Historical archive

Testing and staying at home – frequently asked questions

Historical archive

Published under: Støre's Government

Publisher Government.no

The Norwegian government has removed the majority of statutory measures against COVID-19 , including the obligation to isolate when ill. This advice took effect from Saturday 12 February at 10:00.

When and how should I take a test?

  • It is recommended that any adult with COVID-19 symptoms take a test.
  • This test should be taken as a self-test, but it may also be a rapid antigen test or a PCR test administered by a healthcare worker.

What should I do if I test positive?

  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19 you should remain at home for 4 full days (96 hours) and you must have been fever-free for 24 hours before leaving home.
  • You should contact your healthcare provider if you are worried about your health.
  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19 using a self-testing kit and you have not received a booster jab, you should confirm this result with a second test taken at a testing centre. If you have already received a booster jab or have undergone a basic course of vaccination (two doses for most people, three doses for those who are immunosuppressed) and have then been infected with COVID-19 within the last 3 months, there is no need to take a second, confirmatory test.
  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19 using a self-testing kit you should register this result online with your local municipality – visit their website to do so.
  • Note that if you have tested positive for COVID-19 using a self-testing kit, you should not register this result at helsenorge.no and it will not appear on your COVID-19 certificate.

What should I do if I test negative?

  • You should remain at home until you feel better and have been fever-free for 24 hours.
  • If you have mild symptoms, you can go to school/work on the same day, but you must go home if your symptoms worsen.
  • Most people will test positive around the onset of symptoms. In some cases, it may take longer from the onset of symptoms to when a self-testing kit shows that you are infected. If you have persistent symptoms and have tested negative using a self-testing kit, you are recommended to take a new test 2-3 days later. If your symptoms are mild, there is no need to remain at home during the time between your first and second tests.
  • People who work in health and other care settings should follow the “Advice on the use of personal protective equipment” guidelines.
  • In the case of more serious or persistent symptoms, you should contact your doctor for a further assessment.

I have respiratory symptoms but my test was negative. What should I do?

You should remain at home until you feel better and have been fever-free for 24 hours to ensure that you do not infect others. If you only have mild symptoms (light nasal congestion, or a mild headache), you can return to work/school immediately. However, you must go home and take a new test if your symptoms worsen.

What should I do if I test positive at home but test negative when I take a PCR test?

If the NAT/PCR test returns a negative result, the result returned by your antigen test will be classified as a false positive.

What advice and recommendations apply when I am infected and have to stay at home?

  • You should remain at home for 4 days (96 hours) from the time of the onset of your symptoms and you should have been fever-free for 24 hours before leaving home.
  • You can reduce the risk of infecting others in your household by keeping your distance or using a face covering.
  • You can go outside (e.g. for a walk or the play) as long as you keep your distance from others.
  • You should not visit anyone else or receive visitors at home.
  • You should avoid contact with anyone other than immediate members of your household.
  • If there are people in your household who are in a high risk category in relation to COVID-19 (e.g. immunocompromised people), you should consider refraining from contact altogether. Visit https://www.fhi.no/en/ for further advice to those at risk.

The recommendation to remain at home for 4 days (96 hours) does not apply to infected children who are enrolled in a kindergarten or school. It is recommended that they remain at home when they are ill. In the case of fevers, the general advice remains that children should have been fever-free for 24 hours before they return to school or kindergarten.

Do parents need to limit contact with their children if they are infected?

No. Parents are free to mix with their children. Children’s care needs come first.

If you live with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

  • Do not hesitate to take a test at the first sign of symptoms.
  • Should you experience the onset of new respiratory symptoms, you should follow this advice:
  • “What to do if you experience the onset of new respiratory symptoms”
  • You should refrain from contact with people in high risk categories if you experience symptoms.
  • You should consider refraining from visiting people in high risk categories even if you do not have any symptoms but there is an infection in your household.

How should people in COVID-19 risk categories behave? 

People who are at risk of serious illness and unvaccinated adults should take protective measures but there is no need to isolate. Social contact is important.

People who are at risk of serious illness and unvaccinated adults should be particularly cautious in relation to large meetings and gatherings in hospitality settings where experience shows it is difficult to keep their distance from others, and they should consider avoiding such settings altogether. They should also avoid unnecessary travel to areas with high levels of infection.

Isolation requirements discontinued

There is no longer a requirement to isolate if you test positive for COVID-19. Adults who are unwell should remain at home for 4 days (96 hours) and until they have been fever-free for 24 hours. Familiarise yourself with the advice and guidelines on what to do when you need to stay at home.

The recommendation to remain at home for 4 days (96 hours) does not apply to infected children who are enrolled in a kindergarten or school. It is recommended that they remain at home when they are ill. In the case of fevers, the general advice remains that children should have been fever-free for 24 hours before they return to school or kindergarten.

Quarantine discontinued

No one is required to quarantine. Quarantine has been discontinued for everyone. This also applies to close contacts who are members of the same household (or equivalent) as the infected person.