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Quarantine and isolation
Advice to everyone in the population
- Remember good hand hygiene and cough etiquette.
- Keep preferably 2 metres away from anyone other than those you live with. Avoid physical contact, including handshakes and hugging.
- If you develop symptoms of a respiratory infection, you must stay at home and you should take a test.
- When you suspect that you have COVID-19 disease
How much social distance?
The figure summarises the advice concerning the various forms of social distancing (updated 25.03.2021).
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 confirmed COVID-19 (infection quarantine), because you have visited an area with a high infection rate during the last 10 days (entry quarantine), or because you live with someone who is in infection quarantine (waiting quarantine).
Infection and entry quarantine last for 10 days, but may be shortened if you take a PCR test with a negative result no earlier than the 7th day after arrival or 7 days after your most recent exposure with a confirmed case of COVID-19 (see Section 4(c) of the COVID-19 Regulation). This depends on the availability of sufficient local testing capacity where you are staying. It is recommended that you are tested both at the start and before the end of your quarantine period, even if you do not have any symptoms. If you not get a negative test result from a PCR test taken on the 7th day after arrival, or 7 days after your most recent exposure with a confirmed case of COVID-19, you must be in entry quarantine for 10 days.
There will be a requirement for a test on the 7th day after arrival for all travellers who do not stay in quarantine hotels. Municipalities should arrange for testing on the 7th day after arrival for those staying in quarantine hotels.
If you do not have a permanent residence, or a suitable place for quarantine, the municipality you are staying in can help you find such a place. This may apply to people without legal residence in the country / undocumented migrants.
- More information on testing and health care for people without legal residence in several languages (Helsenorge)
Household members of people in infection quarantine must be in "waiting quarantine" until the person has a negative test result for the first time, or if they themselves get a negative test result from a PCR test taken at the earliest three days after the household member's last contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19.
When you are in quarantine, the following applies:
- For entry into Norway: You must go into quarantine for 10 days after arriving in Norway. The quarantine period may be shortened if you have a PCR test with a negative result no earlier than 7 days after arrival.
- For close contacts: You must go into quarantine for 10 days after your most recent contact with the person who is infected. If you are staying with someone who receives a positive test result during the quarantine period, you must start a new quarantine period from the last time you had contact. The quarantine period may be shortened if you have a PCR test with a negative result no earlier than 7 days after your most recent contact with the infected person.
- Waiting quarantine: You must be in quarantine until the person you live with, and who is the close contact of an infected person, has a negative test result.
- Anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19 infection during the past 10 days should be tested
- You can be in normal contact with younger children you live with, but maintain a distance (more than 1 metre) from older children and other adults.
- If older children in the household are in quarantine, where possible it is recommended to avoid close, or physical contact with other household members. This also applies to contact between other household members in quarantine. For children and people in need of healthcare, however, the need for care must be given the highest priority.
- Do not go to work, school, childcare centre or other activities 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. If there is no alternative, you may go out to carry out essential errands to the supermarket or pharmacy, but ensure that you maintain a distance (at least 1 metre) from other people, wear a face mask and avoid queues.
- You can go for a walk, but maintain a distance of 2 metres from others.
Be alert for any symptoms. If you develop an acute respiratory tract infection with fever, cough, shortness of breath or loss of sense of taste or smell while in quarantine, you will be considered to have probable COVID-19 disease. You should be tested as soon as possible and go into isolation at home until your test result is available. If you have other household members, it is recommended that they go into quarantine until your test result is available. If you test positive for COVID-19 during your quarantine period, you must continue your home isolation, and the contact tracing team in your district or municipality will carry out full contact tracing. With a negative test result, you must continue your quarantine as planned, but quarantine will end for other household members.
Unsure whether you should go into quarantine? Take the quarantine check (helsedirektoratet.no)
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 throughout the entire quarantine period.
- For those with a permanent residence in Norway, it is normal to spend quarantine at home. If you live withe 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. The Municipal Medical Officer, or the person who contacts you on his or her behalf, can assess the suitability of accommodation for quarantine and arrange an alternative if necessary.
