically healthy, but have been in a situation where you have been in enough close contact with a person with COVID-19 that you may have been infected.

A distinction is made between close contacts who are household members or equivalently close to the person who is infected, such as a romantic partner or best friend, and other close contacts. A distinction is also made between vaccinated and unvaccinated people. If you are a household member or equivalently close, you will be informed by the municipality about what applies to you. Other close contacts will mainly be notified by the infected person.

Advice for household members or equivalently close

  • If you are a household member or equivalently close (as a romantic partner or best friend) and over the age of 18, you are obliged to be quarantined for 7 days. This applies regardless of whether you have been vaccinated or not. This also applies if you have had COVID-19 in the last 12 months. You can be exempt from quarantine by taking a test immediately which is negative. Then you have a duty to follow the current test regimen:
    • Vaccinated: A test taken between days 3-7, preferably between days 3-5
    • Unvaccinated:
       - Rapid test daily for 7 days, or
       - PCR test every other day for 7 days
  • If you are under 18, you are not obliged to test and quarantine, but you are recommended to follow the same regimen.
  • If you develop symptoms, you should stay home, regardless of vaccination status, and be tested.
  • If you test positive, you must be in isolation and you must take a confirmatory PCR test at a test centre.
  • Household members and equivalently close contacts to an infected person can go to work and school after the first negative test and during the current test regimen. They are advised to shield others from possible transmission by avoiding indoor leisure activities and events as long as the infected person is in isolation.

Advice for other close contacts

  • If you are fully vaccinated or have had COVID-19 in the last 12 months, you should monitor your state of health for 10 days. Have a low threshold to test yourself if you get symptoms.
  • If you are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, you should take a test as soon as you are informed that you are a close contact.

  • If you take a self-test that turns out to be positive, you must contact the municipality.

See description of what is meant by fully vaccinated here:

There is separate advice for those working in the healthcare service: 

For further advice about children and adolescents, see: 

Suitable locations for quarantine

  • The most important requirement for accommodation to be considered suitable for spending quarantine is that you must be able to maintain a safe distance from other adults and older children throughout the entire quarantine period.

  • For those with a permanent residence in Norway, it is normal to spend quarantine at home.  If you live with others but do not have much space, you can get help to find a suitable place. 

  • Halls of residence/shared housing can be suitable accommodation if it is possible to keep a distance to other adults and older children. You should use communal areas as little as possible.

  • Student housing made available by the Student Association is probably not suitable as quarantine accommodation. Student housing belonging to Student Associations must be assessed under the exception in Section 5 fourth paragraph (a), which stipulates requirements for private rooms with their own toilet and kitchen, in order for the student to be able to complete their quarantine in student housing.

  • Overnight accommodation where you need to interact with other guests is not suitable for quarantine use. Staying in a motorhome, caravan, tent or cabin on campsite without a private bathroom/toilet and kitchen facilities is not acceptable for quarantine if you have to share these facilities with people other than your close contacts/travel companions. The same applies to staying at addresses where you have to share rooms/facilities with people other than those you normally live with, such as halls of residence and other accommodation with a shared bathroom or kitchen. 

  • Barracks may be suitable as accommodation, provided that you have a private room with your own bathroom/toilet/kitchen, or you have organised food delivery. See below regarding the organisation of adapted accommodation for quarantine use where many people live together.  

  • Quarantine hotel service for visitors to Norway who need a suitable place to quarantine (dsb.no)

Infection control advice for places of quarantine where many live together

Here are some points to consider when arranging accommodation where many people are to spend their quarantine period, e.g. quarantine hotels. Legal and financial conditions concerning such stays are provided by the Norwegian Directorate of Health.

Risk assessment

Anyone who is responsible for accommodation for people in quarantine should carry out a risk assessment of the facilities and adapt the conditions to ensure adequate infection control. The risk assessment of the accommodation must cover the following:    

  • Which areas are suitable for those who are to be quarantined.  
  • How current infection control measures will be observed (social distance requirements, hand hygiene/cough etiquette, ventilation in the room, food serving, handling of laundry and waste).  
  • Plan for the wearing of face masks for people in quarantine and protective equipment.  
  • Action plan if quarantined people or employees become ill with COVID-19.   

The manager/employer at the accommodation must ensure that their employees are aware of the organisation and responsibilities associated with those who are in quarantine.    

The Municipal Medical Officer has medical responsibility for those who are to be quarantined in their municipality.   

In collaboration with the person responsible for the accommodation, the Municipal Medical Officer must establish routines that protect employees against infection.

