News story | Date: 12/03/2021
The Easter holidays are in just a few weeks’ time, which is why the government has today announced a series of recommendations on how to enjoy the holidays in a Covid-safe manner.
These recommendations have been drawn up in consultation with the Norwegian Directorate of Health and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
‘The infection situation in Norway remains unstable, and over the last few weeks we have seen infection rates rise. We are concerned about the consequences of allowing a large number of people to travel and mix with others this Easter,’ says Bent Høie, Minister of Health and Care Services.
The infection situation is being closely monitored and these measures may be amended at short notice.
The recommendation to avoid non-essential domestic remains in effect over Easter. The government advises against all travel abroad unless it is strictly necessary.
‘Although travel to second homes in Norway is not considered necessary, people may visit cabins this Easter provided they take extra precautions in relation to preventing the spread of infection. If you do travel to a cabin, we recommend that you make all purchases beforehand, that you avoid public transport where possible and that you maintain a distance from others,’ says Høie.
If you are sick, you should stay at home this Easter. If you become unwell while at your cabin, you should return home. If you are in quarantine or awaiting test results, you should also remain at home. People living in areas with high rates of infection, such as the Greater Oslo region, should avoid visiting hotels or other overnight accommodation where large numbers of people gather.
‘We are recommending that everyone has fewer points of contact with other people than they would usually, and that meetings and activities should take place outdoors as much as possible,’ says Høie.
Church services and religious ceremonies are an important part of Easter for many people. People may participate in church services and religious events in the place where they live, but they should avoid any such gatherings that take place outside of their own municipality.
Here are the recommendations for a safe Easter holiday
- Stay at home if you are not well, and take a test as soon as possible if you think you may be infected with Covid-19.
- The government advises against all travel abroad unless it is strictly necessary. Avoid unnecessary domestic travel within Norway.
- Nevertheless, travel to a second home or leisure property (owned/borrowed/rented) may take place if you are particularly vigilant with regard to infection prevention en route and during your stay. You should only travel with people that you live with (or who are correspondingly close to you), and you should seek to make purchases prior to departure and ensuring you socially distance from other people.
- It is important to check which measures are in place in the municipality that you will be staying in. You can do so by a number of means, including via municipal websites or at helsenorge.no.
- If you are travelling to a municipality with fewer restrictions in place than your home municipality, you should generally adhere to the recommendations that apply at home.
- If you are in quarantine or awaiting a test result, you should not travel during the Easter holidays – this includes visiting your own cabin.
- If you are staying in a cabin and become unwell, you should return home. If you are telephoned and told to quarantine, you should return home.
- You may travel to hotels within Norway, but you should ensure you maintain social distancing from other guests and you should limit any time spent in common areas. If you come from an area with high rates of infection and strict local measures in place, you should not travel to a hotel or equivalent overnight accommodation where large numbers of people gather.
- The government recommends that you avoid moving from cabin to cabin since this results in a significant increase in the risk of infection.
- If you are staying in self-service cabins, it should be possible to make a reservation in advance in order to avoid several households/travel parties staying in them at the same time.
- If a cabin is in a particular remote or inaccessible location, and a request for health-related assistance or the need to quarantine/be tested may pose challenges to the local health authorities, then it should be evaluated at a local level whether such cabins should be closed to the public.
- In the case of strictly necessary foreign travel (e.g. children visiting parents in another country), it is extremely important to exercise caution while travelling and to adhere to quarantine regulations and testing requirements upon your return to Norway.
- Travel operators should consider limiting access to common areas in order to reduce the risk of infection and to make it easier to adhere to infection prevention regulations.
- You should avoid having more than 10 social contacts over the course of a week.
- You should avoid visits from more than 5 people in your own home. If your home municipality recommends against visits, you should follow this advice whether you are at home, in your cabin or elsewhere.
- If you come from an area with high rates of infection and strict local measures in place, then the government advises against any overnight visits during the Easter holidays. Nevertheless, children and young people under the age of 20 and people who live alone may have overnight visits from 1–2 specific friends.
- Opt for outdoor activities where possible. Seek to avoid locations where many people are gathered and where it is difficult to maintain social distancing. This includes bars, cafes, restaurants, ski resorts, ski lounges, play centres, water parks, etc. You may visit downhill skiing facilities, but you should avoid crowded areas.
Church services and other religious ceremonies
- The rules, guidelines and recommendations relating to events apply to church services, as well as other religious ceremonies and faith gatherings, taking place over Easter. You may not participate in events of this kind that take place outside of your municipality.