- 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 second paragraph (d), 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.
About quarantine hotels and exemptions
The general rule is that people arriving in Norway from countries and regions with a quarantine obligation must stay at a quarantine hotel. 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; see Section 5 of the COVID-19 Regulation.
Quarantine hotels must provide play facilities and activities for resident children.
- Quarantine hotels should provide facilites to enable children and adolescents to play and be active (helsedirektoratet.no)
People who come to Norway to perform work or assignments, and who can document that the employer makes a pre-approved place of residence available, are not obliged to stay in quarantine hotels.
Conditions for approval from the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority include:
- Possible to avoid close contact with others
- Single occupancy room
- TV and internet in the room
- Own bathroom
- Own kitchen or food service
It is also possible to get an exemption from the requirement to stay in quarantine hotels for those who can document strong welfare considerations, such as having contact with their own children or attending a funeral. This applies to both Norwegians and foreigners. They must then submit confirmation that they have another suitable place of residence during the quarantine period. This includes:
- 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 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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
Advice if you are in quarantine and need to use public transport
If you have been placed in quarantine, you should normally avoid using public transport, and must never use it if you have COVID-19 symptoms.
If you have been placed in entry quarantine, you may still use public transport to reach your quarantine accommodation within or outside Norway.
If you are in quarantine because you have been in contact with an infected person (also known as ‘infection quarantine’), you can only make such a journey following a specific assessment by the Municipal Medical Officer. The Municipal Medical Officer will consider the degree of exposure and any test results when making their assessment. Household members without a negative test result will not normally be given permission.
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.
Exemption from quarantine duty
Exemption from the quarantine obligation can be granted under certain circumstances. Read more here:
- General about exemptions from quarantine
- Rules about quarantine and exemptions from the quarantine obligation upon arrival in Norway (hdir.no)
- Travel quarantine - FAQs (regjeringen.no)
There are specific recommendations for the follow-up and testing of people who are granted exemption from the quarantine obligation.
You have COVID-19 and are in home isolation
People with probable or confirmed COVID-19 must go into isolation at home, at a healthcare institution or elsewhere. Home isolation applies to people with probable or confirmed COVID-19 but who do not need to be admitted to hospital.
If you do not have a permanent place to live, or the place you live in is not suitable for isolation, the municipality you are staying in will help you find such a place. This also applies to persons without legal residence in the country / undocumented migrants. This is free and you will be given food and drink. You are not allowed to go outside or have visitors when you are in isolation. More information about health care for people without legal residence in the country, see Helsenorge.no: Healthcare for people without legal residence
The following applies for people in isolation:
- Wherever possible, you must maintain a safe distance from others. For children and people who need medical help, the need for care should be given the highest priority.
- If possible, use a separate room and bathroom. Use your own towels and toiletries.
- You should have food delivered to your room or be alone in the kitchen.
- If you live with other people, you should go into isolation in your room and maintain the full social distance from those you live with. Do not leave your home, although you can go into your own garden or onto your own balcony, while maintaining 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 wear a face mask if your health permits it. Alternatively, household members should wear a face mask when they are closer than 2 metres to the person who is ill. It is not recommended that children under 12-13 years of age wear a face mask. Children under 2 years of age should not wear a face mask under any circumstances.
- Ask your doctor how you should monitor your health.
- Ring the healthcare service if you need medical attention because your condition has deteriorated (for example, you experience breathing difficulties) or for other reasons. Explain that you have COVID-19 when you call. They will then be able to implement measures to prevent other people from becoming 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 may be used. Place used linen, etc. and bedding directly in the washing machine and wash at a minimum of 60⁰C. See also: Cleaning during and after home isolation.
- The people you live with must go into quarantine.
- The people you live with must be careful about hand hygiene. It is especially important that the people you live with wash or disinfect their hands when they leave the room you (the person self-isolating) are in, and after coming into contact with you or equipment you have used, and before leaving the house.
- Download the poster "Isolation".
- 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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