Social distancing requirements

Assess the need for the marking of corridors and communal areas and whether there is a need to put up notices concerning social distancing requirements.

Hand hygiene

Hand hygiene facilities must be available where people in quarantine spend time and in other communal areas where appropriate.    

Written information should be prepared concerning when and how hand hygiene should be practised by both people in quarantine and staff.

Protective equipment for employees

There is no routine need for the use of protective equipment.    

However, the manager/employer should carry out a risk assessment of the need to use protective equipment (face masks, gloves, overalls, visors) and establish routines for their use. Employees must have received training on how to use protective equipment and in which situations it is required.    

Systems must also be established for the purchase and suitable storage of protective equipment.

Food service

People in quarantine must eat in their room and must not use communal dining rooms or buffet service. Food should be served in the room by placing the serving tray on a table outside the room. Employees should knock and then move away from the door area.

In the room, written information must be provided indicating that used serving trays should be placed outside the door after use. Employees must transport the serving trays to the areas where they are will be cleaned

Laundry

Existing routines for handling used linen, etc. should be reviewed, both with regard to internal routines and in connection with agreements with external laundry services.    

People in quarantine should change their bed linen and put dirty linen, etc. in the collection bag which must be provided in the room. In the room, written information must be available stating which linen, etc. the person in quarantine can place in the bag (e.g. that personal clothing cannot be placed in the bag) and that full bags must be tied up and placed outside the door.     

Employees must transport the bags to the laundry or other storage area, separated from other objects until washing.

Waste management

Existing waste routines should be reviewed to ensure adequate infection control.    

People in quarantine should place rubbish in a refuse bag which must be provided in the room. In the room, written information must be provided stating that full refuse bags must be tied up and placed outside the door.    

Employees must transport the bags to the appropriate waste containers.

Cleaning / disinfection of the room

Quarantined people should clean their own room using disposable cloths.    

For the accommodation, it is sufficient to clean the room at the end of the quarantine period. Follow existing cleaning routines, in addition to enhanced cleaning of surfaces that are frequently touched. 

People in quarantine

People in quarantine must be given information about infection control measures, including:    

  • The need to keep your distance.  
  • Hand hygiene and cough etiquette.  
  • Regularly ventilate the room if possible.   
  • Wear a face mask if the employee must enter the room or when moving.  
  • What to do if they become ill.   
  • Healthcare personnel from the municipality should preferably follow up those who are in quarantine.   
  • It is not recommended that employees enter the rooms of anyone who is in quarantine. If employees must enter the room, the person in quarantine must ventilate the room first, put on a face mask and keep their distance.    
  • Employees must consider whether there is a need to use protective equipment if distance cannot be maintained.    
  • The person who is in quarantine should not mix with other people. Visits should be postponed until the infection status has been clarified. Information on how people in quarantine should behave can be found under Advice for people in quarantine.  
  • Routines if someone in quarantine or an employee becomes ill
  • Via the manager/employer at the accommodation, the Municipal Medical Officer must establish routines which explain how both the person who is in quarantine and employees at the accommodation are to respond if the person develops COVID-19 symptoms.

Public transport when you are in entry quarantine

If you are in entry quarantine, you should normally avoid using public transport, and must never use it if you have COVID-19 symptoms.  

You may use public transport to reach your quarantine accommodation within or outside Norway. For these journeys, the following apply: 

  • Take the quickest route. 
  • Face masks must be worn during the entire journey in these cases, except for children under 12 years. Wear the recommended type of face mask and follow the advice concerning correct use.
  • Be particularly careful about maintaining good hand hygiene and cough etiquette. 
  • Try to avoid departures where it is not possible to keep at least one metre distance. Use pre-booked/registered seats where possible.
  • If you must stay overnight on the way, use pre-booked accommodation in accordance with the requirements and recommendations applying to quarantine.

See also: 

History

01.12.2021: The original page "Close contacts and isolation" is divided into two chapters called "Close contacts and infection quarantine" and "To you who are in isolation". Change according to quarantine requirements, test requirements.

25.11.2021: Added link to advice to for household members or equivalent close contacts.

23.11.2021: Updated as per Norwegian version - partially vaccinated and unvaccinated to follow same recommendations.

16.11.2021: If you test positive, you must be in isolation and take a confirmatory PCR test at a test station. 

12.11.2021: Updated after new testing recommendations in TISK (test, isolate, contact tracing, quarantine)

14.10.2021: Added flow chart. No other changes.

