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Quarantine and isolation
Advice to everyone in the population
- Remember good hand hygiene and cough etiquette.
- Keep 1 metre away from others you live with. Avoid physical contact, including handshakes and hugging.
- If you get symptoms of a respiratory infection, you need to stay home and you should take a test.
- When you suspect that you have COVID-19 disease
How much social distance?
The figure shows the main characteristics of the different forms of social distance.
- Download the poster "How much social distance?"(pdf)
- Brochure about social distance in other languages
More about social distance
Advice for people in quarantine
People who are in quarantine are basically well but have been in a situation where they may have been infected. This applies to close contacts of people with COVID-19 or because you have been travelling to an area with widespread transmission during the last 10 days.
Quarantine lasts for 10 days. It is recommended that you are tested during the quarantine period, but a negative test result will not shorten your quarantine. This is because the quarantine must prevent further transmission.
People who come to Norway from abroad can be released from quarantine if they test negative for COVID-19 twice after arrival. From 2nd January 2020, mandatory testing has been introduced for travellers within 24 hours of arrival in Norway, with some exemptions (COVID-19 regulations §4d). The second test can be taken no earlier than seven days after arrival. The possibility of shortening the entry quarantine during testing depends on whether there is capacity to carry out the second test, or that the employer is responsible for arranging the test. If the second test is not taken, the person must be in the entry quarantine for 10 days. Vaccination does not currently affect quarantine requirements or test recommendations.
From 21 December, people who have been in the UK during the past two weeks are required to take a test upon arrival and again after 7 days. If the test result is positive, their close contacts should be tested as soon as possible. If whole genome sequencing shows that the index has a new variant of SARS-CoV-2, the close contacts should be tested again on day 7. Quarantine cannot be shortened for people who have been in the UK.
When you are in quarantine, the following applies:
You are in quarantine for 10 days after the last exposure, or after arriving in Norway. The entry quarantine can end if there are two negative test results, from 2nd January the first test must be taken within 24 hours from arrival, and the second no earlier than 7 days after arrival. Read more about a suitable place for quarantine below.
- Anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19 infection as a close contact during the last 10 days should be tested.
Note that separate provisions have been introduced for testing, quarantine and quarantine exemptions for travellers from the UK. See the Norwegian Directorate of Health's pages for more information.
You can be in normal contact with children you live with, but keep a distance (over 1 metre) to other adults and avoid visits.
Do not go to work, school, childcare centre or other activity outside the home.
Do not take long trips in Norway.
Do not use public transport.
Avoid places where it is difficult to maintain a distance from other people.
As a rule, you should not visit public places like shops and cafes. If there is no alternative, you may go out to carry out essential errands to the supermarket or pharmacy, but ensure that you keep a distance (at least 1 metre) from other people, use a face mask and avoid queues.
You can go for a walk, but keep a distance of at least 1 metre from others.
Be alert for any symptoms. If you develop an acute respiratory tract infection with fever, cough, breathing difficulties or loss of sense of taste or smell while you are in quarantine, you are considered to have probable COVID-19. You should be tested as soon as possible and isolate yourself at home until the test results become available. If you have other household members, it is recommended that they are in quarantine until the test result is available.
If you get a positive test result, isolation continues and full contact tracing will begin. With a negative test result, quarantine continues as planned, but quarantine ends for household members.
- When you suspect that you have COVID-19 disease
Suitable place for quarantine:
The most important requirement for a place to be suitable for quarantine is that it should be possible to avoid keep a safe distance from other adults during the entire quarantine period.
It is most common to be in quarantine at home. In order for a place of residence other than the home to be suitable, it must be possible to avoid contact with others than those you usually live with.
Halls of residence / shared housing can be suitable as a place to stay if this is the person's own residence. Keep a distance from others and use common areas as little as possible. The Municipal Medical Officer can assess the suitability of the residence when the person is defined as a close contact.
Student housing made available by the Student Association is probably not suitable as a quarantine place. The Student Associations' student housing shall be assessed in accordance with the exception in §5 second paragraph letter d, where requirements are set for a private room with own toilet and own kitchen in order for the student to be able to carry out the quarantine in student housing.
