Policy responses for Norway - HSRM

Norway


Policy responses for Norway

1.2 Physical distancing

MEASURES INTRODUCED IN 2020

February:

The first strict physical distancing measures were announced on 12 February when healthcare professionals working in patient care were restricted from travelling abroad. This restriction applies to any travel, for business or leisure. Two weeks later, on 27 February, the Norwegian health authorities issued official advice on preventive measures (hand hygiene) and identified the Norwegian Institute of Health (NIPH) as the source for updated advice on preventive measures and travel. At the time, the first confirmed COVID-19 patient was identified in Norway and more than 50 people were in quarantine. People were advised to call the local after-hours emergency services for information. On February 29, advice on COVID-19 and preventive measures for long-term care (LTC) facilities / nursing homes is published by the NIPH.

March:

Since March 1, employees in the healthcare sector who have visited COVID-19 afflicted areas have been required to quarantine at home (not attend work) for 14-days after their return from these areas. This is effective for everybody who returned from these areas after 17 February. Employees who develop symptoms must be isolated at home for 14 days. The delay in identifying ‘afflicted areas’ is thought to have contributed to the spread of the virus at the start of the pandemic.

On March 2, the Directorate of Health (DoH) launched an informational video for children and youth highlighting the importance of distancing for those who are infected (who are advised to stay at home with their family) as well as proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.

Since March 2, all institutions providing essential services (health and social care, defence, etc.) have been requested to consider implementing travel restrictions.

On March 3, advice was issued to restrict visits to LTC-facilities for relatives and friends who have visited COVID-19 afflicted areas.

On March 7, home quarantine was extended to all travellers who have visited COVID-19 afflicted areas. Recommendations reinforce the importance of avoiding handshakes and hugs, which are common forms of greeting in Norway. It is advised that any gatherings of people should be reconsidered and avoided. All travel, including domestic travel and visits to holiday homes and hotels, should also be avoided.

On March 12, a list of official measures with immediate effect was published. The following measures were emphasised:
• People must maintain physical distance from one another, practice good hand hygiene and cough in paper tissues or their elbow. Indoors, people should keep at least two metres distance from one another, though this does not apply to family or household members. When outside, there should be no more than five people in a group (except for members of a family or the same household). Distance of at least one metre from other people should be observed in public spaces.
• Those who have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) must quarantine for 14 days. This is longer than the 7 days allowed by §4.1 in the Act on the control of communicable diseases (which remains in force).
• People must immediately quarantine for 14 days after returning from travel abroad (from any country exempt for Sweden and Finland). Persons diagnosed with coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) or those being tested for it, are to be isolated.
• Foreign nationals who do not live or work in Norway will be rejected at the border.
• Healthcare professionals working with patients are prohibited from travelling abroad. This prohibition applies to both business and private travel, with effect through April 2020.
• All day-care centres, primary schools, lower- and upper-secondary schools, universities and university colleges and other educational institutions are closed. Children of key workers (people performing critical public functions) will continue to receive day-care and lower primary school services.
• Cultural events, sporting events and organised sporting activities, both indoors and outdoors, are prohibited.
• All restaurants (included those offering buffet-style serving), bars, pubs and other social establishments are to remain closed. An exception is made for establishments where visitors can keep a distance of at least 1 metre.
• Fitness centres, swimming pools, water parks and similar establishments are closed.
• Establishments that provide hairdressing, skin care, massage, body care, tattooing, piercing and similar services are closed.
• Stay at holiday properties continues to be prohibited.
• All drivers and vehicle licencing offices are closed.
• Public transport services are to remain in operation.

Since March 14, persons arriving into Norway from countries other than Sweden or Finland had to quarantine for 14 days after arrival (exemption for Finland and Sweden is maintained but restricted to people who travel for work purposes). These restrictions apply to persons who have arrived in Norway after 27 February. Symptomatic persons arriving in Norway must immediately undergo isolation in a place designated by the municipal medical officer. Symptomatic persons may not use public transport to reach the place designated for their isolation.

Since March 14, all visits to LTC facilities (by relatives and friends) have been banned. Visits to hospitals were also restricted.

On March 14, advice was issued against all non-essential travel abroad. The list of institutions to be closed was extended to: physiotherapy and manual therapy offices, chiropractors offices, opticians offices, chiropody offices, speech therapy offices, psychologists offices, facilities performing complementary and alternative medicine. Dentists were requested to close their clinics for all non-acute patients.

On March 16, the Directorate of the Norwegian Correctional Service (KDI) decided to use early releases as a means to reduce the number of inmates in Norwegian prisons. An immediate suspension of visits (to prisons), leaves and day leaves (by inmates) was enforced.

On March 17, borders were closed for foreign nationals who do not have a residence permit to stay in Norway (exemptions for people coming from Finland or Sweden are abolished). Temporary entry and exit controls will be introduced at the internal Schengen border. Norwegian airports remain open. All Norwegian citizens and persons who live or work in Norway will continue to be let into the country.

On March 30, brochure on how to keep social distances was made available in multiple languages by the NIPH:
https://www.fhi.no/en/op/novel-coronavirus-facts-advice/advice-to-people-who-are-infected-or-have-been-exposed-to-infection/brochure-about-social-distance-other-languages/

April:

On April 3, the Foreign Ministry decides to uphold current travel restrictions until further notice. (Travel restrictions from 12 March were first set to be valid until April 13.)

