Press release | Date: 06/05/2021 | Ministry of Health and Care Services| No: 58/21
People who have received their first dose of the vaccine will be protected 3 weeks after receiving the first dose, and for up to 15 weeks afterwards. From today, these people can follow the same guidance that applies to people who are fully vaccinated. The same measures will be eased for people who have had COVID-19 in the past 6 months.
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"Our everyday lives are becoming a little freer. Today we are making sure that measures are eased in the same way for all of the 1.4 million people who have received at least one vaccine dose. This will also apply to people who have had COVID-19 during the past 6 months", says Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
Measures will be eased in private spaces for, among others, the following groups, who will from now be defined as "protected":
- People who are fully vaccinated.
- People who have received one dose, and where 3–15 weeks have elapsed since they received their dose. They must have spent the past 10 days in Norway.
- People who have had COVID-19 in the past 6 months.
"We are changing the recommendation regarding the number of visitors you can receive. Protected people no longer need to be counted; they will be included in the household numbers. The current guidance is a maximum of 5 visitors. These changes will, for example, make it possible to have 5 unvaccinated and 2 vaccinated visitors at the same time", states Ms Solberg.
Nonetheless, visitor numbers must be kept low enough to ensure that unprotected visitors are able to keep a distance from other unprotected visitors. Anyone who is protected must keep a distance from unprotected people in risk groups with whom they do not live.
If you live in a municipality that has local COVID-19 Regulations that regulate the maximum number of visitors you can receive, you must comply with these rules. These rules do not yet distinguish between people who are protected and those who are not.
Changes to the guidance regarding domestic travel for protected people
For a long time, the guidance for everyone has been to avoid unnecessary domestic travel, regardless of whether a person is protected or not.
"The Norwegian Government has decided that from now on, it is no longer advising against unnecessary travel in Norway for people who are protected", says Ms Solberg.
Important second dose
On Tuesday 4 May, the requirement of transmission quarantine was lifted for people who are fully vaccinated, while people who have received their first dose of the vaccine may be exempt if they take a test. No exemption is made for quarantine following arrival from another country.
"We are also considering whether people who are vaccinated also can be exempt from quarantine following arrival from another country. However, we depend on having ways of securely documenting a person's vaccination status so that we can prevent imported cases of COVID-19", says Minister of Health and Care Services Bent Høie.
He stresses that it is important that all people who need two doses take the second dose at the right time in order to achieve full protection and keep their status as vaccinated. The second dose must be taken after 12 weeks for people under the age of 65 who do not belong to a risk group.
It is possible to become infected even though a person has been vaccinated. It is also possible for vaccinated people to transmit the virus. This applies even if people do not notice that they are infected.
"Out in public it is not possible to know if unvaccinated people who belong to risk groups are close by. As long as there are still many unprotected people in society, and since vaccinated people occasionally may become infected and transmit the virus to others, the same rules and advice must apply to protected people as to unprotected people in public spaces", states Mr Høie.
The guidance applies to people who have received a vaccine that has been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
Guidance for protected people
- In private homes and in cars, protected people may have social contact (less than 1 metre) with other protected people, even if they belong to a risk group.
- Protected people can have close social contact with unprotected people who do not belong to any risk groups.
- Protected people should continue to keep a good distance (at least 1 metre) from unprotected people within a risk group who they do not live with.
- Protected people can be treated as household members and do not need to be counted as visitors. Unprotected people must continue to keep a distance from other unprotected people.
- Protected people are no longer advised against unnecessary travel in Norway. The general advice to keep a distance and wear a face covering will still apply on the trip.
- The rules and advice that apply out in public (in public spaces, including public transport) have not changed. This includes rules and advice regarding distance, numbers, hygiene, and use of face coverings.
- If you live in a municipality that has local rules under the COVID-19 Regulations that regulate the maximum number of visitors to a private home, you must comply with these rules. These rules do not distinguish between protected and unprotected people yet.
Guidance for nursing homes
Guidance has already been issued for nursing home residents, stating that people who are fully vaccinated must limit the number of visitors they receive. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health is currently revising the guidance on visitors and will be issuing further clarifications.
Different recommendations will continue to apply to private homes and municipal health and care institutions due to the different levels of risk of spread of infection in institutions. In places where most nursing home residents have been vaccinated, fully-vaccinated residents will be able to have close physical contact with unvaccinated visitors. The number of visitors should not exceed national or municipal provisions. The number of visitors must nonetheless be low enough to ensure that the visitors can keep a distance from each other.