Booster dose for all people over the age of 65 before Christmas and local use of the COVID-19 certificate

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Minister of Health and Care Services Ingvild Kjerkol is asking the municipalities to ensure that all people over the age of 65 are offered a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before Christmas. This will offer continued protection against serious illness and can help prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.

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‘The vaccines offer good protection against infection and illness, but their effectiveness wanes over time, especially for the elderly. This is why it is very important that they receive the third dose as soon as possible,’ says Ms Kjerkol.

Many of the current patients in hospital are elderly people who were vaccinated late last winter.

The municipalities must also ensure that 16 and 17-year-olds receive their second vaccine dose now. This will help reduce transmission in this age group.

‘The municipalities are not the only ones who have a job to do now, however. We all do. Too many of us aren't following the advice to stay home when we're sick. This is why COVID-19 and other viruses are spreading quickly through the population now. This means that the infection rate is continuing to rise, more and more people are sick, and the pressure on the health service is increasing,’ explains the Minister of Health and Care Services.

COVID-19 certificate
Municipalities that have implemented infection control measures may now use the COVID-19 certificate to ease measures for people who are fully vaccinated, have recovered from COVID-19, or have tested negative for COVID-19 during the past 48 hours. In other words, it is not necessary to be vaccinated to use the certificate.

New regulations that were adopted on 19 November will make this possible. A condition for a municipality being able to require use of the COVID-19 certificate is that it has adopted decisions to implement infection control measures.

‘In addition, the municipalities must offer free rapid antigen tests to all people who are unvaccinated. Events and businesses that require presentation of a COVID-19 certificate will use an app to check whether certificates are valid. Children and young people under the age of 16 do not need a COVID-19 certificate,’ states Ms Kjerkol.

The Norwegian Directorate of Health will draw up guidance for the municipalities on how to regulate use of the COVID-19 certificate.

‘We want to keep society as open as possible, while municipalities with outbreaks introduce measures. We hope that the regulations make it easier for municipalities with outbreaks to adopt local infection control measures. We believe that use of the COVID-19 certificate will be good for businesses and individuals, and the measures will be less intrusive,’ says Ms Kjerkol. 

Partial vaccination will not provide grounds for an exemption from local restrictions.

Only local use at present
The blue EU version of the COVID-19 certificate will also be used domestically. At present, the COVID-19 certificate only provides exemption from infection control measures in municipalities that have adopted local infection control measures. Check which COVID-19 certificate rules apply in your municipality.

The Norwegian Government will also assess whether it is necessary to expand use of the COVID-19 certificate on a national level, but this will require a legislative amendment.

‘We will see whether we can use the COVID-19 certificate as a measure to prevent lockdowns and greater transmission. This will require thorough political, ethical, and legal assessments, which is a matter we will return to later,’ states Ms Kjerkol.

  • The COVID-19 certificate shows whether you are vaccinated, have recovered from COVID-19, or your test result, if it is negative. You can find it by downloading the Helsenorge app or by logging on to Helsenorge.no.

  • The COVID-19 certificate is blue. It is not green or red, unlike the former domestic control page.

  • Children do not need a COVID-19 certificate, but parents can download a COVID-19 certificate for children, for example to cross the border into countries that require this. 

  • All people with a national identity number or D number for whom there is data on vaccinations, negative test results, or recovery from COVID-19 have a COVID-19 certificate.

  • Events in public places

  • Venues that serve food or alcohol

  • Fitness centres and indoor swimming pools

  • Cinemas, theatres, concert venues, museums, amusement parks, and similar cultural and entertainment venues