Easing of some of the restrictions started on 7 April, when a plan for a gradual reopening of day-care centres and schools, lifting the ban on overnight stay at holiday properties, and gradual reopening of one-to-one services was announced. Sector specific infection control standards will be developed. These must be implemented before any facilities may reopen.

Since April 17, municipalities must ensure availability of facilities for home isolation that meet regulations regarding preventing further spread. In some cases, the person in isolation (or they families) may have to be relocated to a hotel or other facility offered by the municipalities. The municipalities must then cover the cost.

Sports and cultural activities, indoor as well as outdoor, were prohibited for groups of more than 5 people and for all groups that are not able to observe physical distance of 2 meters. Furthermore, sports activities were prohibited until 15 June if the use of sports equipment or facilities might increase the risk of contamination.

Since April 20, day-care centres/nurseries were permitted to reopen but have to follow guidelines developed by the Directorate of Education and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) and published by the Directorate of Health (DoH) to prevent further spread of COVID-19. Information, including a video for small children, was made available (https://www.udir.no/kvalitet-og-kompetanse/sikkerhet-og-beredskap/informasjon-om-koronaviruset/Smittevernveileder). Ban on overnight stay at holiday properties is lifted.

Physiotherapy, mental health therapy and other one to one health services are allowed to reopen if the services may be provided in accordance with guidelines for infection control standards.

Since April 27, schools were allowed reopen for 1-4 grade pupils. Universities and higher education institutions were allowed to reopen for some graduate students and staff, to facilitate access to special equipment at the facilities (e.g. labs) but physical distancing must be practiced and working from home continues to be advised. Hairdressers and beauty-salons will be allowed to reopen as long as they observe COVID-19 recommendations. 

Hair- and skin-care salons were allowed to reopen if they comply with appropriate infection control standards.

On April 30, social distancing rule was reduced from 2 to 1 meter.

May:

On May 4, the ban on cultural activities was modified: public gatherings that are no larger than 50 persons may resume from 7 May under the condition that the physical distancing rule of 1 meter can be observed and that they are appropriately managed (attendance is monitored, physical distancing measures are adhered to). Private gatherings remain limited to 5 persons.

For the summer of 2020, there is an official advice against sport and culture events that gather more than 500 people. Advice applies from 15 June until 31 August but is expected to be reassessed by 7 May.

On May 7, the following changes are announced by the government:

Changes effective immediately:
• People are allowed to gather in groups of up to 20 people (up from 5 previously), provided that they can keep at least a metre apart. 
• Sports training and other sports activities in groups of up to 20 people are allowed, provided that people can keep at least one metre apart. Recommendations issued by the DoH and relevant sports associations apply and should be followed.
• Sports halls may be opened but the use of changing facilities in these halls is prohibited.
• Events with up to 50 participants may be held in public places provided that the participants can keep a social distance of at least one metre and there is an event organiser responsible for ensuring that the rules are respected. This applies to all types of events, including sports events such as cups and matches. An employee or person contracted to organise an event in a public place is not counted as a participant in the event. The precise role of the organiser should be clarified in guidelines for the different sectors.
• Employers should ensure that their employees can remain at least one metre apart throughout working hours. In areas where employees need to use public transport, employers are urged to facilitate working from home and virtual meetings as far as possible, and not require people to be physically present unless this is necessary. This applies particularly in the Oslo region and other cities where public transport can become congested.

Changes effective from 11 May:
• All schools are to open for all school years by 15 May. Schools must follow the infection control rules, which means that it may not be possible for all pupils to be at school at the same time.
• Educational programmes for adults and immigrants may restart. This applies to educational programmes for newly arrived immigrants under the Introduction Act, programmes under Chapter 4 of the Adult Education Act, and short courses offered by the folk high schools (https://www.folkehogskole.no/en/about). These programmes can be restarted provided that they can comply with infection control guidelines.
• Driving schools may reopen. They must follow the same infection control rules as other services where there is one-to-one contact.
• Universities, university colleges and vocational technical colleges are to continue remote teaching. Students who need to be at their institution to maintain progression in their study programmes may be granted access, but they must comply with infection control guidelines.
• Courses run by adult education associations and Skills Norway are to continue remote teaching. Students who need to be at their institution to maintain progression in their study programmes may be granted access, but they must comply with infection control guidelines.
• Sports activities for children and young people that involve physical contact, such as football, can resume, for example, children and young people will be allowed to play sports matches in their teams. This must be organised in compliance with infection control standards.
Sources:
https://www.regjeringen.no/no/aktuelt/forskrift-om-gjenapning-av-barnehager-og-skoler/id2698003/
https://lovdata.no/dokument/SF/forskrift/2020-03-27-470 

On 15 May the NIPH updated its guidelines on physical distancing. Currently, the rate of infection in Norway is low and the general advice to the population is to maintain good hand hygiene and cough etiquette, limit the number of social contacts and keep physical distance of one metre. Further guidelines were issued for various risk populations:

• People with a slightly increased risk are recommended to live like the rest of the population, as long as they follow the official advice on hygiene and physical distancing, especially towards people who are not their family/friends. Should the rate of infection increase, people in this group should consider taking more care when travelling and with other activities.
• People with a definitively elevated risk might travel, work and socialize, but have to take additional precautionary measures such as limit the number of close contacts, avoid crowded places (i.e. public transport, shopping malls etc.). Should the rate of infection increase, people in this group are discouraged to travel and should maintain distance of 2 metres and have fewer contacts.

