Historical archive

The Government simplifies the scheme for regional coronavirus measures

Historical archive

Published under: Solberg's Government

Publisher Ministry of Health and Care Services

The Government has decided to simplify the regional measures implemented to combat local coronavirus outbreaks set out in the COVID-19 Regulations. The number of levels of measures has been reduced from four to three, and the terms ‘Ring 1’ and ‘Ring 2’ will no longer be used.

The Government will still need to decide regional measures when a swift coordinated process is required in complicated situations involving a major outbreak. We have listened to the criticism that the system is too complicated to understand, and have simplified and improved the scheme,’ says Minister of Health and Care Services Bent Høie.

The Government’s regional measures were first introduced in connection with the outbreak of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus in Nordre Follo, and have later been used in response to similar outbreaks in Halden, Bergen and Ulvik.

The terms ‘Ring 1’ and ‘Ring 2’ will no longer be used. There will only be three levels of measures, rather than the previous four. The procedure is the same as before – the seriousness of the outbreak informs the strictness of the level of measures implemented in the municipalities in question.

The three levels of measures are as follows: Level A, level B and level C. Level A has the strictest measures, while level C has the least strict measures.

Experience of regional measures stipulated by the Government
The regional measures have generally worked well. The affected municipalities, the Institute of Public Health, the Directorate of Health and the county governors have cooperated well. The Government has adopted coordinated measures that have included the municipality where the outbreak has taken place and the surrounding municipalities, which enabled the swift implementation of coordinated measures. This has made it possible to gain an overview of the situation.

For all the outbreaks where regional measures were implemented (Nordre Follo, Halden, Bergen and Ulvik), the Government was eventually able to discontinue the regional measures and the municipalities themselves could introduce measures based on the local infection situation.

Changes to levels of measures
Although our experiences overall have been positive, the strict infection control measures are very challenging, especially for children and young people. The Government will therefore be making a few adjustments so that the municipalities have more freedom to supplement the national measures with their own measures. Among other things, the municipalities themselves will decide whether kindergartens and schools should transition to the red level, says Høie.

The major changes to the levels of measures include:

Kindergartens, primary and lower secondary schools

  • To prevent the infection control measures being unnecessarily burdensome to children and young people, assessments relating to levels of measures and shutdowns of schools will normally be made locally. However, the Government may still issue national recommendations that a red level be implemented if the situation so indicates.

Upper secondary schools

  • Upper secondary schools will no longer be closed at level A. The municipalities themselves will make decisions on closure.

Universities, university colleges and tertiary vocational colleges

  • Reading rooms and libraries can remain open at level C. The exemption relating to access to premises in connection with skills training that cannot be carried out digitally and where these activities are necessary for students to maintain progress in their studies, will be upheld. Teaching is permitted in groups of up to 10 people.

Places of worship and similar venues

  • At level A, places of worship and similar venues can remain open for spiritual guidance and other similar one-on-one contact with a spiritual adviser, clergyman, deacon, religious leader etc. Burial and cremation ceremonies are exempt from the ban on events.

  • At level B, places of worship and similar venues can remain open. These venues are included in the ban on events, but events such as weddings, funerals, baptisms and confirmation ceremonies are permitted.
    Up to 20 people may be present. The national limitations on the number of people permitted apply to burial and cremation ceremonies.

  • At level C, the national rules for places of worship and similar venues apply.

Fitness centres

  • At level B, fitness centres may remain open for rehabilitation activities provided to individuals or small groups, and for individual training and treatment that you can book an appointment for.

  • At level C, fitness centres can stay open without restrictions for persons resident in the municipality.

Shopping centres and department stores

  • At level A, people resident in the municipality are recommended to refrain from visiting open shopping centres and department stores in neighbouring municipalities.
  • At levels B and C, shopping centres and department stores can stay open, and residents in the municipality are recommended to only use local shopping centres/department stores.

The changes enter into force on 23 February.

The new levels of measures are:

Kindergartens, schools, universities, university colleges and tertiary vocational colleges

  • The yellow level in the traffic light model applies to schools and kindergartens, as in the rest of the country. 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 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.

  • 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.

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 present, in addition to performers/speakers and necessary production personnel, are permitted.

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.

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. 

Shops

All shops and department stores must remain shut, with the following exceptions:

  • Grocery shops, including kiosks, health food shops and other shops that mainly sell food
  • Outlets that mainly sell animal feed and other necessary items for pets and livestock
  • Pharmacies
  • Surgical stores
  • Opticians
  • Vinmonopolet shops
  • 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.

Restaurants, cafés, bars and hotels

  • Bars, restaurants etc. must be closed, but takeaways are allowed.
  • No serving of alcohol.
  • Hotel restaurants can serve food to guests staying at the hotel.

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.
  • Amusement parks, bingo halls, gaming arcades, playrooms, bowling alleys and similar venues.
  • 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.

