Levels of measures in the event of local outbreaks of infection

Corona information is frequently changed and may therefore be out of date.

You will find updated news from the Government on Topic Page The coronavirus situation. General information about the coronavirus can be found on Helsenorge.no.

The government may determine which measures to implement in a municipality and surrounding municipalities in the event of an outbreak of infection.

Information in other languages:


There are three levels of measures available: 
Level A, Level B, and Level C.

 Level A incorporates the strictest measures, while Level C incorporates the least strict measures.

  • Level A Measures - a very high level of measures, as regulated by Chapter 5A of the Covid-19 Regulations)
    (see Chapter 5A of the Covid-19 Regulations)

  • Level B Measures - a high level of measures, as regulated by Chapter 5B of the Covid-19 Regulations)
    (see Chapter 5B of the Covid-19 Regulations)

 

  • Level C Measures - a moderate level of measures, as regulated by Chapter 5C of the Covid-19 Regulations)
    (see Chapter 5C of the Covid-19 Regulations)

You will find an overview of the measures that apply at the different levels here:

Level A Measures (a very high level of measures, as regulated by Chapter 5A of the Covid-19 Regulations):

Kindergartens, schools, universities, university colleges and vocational schools

  • Yellow level measures in line with the traffic light model apply to schools and kindergartens as is the case nationwide. Local assessments should be carried out in line with the infection situation. This means that the municipality acting in its capacity as the local infection prevention authority may decide that red level measures are necessary on the grounds of infection control. Nevertheless, the government will issue national recommendations for a shift to red level measures should the situation indicate this is necessary.

  • Facilities at universities, university colleges and vocational schools are closed to all students and teaching must take place digitally. Personnel should otherwise adhere to the general rules applicable to the workplace.

Events

  • All events outside the home are prohibited, both indoors and outdoors, with the exception of funerals and burials.

  • Digital events with a maximum of five persons present, in addition to performers and other necessary production personnel, remain permitted.

Sport and leisure activities

  • The organisation of sporting activities for adults and young people is prohibited (but with a number of exemptions in place listed below). The same stipulation applies to leisure activities such as organised rehearsals, training and auditions for choirs, bands and theatres.

  • Outdoor sporting and leisure activities are permitted for children and young people under the age of 20 provided this takes place in groups of no more than 10 persons and that all participants come from the same municipality. The government recommends that all activities are facilitated in a way that ensures participants are able to maintain distancing of two metres from each other. 

Workplaces

  • Everybody who can do so should work from home. Employers must ensure that personnel work from home insofar as this is practically feasible. Employers must document that instructions on how to do so within the business or organisation have been issued to employees. Employees should only travel to their workplace if it is strictly necessary. The requirement to work from home will apply to everyone who is able to. 

Retail and services

All shops and department stores must remain closed, with the following exceptions in place:

  • Grocery stores, including kiosks, health food shops and other retailers that primarily sell food products
  • Retailers who primarily sell animal feed and other essential items for pets and domestic animals
  • Pharmacies
  • Surgical stores
  • Opticians
  • Vinmonopolet
  • One-to-one services such as hairdressers, skin care professionals, tattooists, etc.
  • Healthcare providers such as physiotherapists, chiropractors, podiatrists, etc.
  • Petrol stations
  • Retailers for the agricultural and livestock sectors
  • Stores and wholesalers in businesses that sell to the trades

Shops and department stores may remain open for click and collect on pre-purchased goods provided that appropriate, Covid-safe measures are in place to enable the safe collection of goods.

Restaurants, cafés, bars, and hotels

  • All catering outlets are closed, but take away services are permitted.

  • No alcohol may be served.

  • Catering outlets within hotels may serve food to residents only.

The following venues and locations must remain closed

  • Fitness centres

  • Swimming pools, water parks, spa facilities, hotel pools, etc.

  • Religious and faith-based premises, with the exception of funeral and burial services, as well as consultations between a representative of the religious of faith-based organisation and single individuals.

  • Libraries

  • Amusement parks, bingo halls, amusement arcades, play centres, bowling alleys, etc.