Also from 15 May hotels, holiday apartments and campsites have been allowed to reopen as long as they adhere to infection control guidelines for the hospitality sector.

On 21 May an update has been issued on hygiene measures noting that hand disinfectants may substitute for hand washing if the latter is not feasible. Caution must however be taken as hand disinfectant has a limited effect when hands are dirty or wet, with hand washing being the best hygiene measure in those situations. The NIPH does not recommend routine use of disposable gloves for the general public, as the risk of transmission with and without gloves is the same.

On 25 May guidelines for dentists were updated to facilitate resuming regular provisions of services.

On 27 May the ban on visits to LTC facilities and hospitals has been lifted and new recommendations have been issued on how to facilitate visits. Day care activities for older people are to reopen. There will be local adaptation to the general recommendations for the LTC facilities. Flexibility and involvement of patients and their next of kin is essential since guidelines for people with slightly elevated risk and for people with definitively elevated risk and infection rates differ among the localities and there are different.

Infection control rules for schools and day childcare centres/nurseries have been updated. A system of traffic-lights has been introduced with red, yellow and green lights representing different risks of infection. Green light means an ordinary level of activity; yellow light indicates that distancing and hygiene measures should be followed. For the lower school grades the 1 metre distance rule has been lifted so that younger children can play and sit closer together, but the 1 metre distancing remains in force in high schools. Previous infection control measures for schools reflect the red level of risk, measures from 27 May reflect the yellow level of risk. The health authorities are responsible for deciding on the colour codes in the local areas

June:

Changes effective from 1 June:
• Bars and other establishments that serve drinks but not food may open provided they can ensure compliance with the 1 metre physical distancing rule. Requirements regarding seating and table service will be set out in regulations.
• Amusement parks may reopen.
• Organised swimming activities, including school swimming lessons, have been permitted. 
• The Norwegian Directorate of Health and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health has drawn up new advice on holiday and leisure travel, which applies from 1 June.

On 2 June the NIPH updated their advice on physical distancing measures. Current general advice is to follow good cough etiquette and good hand hygiene. People can interact normally with others in their closest circle; people with respiratory tract symptoms are advised to stay at home, and should be tested if they become symptomatic. Everybody should keep an increased distance from all persons outside their closest circle. Distance should be at least 1 metre, and distance between faces is the most important. Standing in a line and standing back-to-back is associated with a lower risk of transmission. 

For persons who are categorised as ‘close contacts’ of those who tested positive the advice differs according to their relationship with the confirmed case. Those in the same household (or equivalent) should quarantine for ten days, whereas others should be followed up closely for ten days, tested as soon as possible, and then re-tested within 2-3 days. They may attend school and work, but if they are healthcare workers or are otherwise in touch with patients as part of their work, they must take advice from the employer on the matter. All people categorized as ‘close contacts’ should limit their contact with other people.

Changes effective from 15 June:

• Events with 50-200 participants have been permitted.
• Gyms and fitness centres, as well as parks and swimming pools may reopen for the general public, but have to ensure compliance with infection control standards.
• Matches in the top division of the Norwegian football league are permitted from 16 June under an exemption from the COVID-19 regulations.

Guidelines for aviation from 16 June advise to leave the middle seat free between passengers if this is possible and that passengers should use face coverings. The guidelines allow for an exemption of the 1-metre distancing rule during the flight but stress the importance of strict adherence to boarding procedures and physical distancing in the waiting area.

On 25 June advice was issued that the 1 metre distancing rule for children participating in sports activities will be lifted from 1 August, thus enabling games and competitions to take place.

July:

Changes from 15 July:
• Buffet style serving of food will be allowed as long as it is in compliance with infection control standards for serving of food. 
August:

Changes from 13 August:
• Using face masks is not generally recommended, nor advised against, when there is little or no transmission in the community (below 20 cases per 100 000 inhabitants in the prior 14 days).
• If the number of cases increases above 20 per 100 000 inhabitants, face masks are recommended on public transport when it is not possible to keep 1 meter distance. Face masks are not recommended for children in primary school (below 12-13 years of age). Physical distancing of at least 1 meter continues to be the most important measure to be followed by the population. Due to the increased incidence-rate in Oslo and some south-eastern municipalities people are advised to wear face masks on public transport.
• The distinction between close contacts living in the same household and other close contacts is removed, i.e. all close contact are now treated in the same way.
• Colour-coding of countries

September:

Changes from 4 September:
• The visiting ban in long-term care institutions introduced in March was lifted later in the spring if the conditions allowed it. The Government now emphasises the importance of enabling visits to older people, the importance of them not being isolated. The County Medical Officers will be responsible for ensuring that the local rules and regulations are aligned with the national recommendations.
Changes from 18 September:
• Regional measures were updated in Oslo and Bergen: use of facemask is recommended on public transport when social distancing is not possible, with exemptions made for children below age of 12; use of facemask on public transport in Oslo will be mandatory from 29 September.
Changes from 23 September:
• The traffic light model introduced for children’s sports activities is abandoned and replaced with general guidelines for sports activities.