Recommendations:

  • 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 visits from.
    • 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. Buy everything you need in your own municipality before you leave. Do not go to shops, bars and restaurants or other places with many people in the municipality where your cabin is located. Keep your distance to others on ski trails, ski lifts and on walks. Check which advice and rules apply in the municipality where your 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.

  • 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.

  • Testing and follow-up of close contacts and household members:
    • persons in quarantine are encouraged to get tested on day 7–10 in the quarantine period.
    • close contacts of people infected in an outbreak of the mutated coronavirus must be tested with a PCR test when going into quarantine (as soon as they have been defined as a close contact) and when leaving quarantine (day 7 at the earliest).
    • household members of close contacts should quarantine until the results of the close contact’s first PCR test are available. This applies to outbreaks relating to the UK variant of the coronavirus.


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 your 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.

  • Passengers must wear a face mask in taxis. Face masks must be put on before the passenger enters the taxi, and must not be taken off until the journey has ended and the passenger has left the taxi. The duty to wear a face mask applies correspondingly to the driver when there are passengers in the taxi.

  • 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.

  • 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.

All municipalities may implement strict recommendations and rules based on the local infection situation. It is therefore important to stay informed about the rules that apply in your municipality.

Kindergartens, schools, universities, university colleges and tertiary vocational colleges

  • The yellow level in the traffic light model applies to schools and kindergartens, as in the rest of the country. 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 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.

  • The premises of universities, university colleges and tertiary vocational colleges, and for adult education at primary and lower and upper secondary level, and adults taking education pursuant to the Introduction Act and Integration Act, as well as for course activities under the auspices of adult learning associations and the SkillsPlus scheme, will be closed to all pupils and students. Libraries and reading rooms in the premises can nevertheless 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.

  • The premises of schools approved pursuant to Chapter 6A of the Independent Schools Act will not be closed to pupils. 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.

  • The institutions may keep their premises open 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.

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 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.


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. 

Shops

  • May stay open.

Restaurants, cafés, bars and hotels

  • The national rules apply.

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.

  • 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.

Recommendations:

  • You should not have more than five guests in your own home. 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. Buy everything you need in your own municipality before you leave. Do not go to shops, bars and restaurants or other places with many people in the municipality where your cabin is located. Keep your distance to others on ski trails, ski lifts and on walks. Check which advice and rules apply in the municipality where your 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.

  • 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.

  • Testing and follow-up of close contacts and household members:
    • persons in quarantine are encouraged to get tested on day 7–10 in the quarantine period.

    • close contacts of people infected in an outbreak of the mutated coronavirus must be tested with a PCR test when going into quarantine (as soon as they have been defined as a close contact) and when leaving quarantine (day 7 at the earliest).

    • household members of close contacts should quarantine until the results of the close contact’s first PCR test are available. This applies to outbreaks relating to the UK variant of the coronavirus.

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 your 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.

  • Passengers must wear a face mask in taxis. Face masks must be put on before the passenger enters the taxi, and must not be taken off until the journey has ended and the passenger has left the taxi. The duty to wear a face mask applies correspondingly to the driver when there are passengers in the taxi.

  • 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.
  • 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.

All municipalities may implement strict recommendations and rules based on the local infection situation. It is therefore important to stay informed about the rules that apply in your municipality.

Kindergartens, schools, universities, university colleges and tertiary vocational colleges

  • The yellow level in the traffic light model applies to schools and kindergartens, as in the rest of the country. 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 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.

  • The premises of universities, university colleges and tertiary vocational colleges, and for adult education at primary and lower and upper secondary level, and adults taking education pursuant to the Introduction Act and Integration Act, as well as for course activities under the auspices of adult learning associations and the SkillsPlus scheme, will be closed to all pupils and students. Libraries and reading rooms in the premises can nevertheless remain open. Employees must comply with the rules that otherwise apply to workplaces. Teaching activities will take place digitally.

  • The premises of schools approved pursuant to Chapter 6A of the Independent Schools Act will not be closed to pupils. 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.

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 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.

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.

Shops

  • Shops may stay open.

Restaurants, cafés, bars 

  • The national rules apply.

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

  • 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.

Recommendations

  • You should not have more than five guests in your own home. 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. Buy everything you need in your own municipality before you leave. Do not go to shops, bars and restaurants or other places with many people in the municipality where your cabin is located. Keep your distance to others on ski trails, ski lifts and on walks. Check which advice and rules apply in the municipality where your 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.

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 your 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.

  • Passengers must wear a face mask in taxis. Face masks must be put on before the passenger enters the taxi, and must not be taken off until the journey has ended and the passenger has left the taxi. The duty to wear a face mask applies correspondingly to the driver when there are passengers in the taxi.

  • 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.

  • 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.

All municipalities may implement strict recommendations and rules based on the local infection situation. It is therefore important to stay informed about the rules that apply in your municipality.