  • Museums
  • Cinemas, theatres, concert venues and equivalent cultural and entertainment facilities

  • Other public venues and facilities where cultural, entertainment or leisure activities take place that bring together people indoors

Recommendations:

  • Everyone should avoid visiting other people’s homes or receiving visitors in their own home. Exemptions apply to:
    • Necessary home-based services and visits to people who may die soon.
    • Persons who live alone may receive visits from or pay visits to one or two specific friends or to one specific household.
    • Children and young people may receive visitors from within their own kindergarten or primary school cohort, in addition to visits from one or two specific friends.

  • When meeting other people, you should ensure a distance of 2 metres is maintained. Exceptions to this are people in your own household, and others equally close to you. It is especially important to maintain the distance indoors.  

  • Everyone should avoid non-essential travel. Employees should only travel to their workplace if it is necessary. Nevertheless, most people are subject to guidelines that stipulate they should work from home.

  • Residents within a municipality subject to measures are urged not to travel to shopping centres or department stores that may be open in neighbouring municipalities.

  • Residents within a municipality subject to measures may travel to a second home or leisure property, but only with people from their own household. Ensure that all purchase are made prior to departure from your own municipality. Do not visit stores, catering outlets or other places where many people may gather in the municipality that you visit. Maintain distancing from other people on the ski trail, the ski lift and when hiking. Check which advice and guidelines apply to the municipality you are visiting and adhere to them. Do not receive visitors.

  • Municipalities and county municipalities should impose enhanced measures on all forms of public transport. This may include measures such as limiting passenger numbers to 50 per cent of capacity on board.

  • Persons who are in high risk categories and face elevated risks of illness or death if they are infected with Covid-19 should ensure they exercise further caution.

  • One-to-one businesses, such as hairdressers, should introduce enhanced measures such as the use of face coverings in situations where it is not possible to maintain distancing of at least 1 metre. Alternatively, they should reduce or temporarily suspend services that involve close face-to-face contact.

  • Testing and contact tracing of close contact and household members:
    • persons who are in quarantine having been instructed to do so by contact tracing should take a test on day 7-10 of their quarantine period.

    • close contacts who are linked to an outbreak of the mutated coronavirus must take a PCR test both when they begin their quarantine period (immediately after being defined as a close contact) and at the end of their quarantine period (no sooner than day 7).

    • members in the same household as close contacts should quarantine until the initial PCR test has been taken and a result received for the close contact. This applies in relation to the outbreak of the English strain of Covid-19.

Face coverings mandatory

  • When distancing of at least one metre is not possible (with the exception of briefly passing by people outside your household), you should use a face covering. This applies in shops, common areas in shopping centre, in catering outlets, in religious and faith-based venues, on public transport and in indoor station areas, as well as in cultural, sporting and leisure activity facilities.

  • Passengers must use face coverings in taxis. The passenger should put on their face covering before entering the taxi and should not remove it until the journey is completed and they have exited the vehicle. The requirement to wear a face covering also applies to the driver at all times when carrying a passenger in their taxi.

  • The requirement to wear a face covering also applies to employees in locations where it is not possible to maintain distancing of at least one metre from visitors. This requirement does not apply to employees in locations where other infection prevention measures have been implemented for the benefit for personnel, such as the use of visors, partitions and so on in accordance with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health’s recommendations.

  • The requirement to wear a face covering does not apply to children under the age of 12, or to those who are unable to wear a face covering on medical or health-related grounds.

All municipalities are entitled to imposed strict guidelines and rules based on the local infection rate. It is therefore important that you monitor which rules apply in your own municipality.

Level B (High level of measures, regulated by Chapter 5B of the COVID-19 Regulations):

Kindergartens, schools, universities, university colleges and vocational schools

  • Yellow level measures in line with the traffic light model apply to schools and kindergartens as is the case nationwide. Local assessments should be carried out in line with the infection situation. This means that the municipality acting in its capacity as the local infection prevention authority may decide that red level measures are necessary on the grounds of infection control. Nevertheless, the government will issue national recommendations for a shift to red level measures should the situation indicate this is necessary.

  • The following facilities are closed to all pupils and students: premises at universities, university colleges, and vocational schools, as well as facilities providing primary-level education for adults, upper secondary-level education for adults, and adult education pursuant to the Introduction Act and the Integration Act. Furthermore, this closure also encompasses all courses delivered by adult education associations and Skills Norway (Kompetansepluss). Libraries and study spaces at such facilities may nevertheless remain open. Personnel should otherwise adhere to the general rules applicable to the workplace. Teaching should take place digitally.