October:

Changes from 12 October:
• Outdoor events of up to 600 persons are allowed under the following conditions: participants are to be organised in groups with up to 200 people in a group, and the distance between the groups must at all times be at least 2 meters. For events with fixed seating arrangements, the capacity should be filled at 50%, with one free seat between every visitor. Families may sit next to each other.

Changes from 28 October:
• Staying at home and limiting social contacts were advised whenever possible. The recommended limit for group gatherings for people who are not members of the same household is up to 5 guests. If all guests are from the same household the number of guests may be increased. Young children are allowed to spend time with children belonging to the same cohort (class/group) also during after school hours. Teenagers and adults who have been in situations where physical distancing (>1 metre) have not been possible must maintain a 2-metre distance when interacting with people in higher risk groups.
• The number of people allowed in public indoor events is limited to 50 persons. If people are seated on fixed chairs, the number is limited to 200 persons (benches are not considered as fixed seating).
• The number of people allowed in public outdoor events is limited to 600 persons if they are seated on fixed chairs.
November:

Changes from 7 November:
• Avoidance of all domestic non-essential travel has been recommended. Exemptions are allowed for work-related travel, as well as travel to/from holiday homes with non-public transportations. 
• The number of persons allowed at private events taking place at public places (weddings, funerals etc) has been limited to 20 persons.
• Distance of at least 1 metre must be observed in the means of public transport and rush hours should be avoided.
• Restaurants, café and bars are not allowed to serve alcohol after midnight; no new guests are allowed to enter their premises after 22:00. Distance of 1 metre between all guests that are not member of the same household must be observed and only seating areas may be open. Registration of name /address of the guests is voluntary.
• Higher education institutions are advised to facilitate increased volume of online teaching in order to reduce the use of public transport
• Police force will be used to ensure that infection control measures and limitation on gatherings are adhered to.
• For restrictions on international travel, see section 1.3 Isolation and quarantine and Section 6 border and area restrictions. 
• Stricter local restrictions were introduced in Bergen and Oslo due to the higher incidence rate of infections. Higher risk areas must document updated plans and measures to handle the local challenges. 
Changes from 23 November:
• Passengers and taxi drivers must wear face masks in taxis. Face masks must be put on before the passenger enters the taxi and cannot be taken off until the journey has ended, and the passenger has left the taxi.

December:

Changes from 7 December:
• Bergen has eased some of the strictest local regulations, while continuing to adhere to national guidelines on visiting private households and on the hospitality service. The ban on cultural and sports activities for adults is being upheld. Oslo decided to largely uphold their social local lock-down until 7 January, with easing of restrictions for youth clubs, and for gatherings of disadvantaged population (people who are homeless, drug addicts, etc.) organised by charities and the city of Oslo over Christmas.
• National list of recommendations first presented on 5 November, has been prolonged until 15 January. Special Christmas guidance has also been issued. 
• Avoidance of all domestic non-essential travel is recommended. Social gatherings should be avoided during the last ten days before travelling from high-risk areas. This does not apply to work-related travel or travel to and from second homes that can be completed without being in contact with other people.
• The number of persons allowed at private events taking place at public places (weddings, funerals, etc.) has been limited to 20 persons.  The number of people allowed in public indoor events is limited to 50 persons. If people are seated on fixed chairs, the number is limited to 200 persons (benches are not considered as fixed seating). The number of people allowed in public outdoor events is limited to 600 persons if they are seated on fixed chairs.
• Children and youth (under 20) are exempt from the 1 metre rule and may share equipment.
• Staying at home and limiting social contacts is advised whenever possible. The recommended limit for group gatherings for people who are not members of the same household is up to 5 guests. If all guests are from the same household the number of guests may be increased. Young children are allowed to spend time with children belonging to the same cohort (class/group) also during after school hours. Teenagers and adults who have been in situations where physical distancing (>1 metre) has not been possible to maintain must keep a 2-metre distance when interacting with people in higher risk groups.
• Restaurants, cafés and bars are not allowed to serve alcohol after midnight; no new guests are allowed to enter their premises after 22:00. Distance of 1 metre between all guests that are not members of the same household must be observed and only seating areas may be open. Taking a register of name and address of guests is voluntary.
• Higher education institutions are advised to facilitate increased volume of online teaching in order to reduce the use of public transport.
• Children are required to stay at home and not attend school or kindergarten if they have any new respiratory symptoms or are feeling unwell.
Christmas guidance:
• People are advised to follow all the general advice and maintain physical distancing.
• For two days during the holidays, people may invite up to ten guests if it is possible to maintain the 1-metre distancing rule. The total number of ten-people parties must not exceed two over the holiday period.
• Voluntary organisations may gather up to 50 people indoors if respecting the physical distancing rule of 1 metre.
• Municipalities where there are visiting restrictions in nursing homes and institutions should ensure sufficient staffing to look after people who might be lonely.
• Travelling home for the holiday is considered to be a necessary journey. Visitors from abroad (red countries) must adhere to ten days of quarantine.
For restrictions on international travel, see section 1.3 Isolation and quarantine and Section 6 Border and area restrictions. 

