Measures are being introduced to delay the spread of the Omicron variant in Norway

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A number of measures are being introduced now to delay the spread of the new Omicron variant when it comes to the country.

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‘It is likely that the new Omicron variant is more transmissible than the Delta variant. Past experience with the COVID-19 pandemic shows that more transmissible virus variants spread to all countries, including Norway. In order to limit and delay the spread in Norway, we are therefore introducing a number of aggressive measures,’ says Minister of Health and Care Services Ingvild Kjerkol.

The new measures are:

  • The isolation period will be extended to 7 days for people who receive a positive test result when there is reason to believe they have been infected with the Omicron variant.

  • Transmission quarantine is required for 10 days for close contacts who are household members or corresponding close relations of people who there is reason to believe have been infected with the Omicron variant. They are required to take a PCR test as soon as possible and on day 7 before ending quarantine. They may leave quarantine if they receive a negative test result on day 7.

  • A duty to get tested is being introduced for other close contacts if infection with the Omicron variant is suspected. They must be tested as soon as possible using a PCR test and between days 3 and 7 after the close contact. If possible, they should avoid close contact with other people until the first test returns a negative result.

  • All of the measures will apply regardless of a person's vaccination status.

  • The duties will cease to apply if there is confirmation later that the person with COVID-19 does not have the Omicron variant.

The measures have already entered into effect and are in addition to the entry restrictions that the Norwegian Government introduced on Saturday at 12 am.

'The existence of the new virus variant highlights the need to keep up a high pace of vaccination. It is important to administer the first and second doses to all the people who have not yet had them, and the booster dose to those who are eligible. The vaccination work must be prioritised,’ says Ms Kjerkol.

Definition of ‘household members and corresponding close contacts’ (Norwegian Institute of Public Health)