Overnight accommodation where you need to interact with other guests is not suitable for quarantine. Staying in a motorhome, caravan, tent or cabin on campsites without 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 others than those you usually live with, such as halls of residence and other homes with shared bathrooms or kitchens.
- Barracks may be suitable as a place to stay, provided that you have a private room with your own bathroom / toilet / kitchen, or have organised food delivery.
About quarantine hotels and exemptions
The main rule is that people who arrive in Norway from countries and areas with quarantine duty must stay in quarantine hotels. This does not apply to people who are resident (registered in the population register) or have a permanent residence in Norway, and there are also some other exemptions, cf. section 5 of the COVID-19 regulations.
For the exemption provision from quarantine hotels for travellers who come to Norway to perform work or assignments (cf. §5 letter c), confirmation must be submitted that employers or clients will provide a suitable place to stay.
- Possible to avoid close contact with others
- Single occupancy room
- TV and internet in the room
- Own bathroom
- Own kitchen or food service
For exemption provision from quarantine hotels for travellers with a purpose other than work or assignment, cf. § 5 letter d, confirmation must be submitted from the person making the place of residence available that it meets the conditions for suitability.
- Possible to avoid close contact with others
- Single occupancy room
- Own bathroom
- Own kitchen or food service
- Questions and answers about entry to Norway (government.no)
Infection control advice for places of quarantine where many live together
Here are points that should be considered when arranging accommodation where many are to be quarantined, for example a quarantine hotel. Legal and financial conditons concerning such stays are provided by the Norwegian Directorate of Health.
The place of residence that will host people who are in quarantine or are defined as close contacts must carry out a risk assessment of the facilities and adapt the conditions to ensure infection control. The risk assessment of the place of residence must include, among other things:
- Which areas are suitable for those who are to be quarantined.
- How current infection control measures are to be observed (distance requirements, hand hygiene / cough etiquette, ventilation in the room, food serving, handling of textiles and waste).
- Plan for use of face masks for people in quarantine and protective equipment for employees.
- Action plan if quarantined people or employees become ill with COVID-19.
The manager / employer at the place of residence must ensure that the employees are aware of the organisation and responsibilities associated with those who are in quarantine.
The municipal medical officer has the medical responsibility for those who are to be quarantined.
The municipal medical officer must, in collaboration with the place of residence, establish routines that protect employees against infection.
Assess the need for marking in corridors and common areas and whether there is a need to hang up information material about distance requirements.
Hand hygiene facilities must be available where people in quarantine spend time and possibly in other common areas.
Written information material should be prepared on when and how hand hygiene should be performed for people in quarantine and employees.
Protective equipment for employees
There is no routine need for the use of protective equipment.
The manager / employer should, however, carry out a risk assessment of the need for the use of protective equipment (face masks, gloves, overalls, visor) and have established routines for their use. Employees must have received training in 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.
Quarantined people must eat in their room and they must not use the common dining room or buffet service. The food should be served in the room by placing the serving tray on a table outside the room. Employees should knock and leave the door area. In the room, written information must be provided that used serving trays should be placed outside the door after use. Employees shall transport the serving trays to areas where they are will be cleaned.
Existing routines for handling used textiles should be reviewed, both with regard to internal routines and by agreement with external laundry services.
People in quarantine should change their bed linen and put dirty textiles in the collection bag found in the room. In the room, written information must be available about which textiles the person in quarantine can put in the bag (e.g. that private clothes cannot be put there) and that filled bags are tied and placed outside the door.
Employees shall transport the bags to the laundry or other storage place, separated from other objects until washing.
Existing waste routines should be reviewed to ensure infection control.
People in quarantine should put rubbish in a rubbish bag found in the room. In the room, written information must be provided that filled rubbish bags are tied and placed outside the door.
Employees shall transport the bags to the appropriate waste containers.
Cleaning / disinfection of the room
Quarantined people should clean their own room with disposable cloths.
For the place of residence, it is sufficient to clean the room when the quarantine period ends. Follow existing cleaning routines, in addition to enhanced cleaning of common touch points. See also:
People in quarantine
People in quarantine must receive information about infection control measures, including;
- The need to keep your distance.