MEASURES INTRODUCED IN 2021

January:

On January 4, the government decided to reinforce national measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. These measures included:
• No visits in private homes for a period of 14 days. Exemptions are made for home care services and visits to people in the last stages of life. Single persons household are allowed to receive visits from one or two regular friends or one other household. The group of people must be consistent over the period.
• Working from home is recommended whenever possible. 
• All organised outdoor activities and religious gatherings are to be postponed until January 19. Outdoor meetings of private parties of 5 people or fewer are permitted.
• Schools and higher education are not to reopen after Christmas. All education are to be conducted remotely until January 19.
• Restaurants and bars are not permitted to serve alcohol.
• All shops should introduce entry control and limit the number of people visiting the shop.
• The number of persons allowed at private events taking place at public indoor places is limited to 5 persons.  The number of people allowed in public indoor events, seated on fixed chairs, is limited to 200 persons (benches are not considered as fixed seating). The number of people allowed at funerals is limited to 50 persons. All events should however be postponed or cancelled. 
• In areas with high incidence of COVID:
o Facemasks are required when maintaining physical distance of 1 meter is not possible.
o Working from home is the rule whenever possible
o Gyms and fitness centres, as well as parks and swimming pools must be closed

On January 19, the national measures have been adjusted as follows:
• The number of people allowed at private events taking place at public indoor places is to be limited to 10 persons, and for private events taking place outdoors the number of persons are to be limited to 20.
• The number of people allowed in public indoor events, seated on fixed chairs, is limited to 200 persons (benches are not considered as fixed seating). The number of people allowed at funerals is limited to 50 persons. All events should however be postponed or cancelled.
• The ban on serving alcohol at restaurants and bars is upheld.


National measures in force from 29 January:
• Domestic and international travel is to be avoided when it is not deemed necessary.
• Students travel to/from place of study may be deemed necessary travel.
• Social contact should be limited, meeting other people outdoors is recommended, and the number of guests in a household should be limited to five persons. Children in day-care and primary school may receive visits from their cohorts.
• All planned events should be postponed or cancelled. Private events in public outdoor spaces should be limited to 20 persons. For indoors gatherings, the limit is 10 people, for events with fixed seating the limit is 200. The number of people allowed at funerals is limited to 50 persons.
National and regional measures from 23 February:
 
According to the risk assessment system implemented in December 2020 (see Section 5. Governance) municipalities experiencing an outbreak would be categorised into five categories with a set of preventive measures. On January 24, the government introduced an additionally system of risk zones (Ring 1 and Ring 2), which varying level of measures applicable in the municipalities, depending on the risk assessment. The new system classified municipalities neighbouring high-risk municipalities as having an elevated risk.  The system was in place for four weeks and from February 23 it was replaced by a simplified system that classifies applicable measures into three elevated levels of measures – A, B, and C. For educational institutions the modified traffic light model with yellow and red lights,  remains in place.