  • Universities, university colleges, and vocational schools may seek an exemption from the requirement to close their premises if access to them is essential for students who need to carry out experiments or receive skills training that cannot be completed digitally, and doing so is necessary to ensure progression in their programme of study.

  • The closure of premises at schools that have been approved under Chapter 6A of the Independent Schools Act to pupils is not required. Schools offering boarding must adhere to the rules and recommendations issued to folk university colleges, while schools without boarding must adhere to the rules and recommendations issued for upper secondary education.

  • Such institutions may keep their premises open if access to them is essential for students who need to carry out experiments or receive skills training that cannot be completed digitally, and doing so is necessary to ensure progression in their programme of study.

Events

  • All indoor and outdoor events outside the home are prohibited, with the exception of religious and faith-based gatherings and ceremonies in religious and faith-based premises, including wedding, funeral, burial, baptismal and confirmation ceremonies.

  • Events held in religious or faith-based facilities cannot accommodate more than 20 persons and all members of the audience must have fixed, assigned seating positions. In the case of funerals and burial services, national guidelines govern the maximum number of persons who may attend.

  • Digital events with a maximum of five persons present, in addition to performers and other necessary production personnel, remain permitted.

Sport and leisure activities

  • Cultural, sporting and leisure activities remain available to children and young people under the age of 20. The organisation of indoor sporting events for persons aged 20 or older is prohibited. The same stipulation applies to leisure activities such as organised rehearsals, training and auditions for choirs, bands and theatres. Organised, indoor training for professional elite athletes remains permitted. 

  • Indoor swimming pools, water parks, spa facilities, hotel pools and so on may open to allow school swimming sessions, organised swimming lessons and organised swimming training sessions for persons under the age of 20, as well as professional elite athletes. They may also open for the purposes of physical rehabilitation, recovery and individual treatment.

Workplaces

  • Everybody who can do so should work from home. Employers must ensure that personnel work from home insofar as this is practically feasible. Employers must document that instructions on how to do so within the business or organisation have been issued to employees. Employees should only travel to their workplace if it is strictly necessary. The requirement to work from home will apply to everyone who is able to. 

Retail and services

  • Shops may remain open.

  • One-to-one services, such as hairdressers, etc., may remain open.

Restaurants, cafés, bars, and hotels

  • No alcohol may be served.

The following venues and locations must remain closed

  • Fitness centres, although the following activities and services may continue:
    • rehabilitation and recovery offered on an individual basis or to small groups on an organised basis

    • individual training and treatment for which an appointment can be booked

  • Indoor swimming pools, water parks, spa facilities, hotel pools and so on must close, although the following activities and services may continue:
    • school swimming sessions, organised swimming lessons and organised swimming training sessions for persons under the age of 20, as well as professional elite athletes

    • rehabilitation and recovery offered on an individual basis or to small groups on an organised basis

    • other individual treatment for which an appointment can be booked and where swimming constitutes part of the treatment

  • Amusement parks, bingo halls, amusement arcades, play centres, bowling alleys, etc.

  • Museums

  • Cinemas, theatres, concert venues and equivalent cultural and entertainment facilities

  • Other public venues and facilities where cultural, entertainment or leisure activities take place that bring together people indoors

  • Public venues and facilities where organised cultural, sporting and leisure activities take place may remain open for children and young people under the age of 20. Likewise, outdoor activities for adults and organised indoor and outdoor training for elite athletes may continue provided that leisure activities for others do not continue at such locations.

Recommendations:

  • You should host no more than five guests in your own home. You are urged to meet people outdoors.

  • Your total number of contacts over the course of one week should not exceed 10 persons beyond necessary contacts in the line of work, household members and kindergarten/school cohorts.

  • Distancing of two metres should be maintained in encounters with others who are in risk categories, and in situations where the risk of infection is assumed to be greater (e.g. during high intensity physical activity, singing or shouting).

  • Everyone should avoid non-essential travel. Employees should only travel to their workplace if it is necessary. Nevertheless, most people are subject to guidelines that stipulate they should work from home.

  • It is recommended that residents in the municipality subject to these measures use local shopping centres/department stores.

  • Residents within a municipality subject to measures may travel to a second home or leisure property, but only with people from their own household. Ensure that all purchase are made prior to departure from your own municipality. Do not visit stores, catering outlets or other places where many people may gather in the municipality that you visit. Maintain distancing from other people on the ski trail, the ski lift and when hiking. Check which advice and guidelines apply to the municipality you are visiting and adhere to them. Do not receive visitors.