- Hand hygiene and cough etiquette.
- Regularly ventilate the room if possible.
- Use a face mask if the employee must enter the room or when moving.
- What to do if they get sick.
It should preferably be healthcare personnel from the municipality who follow up those who are in quarantine.
It is not recommended that employees enter the rooms of those who are 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 be 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 to those who are subject to quarantine (further up this page).
Routines if someone in quarantine or an employee becomes ill
The municipal medical officer, via the manager / employer at the place of residence, must have established routines for how both the person who is in quarantine and employees at the place of residence must respond if the person develops symptoms of COVID-19.
Advice if you are in quarantine and need to use public transport
As a rule, people who are in quarantine shall not use public transport, and shall never use it if they have COVID-19 symptoms.
However, people who are in quarantine after travelling to Norway can use public transport to reach their quarantine accommodation within or outside Norway.
People who are in infection quarantine can only take such a journey after evaluation by the Municipal Medical Officer. The Officer will consider the degree of exposure and any test results when making their assessment. Household members without negative test results will usually not be given permission.
For these journeys, the following apply:
- Take the quickest route
- Face masks must be used during the entire journey in these cases, except for children under 12 years. Use the recommended type of face mask throughout the journey, following the advice for correct use.
- Be extra careful about having 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 according to the requirements and recommendations for quarantine.
Exemption from quarantine duty
Under some circumstances, exemption from quarantine duty can be given, and in most cases require testing. Read more here:
- Changes in exemption from quarantine duty § 6 c for foreign workers
- Rules about quarantine and exemptions from quarantine duty upon arrival in Norway (Directorate of Health)
There are specific recommendations for follow-up and testing of people who are given exemption from duty of quarantine
You have COVID-19 and are in home isolation
People with probable or confirmed COVID-19 must be isolated at home, in a healthcare institution or somewhere else. Home isolation applies for people with probable or confirmed COVID-19 but who do not need to be admitted to hospital.
These apply for people in isolation:
- You shall, if possible, keep a total distance from others. For children and people who need medical help, the need for care should be prioritised highest.
- If possible, use a separate room and bathroom. Use your own towel and toiletries.
- You should have food delivered to your room or be alone in the kitchen.
- If you live with others, you should isolate yourself in your room and keep a total distance from those you live with. Do not leave your home, although you can go into your own garden or your own balcony, while keeping a distance from others.
- Get help from others to perform essential errands.
- You and members of your household cannot have visitors.
- If you have to be nearer to other household members than 2 metres, it is recommended that you use a face mask if your health allows it. Alternatively, household members should use face masks when they are closer to the patient than 2 metres. Children under 12-13 years of age are not recommended to wear a face mask. Children under 2 years of age should not use face masks under any circumstance.
- Agree with your doctor how you should monitor your condition.
- Ring the healthcare service if you need medical attention because your condition has deteriorated (for example, you get breathing difficulties) or other reasons. Explain that you have COVID-19 when you ring so they can then arrange measures to prevent others from being infected. Do not use public transport.
- Clean your home frequently, especially surfaces such as bathroom sinks, toilets, door handles and kitchen worktops. Ordinary cleaning products can be used. Place used textiles and bedding directly in the washing machine and wash at a minimum of 60 ⁰C. See also: Cleaning for COVID-19 in sectors outside the healthcare service
- The people you live with shall be in quarantine.
- The people you live with must be careful about hand hygiene with frequent hand washing with soap and water. Remember to wash or disinfect your hands when you leave the room where the isolated person is staying and after being in contact with the isolated person or equipment they have used, and before leaving the house.
- Regulations relating to infection control measures etc. in connection with the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19 Regulations)
- Home quarantine and home isolation - advice to healthcare personnel
- Information in other languages: Brochures and videos about home isolation and quarantine
- When you are sick or suspect that you have COVID-19 disease
- Risk groups and their relatives
- Children and adolescents
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SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the virus that is causing the outbreak of COVID-19 disease.
The virus is related to another coronavirus that caused the SARS outbreak in 2002/2003 but is not the same virus.