National measures (in place if not replaced by regional or local measures):
1. Kindergartens, schools: The yellow level in the traffic light model (see physical distance measures introduced in June 2020) applies to schools and kindergartens. Local assessments must be made in accordance with the infection situation, meaning that the municipality as the infection control authority may decide to implement the red level where this is necessary based on its assessment of the infection situation. However, the Government may still issue national recommendations that a red level be implemented if the situation so indicates.
2. Events: Limited to 10 people for indoor and 20 people for outdoor private gatherings in public spaces; for indoor sports event the limit is 10 people, or 50 people if the athletes are under 20 years old and are from the same cohort, or 100 people if there is fixed seating.
3. Recommendations: Visits at home should be limited to 5 guests. A distance of at least two metres should be kept from other people.  Passengers must wear a face mask in taxis. The duty to wear a face mask does not apply to children under the age of 12, or to those who are unable to wear a face mask for medical or other reasons.
Level A (particularly high level of measures, regulated by Chapter 5A of the COVID-19 regulations):
1. Universities, university colleges and tertiary vocational colleges: University, university college and tertiary vocational college premises will be closed to all students and teaching activities will take place digitally. Employees must comply with the rules that otherwise apply to workplaces.
2. Events: All events outside the home are banned, both indoors and outdoors, with the exception of burial and cremation ceremonies. Digital events where a maximum of five people physically are present, in addition to performers/speakers and necessary production personnel, are permitted.
3. Sports and recreational activities: Organised sports activities for adults or children are not permitted. The same applies to recreational activities for adults such as organised choir, brass band and drama rehearsals.
4. Workplaces: Everyone who can work from home must do so. Employers must ensure that employees work from home as far as practically possible. Employers must be able to document that the employees have received information about how this is to be done. Travel to work must be deemed strictly necessary. The requirement to work from home will nonetheless apply to those for whom this is possible.
5. Shops: All shops and department stores must remain shut, with the following exceptions: 5. Grocery shops, including kiosks, health food shops and other shops that mainly sell food; 5. Outlets that mainly sell animal feed and other necessary items for pets and livestock; Pharmacies; Surgical stores; Opticians; Vinmonopolet (national wine-monopoly stores); Businesses such as hairdressers, skin care salons, tattoo parlours etc.; Health-related businesses such as physiotherapists, chiropractors, chiropodists etc.; Petrol stations; Sales activities in connection with agriculture and animal production; Warehouse and wholesale sections of shops that sell goods to tradespeople etc.; Shops and department stores may stay open for collection of ordered and pre-paid goods if solutions that ensure satisfactory infection control have been implemented.
6. Restaurants, cafés, bars and hotels: Bars, restaurants etc. must be closed, but takeaways are allowed. Serving of alcohol is not allowed. Hotel restaurants can serve food to guests staying at the hotel.
7. The following places and enterprises must remain shut: Fitness centres; Swimming pools, water parks, spas, hotel swimming pools etc.; Places of worship and similar venues, except in connection with burial and cremation ceremonies and conversations between a representative of the religious and beliefs-based community and individuals; Libraries; Amusement parks, bingo halls, gaming arcades, playrooms, bowling alleys and similar venues; Museums; Cinemas, theatres, concert venues and similar cultural and entertainment venues; Other public venues and businesses that organise cultural, entertainment or recreational activities that gather people indoors.
8. Recommendations (not regulated): No one should have visitors or get-togethers at home. Exemptions apply to:
• Necessary home services and visits to people in the final phase of life.
• People who live alone can form a bubble with one or two friends or one specific household that they can visit or receive as visitors.
• In addition to visits within a kindergarten and primary school children’s own cohort, children and young people can form a bubble with one or two friends who they can visit or receive visits from. A distance of at least two metres should be kept from other people, except people in your own household and people mentioned in the bullet point above.
• No one should travel unless necessary. Travel to work must be deemed necessary. The requirement to work from home will nonetheless apply to most people. People resident in the municipality are recommended to refrain from visiting open shopping centres and department stores in neighbouring municipalities. Residents in the municipality can travel to a second home, but only together with people from their own household. They are advised to buy everything they need in their own municipality before they leave; not to go to shops, bars and restaurants or other places with many people in the municipality where their cabin is located; keep their distance to others on ski trails, ski lifts and on walks; check which advice and rules apply in the municipality where their cabin is located and comply with them; do not receive visitors.
The municipalities and county authorities should implement stricter public transport measures, which could for example entail only using 50 percent of the capacity on the means of transport.
People who have a high risk of becoming seriously ill or dying if they are infected with the coronavirus, should shield more. One-to-one businesses, such as hairdressers, should implement stricter measures such as the use of face masks in situations where it is not possible to keep a distance of one metre or to reduce or temporarily suspend services that entail close face-to-face contact.
9. Duty to wear a face mask: A face mask must be worn when it is not possible to keep a distance of at least one metre from people other than members of people’s own household, except when quickly passing people. The duty to wear a face mask also applies to employees in places where it is not possible to keep a distance of at least one metre from visitors. This does not apply to employees in places where other infection control measures have been implemented for them such as the use of visors, partitions etc. in accordance with the Institute of Public Health's recommendations.

Level B (high level of measures, regulated by Chapter 5B of the COVID-19 regulations):