  • Municipalities and county municipalities should impose enhanced measures on all forms of public transport. This may include measures such as limiting passenger numbers to 50 per cent of capacity on board.

  • Persons who are in high risk categories and face elevated risks of illness or death if they are infected with Covid-19 should ensure they exercise further caution.

  • One-to-one businesses, such as hairdressers, should introduce enhanced measures such as the use of face coverings in situations where it is not possible to maintain distancing of at least 1 metre. Alternatively, they should reduce or temporarily suspend services that involve close face-to-face contact.

  • Testing and contact tracing of close contact and household members:
    • persons who are in quarantine having been instructed to do so by contact tracing should take a test on day 7-10 of their quarantine period.

    • close contacts who are linked to an outbreak of the mutated coronavirus must take a PCR test both when they begin their quarantine period (immediately after being defined as a close contact) and at the end of their quarantine period (no sooner than day 7).

    • members in the same household as close contacts should quarantine until the initial PCR test has been taken and a result received for the close contact. This applies in relation to the outbreak of the English strain of Covid-19.

Face coverings mandatory

  • When distancing of at least one metre is not possible (with the exception of briefly passing by people outside your household), you should use a face covering. This applies in shops, common areas in shopping centre, in catering outlets, in religious and faith-based venues, on public transport and in indoor station areas, as well as in cultural, sporting and leisure activity facilities.

  • Passengers must use face coverings in taxis. The passenger should put on their face covering before entering the taxi and should not remove it until the journey is completed and they have exited the vehicle. The requirement to wear a face covering also applies to the driver at all times when carrying a passenger in their taxi.

  • The requirement to wear a face covering also applies to employees in locations where it is not possible to maintain distancing of at least one metre from visitors. This requirement does not apply to employees in locations where other infection prevention measures have been implemented for the benefit for personnel, such as the use of visors, partitions and so on in accordance with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health’s recommendations.

  • The requirement to wear a face covering does not apply to children under the age of 12, or to those who are unable to wear a face covering on medical or health-related grounds.

All municipalities are entitled to imposed strict guidelines and rules based on the local infection rate. It is therefore important that you monitor which rules apply in your own municipality.

Level C (Fairly high level of measures, regulated by Chapter 5C of the COVID-19 Regulations):

Kindergartens, schools, universities, university colleges and vocational schools

  • Yellow level measures in line with the traffic light model for schools and kindergartens as in the rest of the country. Local assessments must be carried out in accordance with the infection situation.

    This means that the municipality acting in its capacity as the local infection control authority may decide that red level measures are necessary following an assessment of the infection situation. Nevertheless, the Norwegian Government may issue a national recommendation to move to red level measures should the situation call for this.

  • The following facilities are closed to all students: universities, university colleges, vocational schools, and facilities providing primary-level education for adults, upper secondary-level education for adults, and adult education pursuant to the Introduction Act and the Integration Act. This also encompasses courses delivered by adult education associations and Skills Norway. Libraries and reading rooms in these premises may nevertheless open. Employees should otherwise follow the general rules applicable to the workplace. Teaching must take place digitally.

  • The premises of schools that have been approved under Chapter 6A of the Independent Schools Act may open. Schools offering boarding must follow the rules and recommendations that govern folk university colleges, while schools without boarding must follow the rules and recommendations issued for upper secondary education.

  • Universities, university colleges, and vocational schools may make exemptions from the requirement to close their premises if access to them is essential for students who need to carry out experiments or skills training that cannot be completed digitally, and this is necessary to ensure progress in their programme of study.

  • Ordinary teaching is permitted in small groups of up to 10 people.

Events

  • Events are governed by national rules.

Sports and leisure activities

  • Cultural, sporting, and leisure activities are permitted for children and young people under the age of 20. The organisation of indoor sporting events for people aged 20 or older is prohibited. The same applies to leisure activities such as organised rehearsals, training, and auditions for choirs, marching bands, and theatre groups. Organised indoor training for elite athletes is nonetheless permitted.

  • Indoor swimming pools, water parks, spa facilities, hotel pools, etc. may open to school swimming, organised swimming lessons, and organised swimming training for people under the age of 20, as well as elite athletes. They may also open for the purposes of physical rehabilitation, retraining, and individual treatment.

