Transmission quarantine required for close contacts of suspected cases of the Omicron variant

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The Norwegian Government has decided to also introduce a duty to complete transmission quarantine for other close contacts of people who it is suspected may have been infected with the Omicron variant. Currently, the duty to quarantine in these cases only covers household members of the suspected case and corresponding relations.

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People who have been in close contact with a person who is subject to a duty to isolate after suspected or confirmed infection with the Omicron variant must remain in transmission quarantine for 10 days after the close contact. This duty will cease to apply if there is confirmation later that the person with COVID-19 does not have the Omicron variant.

All close contacts of a person who it is suspected may have the Omicron variant must take a PCR test as soon as possible. They must take a second test on day 7 after the close contact. They may leave quarantine if they receive a negative test result on day 7.

‘It is critical that we have measures that can help delay transmission of the Omicron variant. Expanding transmission quarantine to other close contacts may feel like an invasive measure, but this is a serious situation and existing knowledge about the virus variant is uncertain,’ says Minister of Health and Care Services Ingvild Kjerkol.

As measures to reduce contact are also being introduced now, people will have fewer close contacts and the municipalities’ contact tracing work will become simpler.

No changes are being made to the rules regarding transmission quarantine for cases of COVID-19 where there is no suspicion of the Omicron variant. You can read more about the rules for close contacts of people with COVID-19 where there is no suspicion of Omicron on the web pages of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

‘This means that there will be two different TISK regimes (testing, isolation, contact tracing, and quarantine) for a while – one for cases where infection with Omicron is suspected, and one for other variants of COVID-19. I will continuously assess the TISK strategy in relation to the infection situation,’ Ms Kjerkol stresses.