1. Universities, university colleges and tertiary vocational colleges: The premises of universities, university colleges and tertiary vocational colleges, and for adult education at primary and lower and upper secondary level, will be closed to all pupils and students. Libraries and reading rooms in the premises may remain open. Employees must comply with the rules that otherwise apply to workplaces. Teaching activities will take place digitally. Universities, university colleges and tertiary vocational colleges may make exemptions from the requirement to keep their premises closed if access to the premises is essential for students who are dependent on carrying out experiments or skills training that cannot be carried out digitally and these activities are necessary to maintain progress in their studies. Schools with boarding facilities must follow the rules and recommendations for folk high school, while schools without such facilities follow the rules and recommendations for upper secondary education.
2. Events: All events outside the home are prohibited, both indoors and outdoors, with the exception of events and ceremonies in places of worship and similar venues, including weddings, burial and cremation ceremonies, baptisms and confirmation ceremonies. There can be no more than 20 people present at events in places of worship and similar venues, and all attendees must have a designated seat. The national rules on the maximum number of people permitted apply to burials and cremation ceremonies. Digital events where a maximum of five people are physically present, in addition to performers/speakers and necessary production personnel, are permitted.
Sports and recreational activities: Cultural, sports and recreational activities for children and young people under the age of 20 are permitted. Indoor sports activities for persons over the age of 20 are not permitted. The same applies to recreational activities for adults such as organised choir, brass band and drama rehearsals. However, indoor organised training for professional top-level athletes is permitted. Swimming pools, water parks, spas, hotel swimming pools. etc. may open for school swimming classes, organised swimming courses and organised swimming training for people under the age of 20 and professional athletes, and for rehabilitation and individual treatment.
3. Workplaces: Everyone who can work from home must do so. Employers must ensure that employees work from home as far as practically possible. Employers must be able to document that the employees have received information about how this is to be done in the enterprise. Travel to work must be deemed strictly necessary. The requirement to work from home will nonetheless apply to those for whom this is possible.
4. Shops: May stay open.
5. Restaurants, cafés, bars and hotels: The national rules apply.
6. The following places and enterprises must remain shut: Fitness centres, however in such a way that the following services may be provided: rehabilitation activities provided by an organiser to individuals or small groups, individual training and treatment that you can book an appointment for; Swimming pools, water parks, spas, hotel swimming pools etc. are closed, however in such a way that the following services may be provided: school swimming classes, organised swimming courses and organised training for people under the age of 20 and swimming training for professional athletes, rehabilitation activities provided by an organiser to individuals or small groups, other individual treatments that you can book an appointment for where being in a pool forms part of the treatment; Amusement parks, bingo halls, gaming arcades, playrooms, bowling alleys and similar venues; Museums; Cinemas, theatres, concert venues and similar cultural and entertainment venues; Other public venues and businesses that organise cultural, entertainment or recreational activities that gather people indoors; Public venues and enterprises at which organised cultural, sports and recreational activities take place may stay open for children and young people under the age of 20, outdoor activities for adults and organised indoor and outdoor training for top-level athletes, however in such way that recreational activities for others do not take place in these venues.
7. Recommendations (not regulated): People are encouraged to meet outdoors. In one week, the number of contacts should not exceed 10 persons in addition to necessary contacts in connection with work, household members and kindergarten and school cohorts. A distance of at least two metres should be kept from other people in risk groups, as well as in situations where the infection risk is assumed to be higher (e.g. in connection with physical high-intensity activity, singing or shouting). No one should travel unless necessary. Travel to work must be deemed necessary. The requirement to work from home will nonetheless apply to most people. Residents in the municipality are recommended to use local shopping centres/department stores. Residents in the municipality can travel to a second home, but only together with people from their own household. They should not visit shops, bars and restaurants or other places with many people in the municipality where their cabin is located; should keep distance to others on ski trails, ski lifts and on walks; and should not receive visitors. The municipalities and county authorities should implement stricter public transport measures, which could for example entail only using 50 per cent of the capacity on the means of transport. People who have a high risk of becoming seriously ill or dying if they are infected with the coronavirus, should shield more. One-to-one businesses, such as hairdressers, should implement stricter measures such as the use of face masks in situations where it is not possible to keep a distance of one metre or to reduce or temporarily suspend services that entail close face-to-face contact.
8. Duty to wear a face mask: A face mask must be worn when it is not possible to keep a distance of at least one metre from people other than members of people’s own household, except when quickly passing people. The duty to wear a face mask also applies to employees in places where it is not possible to keep a distance of at least one metre from visitors. This does not apply to employees in places where other infection control measures have been implemented for them such as the use of visors, partitions etc. in accordance with the Institute of Public Health's recommendations.

Level C (Fairly high level of measures, regulated by Chapter 5C of the COVID-19 Regulations):

1. Universities, university colleges and tertiary vocational colleges: The premises of universities, university colleges and tertiary vocational colleges, and for adult education at primary and lower and upper secondary level will be closed to all pupils and students. Libraries and reading rooms in the premises may remain open. Employees must comply with the rules that otherwise apply to workplaces. Teaching activities will take place digitally. 1. Schools with boarding facilities must follow the rules and recommendations for folk high school, while schools without such facilities follow the rules and recommendations for upper secondary education.Universities, university colleges and tertiary vocational colleges may make exemptions from the requirement to keep their premises closed if access to the premises is essential for students who are dependent on carrying out experiments or skills training that cannot be carried out digitally and these activities are necessary to maintain progress in their studies. Ordinary teaching is permitted in smaller groups of up to 10 people.
2. Events: All events outside the home are banned, both indoors and outdoors, with the exception of burial and cremation ceremonies. Digital events where a maximum of five people are physically present, in addition to performers/speakers and necessary production personnel, are permitted.
3. Sports and recreational activities: Cultural, sports and recreational activities for children and young people under the age of 20 are permitted. Indoor sports activities for persons over the age of 20 are not permitted. The same applies to recreational activities for adults such as organised choir, brass band and drama rehearsals. However, indoor organised training for professional top-level athletes is permitted. Swimming pools, water parks, spas, hotel swimming pools. etc. may open for school swimming classes, organised swimming courses and organised swimming training for people under the age of 20 and professional athletes, and for rehabilitation and individual treatment.
4. Workplaces: Everyone who can work from home must do so. Employers must ensure that employees work at home as far as practically possible. Employers must be able to document that the employees have received information about how this is to be done in the enterprise. Travel to work must be deemed necessary. The requirement to work from home will nonetheless apply to those for whom this is possible.
5. Shops: Shops may stay open.
6. Restaurants, cafés, bars : The national rules apply.
7. The following places and enterprises must remain shut: Fitness centres, however in such a way that the following services may be provided: activities for residents in the municipality, 7. rehabilitation activities provided by an organiser to individuals or small groups, individual training and treatment that you can book an appointment for; Swimming pools, water parks, spas, hotel swimming pools etc. are closed, however in such a way that the following services may be provided: school swimming classes, organised swimming courses and organised training for people under the age of 20 and swimming training for professional athletes, rehabilitation activities provided by an organiser to individuals or small groups, 7. other individual treatments that you can book an appointment for where being in a pool forms part of the treatment; Amusement parks, bingo halls, gaming arcades, playrooms, bowling alleys and similar venues; Museums; Cinemas, theatres, concert venues and similar cultural and entertainment venues; Other public venues and businesses that organise cultural, entertainment or recreational activities that gather people indoors. Public venues and enterprises at which organised cultural, sports and recreational activities take place may stay open for children and young people under the age of 20, outdoor activities for adults and organised indoor and outdoor training for top-level athletes, however in such way that recreational activities for others do not take place in these venues.
8. Recommendations (not regulated): People are encouraged to meet outdoors. A distance of at least two metres should be kept from other people in risk groups, as well as in situations where the infection risk is assumed to be higher (e.g. in connection with physical high-intensity activity, singing or shouting). No one should travel unless necessary. Travel to work must be deemed necessary. The requirement to work from home will nonetheless apply to most people. Residents in the municipality are recommended to use local shopping centres/department stores. Residents can travel to a second home, but only together with people from their own household. They should buy everything they need in their own municipality before they leave; do not go to shops, bars and restaurants or other places with many people in the municipality where their cabin is located; keep their distance to others on ski trails, ski lifts and on walks; check which advice and rules apply in the municipality where their cabin is located and comply with them; do not receive visitors. The municipalities and county authorities should implement stricter public transport measures, which could for example entail only using 50 per cent of the capacity on the means of transport.
9. Duty to wear a face mask: A face mask must be worn when it is not possible to keep a distance of at least one metre from people other than members of people’s own household, except when quickly passing people, for example in shops, common areas in shopping centres, cafés/restaurants, places of worship and similar venues, on public transport and indoor station areas, and venues for cultural, sporting and recreational activities. The duty to wear a face mask also applies to employees in places where it is not possible to keep a distance of at least one metre from visitors. This does not apply to employees in places where other infection control measures have been implemented for them such as the use of visors, partitions etc. in accordance with the Institute of Public Health's recommendations.