25.09.2021: Revised in accordance with new advice on adjusted TISK and normal daily life. Advice for close contacts added. Advice about quarantine removed.

08.09.2021: Clarification about care of children in isolation

30.08.2021: Updated according to extended exemption from quarantine after being defined as close contact, for those who have recovered from covid-19 within the last 12 months.

17.08.2021: Added that NHS COVID Pass from England or Wales is considered to be valid documentation of vaccination/ having had the disease.

01.07.2021: Updated text in accordance with a change in the COVID-19 regulations that the waiting quarantine scheme will be removed from 1 July.

24.06.2021: Change made to refer to EU COVID-19 certificate

23.06.2021: Added that the Swedish COVID-19 certificate is not yet ready for this use

21.06.2021: added that Swedish and Danish COVID-19 certificates are approved documentation of vaccination and having COVID-19, Minor language changes.

17.06.2021: Updated documentation requirements according to COVID-19 regulations appendix D

11.06.2021: From 11.6, fully vaccinated and people who have had covid-19 in the last 6 months will not be in quarantine. Updated information on exemptions from quarantine according to this.

07.06.2021: From 4.6, those who are protected against COVID-19 and children under the age of 12 can shorten the quarantine after a negative test after 3 days.

03.06.2021: Added advice to those who are protected in private homes, added changes in who needs to quarantine hotels, Some minor adjustments to language.

18.05.2021: Corrected sentence about quarantine hotels : This also applies to residents in Norway.

13.05.2021: Added to the EEA and Schengen area or the United Kingdom, cf. Amendments to the COVID-19 regulation from 13.5.

12.05.2021: Added that people who have been outside the EEA and Schengen area for the last 10 days cannot use public transport to the quarantine hotel, cf. the changes in section 5 of the covid-19 regulations which came into force on 9.5.21.

04.05.2021: Clarification about vaccinated people and infection quarantine

04.05.2021: Updated according to regulatory change; easing of quarantine for vaccinated (fully vaccinated are exempt and those who have only had one dose can be exempt provided they are tested.

30.04.2021: Added that everyone in the entry quarantine must be tested 7 days after arrival and that arrivals from some countries can not use public transport from the place of arrival to the quarantine hotel, cf. regulatory change

30.03.2021: Waiting quarantine is now in the regulations

25.03.2021: New version of How much social distancing poster.

05.03.2021: Updated illustration: How much to social distance. If you go for a walk, maintain a distance of at least 2 meters from others.

23.02.2021: Requirement for test day 7 if you do not stay in a quarantine hotel. Change in the use of quarantine hotels and exemptions to quarantine.

09.02.2021: Updated link to the english version of the quarantine check.

04.02.2021: Added text about help for people without legal residence.

29.01.2021: Updated to reflect changes to the COVID-19 Regulation section 4c, shortened quarantine by PCR-testing.

28.01.2021: Text changed according to changes in the covid-19 regulation §4c.

26.01.2021: Updated text throughout the entire chapter.

06.01.2021: Clarified that Student Association housing is probably not suitable as a place of quarantine.

02.01.2021: Updated with information about mandatory testing from 2nd January, and consequences for quarantine. 

31.12.2020: Added a paragraph that people who come to Norway from abroad can go out of quarantine after day seven at the earliest if they test negative for COVID-19 twice after arrival. And that everyone who comes from UK must be in quarantine for 10 days.

28.12.2020: Added "The Government is introducing new quarantine rules that will contribute to more travellers being tested, and strengthen compliance with the quarantine rules. This applies from 29 December at 08.00

23.12.2020: Under the section "Advice for people in quarantine": the sentence "From 21 December, people who have been in the UK for the last two weeks are required to be tested on arrival and after 7 days. In the event of a positive test, their close contacts should be tested immediately. If whole genome sequencing shows that the index has a new variant of SARS-CoV2, the close contacts should be retested on day 7. " Added sections about quarantine hotels and infection control advice for places of quarantine where many people live together.

18.12.2020: Updated house picture - sentence about getting help for errands and use face mask, added pictograms

15.12.2020: Emphasised that home isolation means total distance from others if possible.

10.12.2020: Added link to cleaning article

01.12.2020: Content about social distance moved to a separate article. Restructured remaining content.

14.11.2020: Changed sentence in section about isolation: Children under 2 years of age should not use face masks under any circumstance.

11.11.2020: Added sentence about anyone who has been exposed to infection shall be tested. Removed point about being in quarantine in someone's home, according to updates about quarantine hotel.

