Historical archive

How to spend your winter break in Norway

Historical archive

Published under: Solberg's Government

Publisher Ministry of Health and Care Services

It is almost the winter break, and in light of this the Norwegian Directorate of Health and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health have prepared national guidelines on how to plan and take holidays in a Covid-safe manner.

A holiday can be a much longed for break from the tough times we currently find ourselves in. The Norwegian Directorate of Health and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health have therefore prepared a set of national guidelines that we should all adhere to so that we avoid a new rise in infections. We can’t take a break from the infection prevention guidance, says Bent Høie, Minister of Health and Care Services.

Foreign travel is not recommended, in part due to the high risk of importing further infection upon your return.

- Travelling abroad on your holidays will be a violation of our travel advice. The risks are far too high : both in terms of picking up an infection, and due to changing regulations in the countries that you may visit and subsequent difficulties in returning to Norway. Flights may be cancelled, and rules can change quickly in other countries, says Høie.

The general national guidelines also apply to the winter break. Remember to stay at home if you are not well. Ensure that you take a test as soon as possible if you believe you may be infected. Practise basic infection prevention by maintaining good hand hygiene, social distancing from others and only coming into close contact with a very small number of people regardless of where you spend your holiday.

- We recognise that many people wish to spend the winter break elsewhere, for instance in a cabin. We have therefore drawn up some useful advice to help you on your way and ensure that you are able to do so as safely as possible, says Høie.

Here are the recommendations for a safe winter break:

General

  • It is important that you remain at home if you are not well, and that you take a test as soon as possible if you believe you may be infected with Covid-19.

  • Everyone must be prepared to change their plans for the winter break in the event that a local outbreak occurs either in the place you live or where you are due to travel to. This may result in the imposition of new local guidelines and regulations that you must adhere to.

Travel

  • We advise against travel abroad.

  • You may travel to a cabin (owned or rented) or hotel domestically within Norway, but you should avoid public transport where this is possible.

  • If you are planning to stay in a hotel, you must be prepared to quarantine until the situation is clarified in the event that there is an outbreak at that location. Practise social distancing from other guests and follow all hotel infection prevention rules.

  • It is important that you familiarise yourself with the infection prevention rules applicable in the place you are travelling to and that you adhere to these.

  • As a general rule, persons travelling to municipalities with less strict measures in place should follow the recommendations that apply to the municipality in which they ordinarily live. For example, if your home municipality requires you to wear a face covering, you should ensure that you do so in equivalent settings in the municipality that you travel to even if this is not a requirement in that location.

Social

  • Everyone should reduce the number of people they come into contact with, and you should mix with as few people as you can in social contexts, for less time and with fewer different people over the course of a week. You should preferably gather outdoors where the risk of infection is lower. If anyone is in a higher risk category, extra care should be taken.

Visits

  • The national guidelines applicable to visits at home also apply to visits elsewhere such as cabins during the winter break. This means that you are encouraged to meet others outdoors, and not to receive more than five visitors in addition to the members of your household provided that you are able to maintain distancing of at least one metre from your guests at all times. If all the guests come from the same household, more than five guests are permitted.

  • Limit overnight visits. The recommendation relating to the number of guests and distancing also applies to overnight stays. Persons from different households should not share a bedroom.
    You should ensure good hygiene practices and high levels cleanliness are in place if persons from different households must share a bathroom.

    The one-metre rule also applies in cabins, which means that the opportunity for overnight visits is ruled out for the vast majority of people.

Shopping and activities

  • You should shop for any supplies you will need on your trip in your home municipality before you depart. If you must shop for necessities elsewhere, ensure you do so at times when there are fewer people around. It is preferable for only one member of your household to shop at a time.

  • Try to ensure that you choose activities that take place outdoors. If visiting ski facilities, swimming pools or other locations, you should comply with the infection prevention guidelines in place at the facilities.

  • Insofar as this is possible, seek to avoid locations where many people are gathered and where it is difficult to maintain social distancing. This includes bars, cafes, restaurants and ski resorts.

  • You should always practise good hand hygiene and social distancing.

Visit helsenorge.no for further details.