Update to national measures from 24 February:

Alcohol may be served only together with food. No serving of alcohol after 22:00.

23 March:

A total of 70 municipalities are identified as Level A (particularly high risk).

Due to the spread of the mutation of the virus and the upcoming spring break over Easter the Government decided to tighten national measures and is now advising everybody to keep a 2-metre distance to people who are not in their household, and always wear facemask when physical distancing is not possible. The maximum number of guests is set at 2. People living in areas with heightened risk should neither go on overnight visits or receive overnight guests. Shopping should be restricted to people’s home municipality. All teaching activities at universities, tertiary education will be conducted digitally as of 25 March. Library and reading rooms may be open. Universities, university colleges and tertiary vocational colleges may make exemptions from the requirement to keep their premises closed if access to the premises is essential for students who are dependent on carrying out experiments or skills training that cannot be carried out digitally and these activities are necessary to maintain progress in their studies.

In addition, the national measures in the COVID-19 regulations are tightened:
• No serving of alcohol
• All indoor sport activities are banned, with exemption for professional top athletes
• Gyms etc should be closed, but may be open to people living in the municipality or patients under rehabilitation
• Swimming pools are to be closed, with the exemption for educational purposes, patients (rehab purposes) and top athletes
• Recreational parks, bingo parlours etc are to be closed
• Everybody should work from home as far as it is possible
• All travel should be avoided (exemption for driving to with family to second homes)
• All events should be cancelled; following rules apply for events up to 20 people for indoor events with fixed seating, indoor sports events for youths may have 50 people if they belong to teams in the same municipality. Maximum number at outdoor event is 50 people, the same is for attending funerals.

April:

Strict national measures introduced on March 23 are prolonged from April 12 to April 14.

April 10:

The Government’s plan for a gradual reopening is released. The plan details the order in which the various parts of society will reopen. Re-opening consists of four stages, whereof the first is to reverse all or parts of the strict national measures introduced on March 23.

April 13:

Stepwise reopening starts.

Regulation for the whole country
• Events are limited to 10 people for indoor and 20 people outdoor for private gatherings in public spaces, for indoor sports event the limit is 10 people, or 50 people if the athletes are under 20 years from the same cohort, or 100 people fixed seating.
• Outdoor events are permitted with a maximum of 200 persons, but there may be 3 cohorts of 200 persons if spectators are assigned to fixed seats. Alcohol may be served, but only following regulations that apply to bars/restaurants.
Recommendation for the whole country:
• Recommended safe distance is reduced to 1 metre.
• A maximum of five guests is allowed in private homes, guests from one household may count as one, but physical distancing must be possible. Outdoor gatherings should be preferred.
• Children may receive friends from kindergarten and school (within their  cohort).
• Travel should be avoided.
• Events only bringing together participants from one single municipality may go ahead as planned.
• Serving of alcohol to be permitted until 22:00 hrs, but only to guests who are also being served food.
• A maximum of 100 persons is permitted at indoor events such as cultural and sporting events, conferences, and religious services, where all attendees are assigned fixed seats.

Transition between stages will be determined by infection rates and burden of diseases, capacity of healthcare and vaccination status. Local measures might be replaced by national measures; as a rule the local government may not implement less strict rules than those set by the national authorities.

15 April:

Adjustment to level A restriction: Level A was designed to last for 2-3 weeks. Some municipalities have prolonged duration of Level A restrictions and the Government has approved following adjustments: Access to campus for students is allowed if a strict testing regime is implemented. Florists may be opened, whereas garden centers must remain closed. Adjustment for top athletes are also granted.

National revision of measures in A, B and C will be considered.