06.11.2020: Added section about recommendations from government 05.11. Added section about adapted accommodation

04.11.2020: Updated sentence about definition of closest circle

02.11.2020: "Probable COVID-19" cases required to be in isolation in line with changes in the COVID-19 regulations, and household members are recommended to be in quarantine pending test results. "Suitable place for quarantine" has been revised, and it is recommended to keep your distance from other adults in the household. It is recommended that all close contacts be tested. Updated figure.

28.10.2020: Article is updated with link to news article about changes in exemptions from quarantine duty § 6 c for foreign employees that apply from 31 October (announced at press conference on 26 Oct). In paragraph about isolation, changed advice about distance to those you live with from one to two metres.

05.10.2020: Added sentence about using face masks during isolation.

25.09.2020: Updates to section about public transport.

22.09.2020: clarified sentence - even though they still have a few symptoms after the respiratory tract infection. Added "For example, this may apply if you are travelling to a country that requires a test, shall visit an institution that requires a test or are taking part in research projects." 

19.09.2020: Removed sentence about not being allowed to travel abroad.

15.09.2020: Added changes about exemptions from COVID-19 regulations according to changes in COVID-19 regulations

14.09.2020: Removed comment from 13.8.2020 that there is no longer a distinction between close contacts and other contacts. Changed paragraph about entry quarantine. 

04.09.2020: Added: "With a negative test you can return to work/ school when you are in good general condition (you feel well and have no fever), even though you still may have symptoms of respiratory tract infection."

31.08.2020: Added section about waiting for test results.

28.08.2020: Changed bullet point under advice for everyone that you should stay at home until you have a negative test result and your general condition is good.

24.08.2020: Changed sentence in isolation section "Your doctor will assess how long you need to be isolated. You need to be isolated for at least 8 days after you become ill."

21.08.2020 Added sentence "Isolation ends also in the cases where other people in the household are in isolation or quarantine"

18.08.2020 Added updated figure for "how much social distance?"

13.08.2020 Changed text because there is no longer a distinction between household members and other close contacts. Figure will be replaced as soon as possible.

10.08.2020 Added sentence about use of face masks on journey home in section about Quarantine upon arrival in Norway.

31.07.2020: In the section on entry quarantine: Information on travel to the final place of residence was added.

23.07.2020 The section on suitable places for quarantine has been edited with a sentence stating that quarantine can also be carried out in other people's homes.

21.07.2020 Added a new bullet point about place of quarantine where it is specified that a suitable residence for quarantine means that you do not share toilet/kitchen facilities and other common areas with others than your close contacts. 

08.07.2020 Updated "How much social distance?" figure

04.07.2020: Updated bullet points. Under "For everyone" removed "A negative test does not shorten the time in quarantine or follow up." Under "for other close contacts" added "You should be tested twice, preferably on day 3 and 7 after exposure" and "You must be in quarantine in your leisure time until the second test is negative" and "You should inform your employer so the advice for infection control measures can be followed"

24.06.2020: Changed last two bullet points under "advice for everyone" about staying home until you are symptom-free and that if you have symptoms, you should stay at home until there is a negative test result and you are symptom-free.

22.06.2020: Emphasised that 10 day quarantine also applies to people in quarantine after arrival in Norway. People in quarantine after arrival shall follow the same advice as household members and equivalent contacts. 

17.06.2020:

Added "If you are sitting next to someone there should be 1 metre from shoulder to shoulder" to the "Advice to everyone" section.

12.06.2020:
Added "From 15th June, it will no longer be a requirement for 10 days quarantine upon arrival in Norway after travel to regions in the Nordic countries with low incidence" under the paragraph about Quarantine upon arrival in Norway.

04.06.2020:
Added text about what "your closest circle" means and about keeping distance under section about "advice to all". 

03.06.2020:
Updated text as per Norwegian version, new advice and rules for different groups of close contacts. Figure will be updated as soon as possible.

29.05.2020:
Added links to Government website about impending changes to quarantine and travelling to Denmark.

08.05.2020:
Changed quarantine days from 14 to 10 days, according to decision from Norwegian government 07.05.2020. Changed recommended distance to at least one metre.

05.05.2020:

"As a rule, home quarantine shall last for 14 days after the last contact with a patient with confirmed COVID-19" shortened to "As a rule, home quarantine shall last for 14 days"

17.03.2020

Changed last point under isolation to "Isolation lasts until 3 days after you have recovered and at least 8 days after you became ill."