Workplaces

  • Everybody who can do so should work from home. Employers must ensure that employees work from home insofar as this is practically feasible. Employers must document that they have provided employees with instructions on such arrangements within the enterprise. Travel to the workplace may only take place if deemed necessary. The requirement to work from home will nonetheless apply to everyone who is able to do so.

Shops and services

  • Shops may open.
  • One-to-one services, such as hairdressers, etc., may open.

Restaurants, cafés, and bars 

  • Alcohol may not be served. The national rules otherwise apply. 

The following venues and locations must be closed

  • Fitness centres, although the following activities may continue:
  • services for residents of the municipality
  • rehabilitation and retraining offered on an individual basis or to small groups on an organised basis
  • individual training and treatment for which an appointment can be booked
  • Indoor swimming pools, water parks, spa facilities, hotel pools, etc. must close, although the following activities are permitted:
  • school swimming sessions, organised swimming lessons and organised swimming training for people under the age of 20, as well as elite athletes
  • rehabilitation and retraining offered on an individual basis or to small groups on an organised basis
  • other individual treatment for which an appointment can be booked and where swimming constitutes part of the treatment
  • Amusement parks, bingo halls, amusement arcades, play centres, bowling alleys, etc.
  • Museums
  • Cinemas, theatres, concert venues, and similar cultural and entertainment venues
  • Other public venues and facilities for cultural, entertainment or leisure activities take place that gather people indoors
  • Public venues and enterprises where organised cultural, sporting, and leisure activities take place may open for children and young people under the age of 20. Likewise, outdoor activities for adults and organised indoor and outdoor training for elite athletes are permitted, provided that leisure activities for others do not take place at such locations.

Recommendations:

  • People should have a maximum of five guests in their home. People are encouraged to meet others outdoors.

  • A distance of 2 metres should be kept from people who are in risk groups, and in situations where the risk of infection is assumed to be greater (e.g. during high-intensity physical activity, singing or shouting).

  • Non-essential travel should be avoided. Travel to the workplace may only take place if deemed necessary. The requirement to work from home will nonetheless apply to most people.

  • Residents of the municipality are advised to use local shops, shopping centres, or department stores.

  • Residents of the municipality may travel to a recreational property, but only with people from their own household. All purchases must be made in your own municipality prior to departure. Do not visit shops, catering outlets or other places where many people may congregate in the municipality that you visit. Keep a good distance from other people on ski trails, ski lifts, and when hiking. Check the advice and guidelines that apply to the municipality you are visiting and follow them. Do not receive visitors. See the advice relating to ski resorts from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

  • Municipalities and county authorities should introduce enhanced measures on public transport. This may include only using up to 50 per cent of the capacity on the means of transport.

Duty to wear a face covering

  • A face covering must be worn when it is not possible to keep a distance of at least 1 metre, with the exception of briefly passing people outside your household. This applies in shops, common areas in shopping centres, catering outlets, places of worship, on public transport and in indoor station areas, as well as in venues for cultural, sporting, and leisure activities.

  • Passengers must wear a face covering in taxis. The passenger must put on the face covering before entering the taxi and must not remove it until the journey has ended and they have exited the taxi. The duty to wear a face covering also applies to drivers when carrying passengers in the taxi.

  • The duty to wear a face covering also applies to employees in locations where it is not possible to keep a distance of at least 1 metre from visitors. This does not apply to employees in locations where other infection prevention measures, such as visors, partitions, etc., have been implemented for the benefit of the employees in accordance with the recommendations of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

  • The duty to wear a face covering does not apply to children under the age of 12, or to those who are unable to wear a face covering for medical or other reasons.

All municipalities may introduce strict advice and rules based on the local infection rate. It is therefore important that you keep track of the rules which apply in your own municipality.

What happens when there is a regional outbreak and the government needs to make a decision?

Following consultation with the relevant municipalities, the Norwegian Directorate of Health, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the county governor will issue a recommendation to the government regarding which municipalities should be subject to measures, and which level these measures should be at. 

The levels of measures are regulated by Chapters 5A, 5B and 5C of the Covid-19 Regulations. Further recommendations which are not regulated by the Regulations are also issued.

There may be specific local circumstances which mean that individual municipalities subject to these measures additionally opt for stricter rules or advice. Set advice is also issued alongside each level of measures. This advice is not regulated by the Covid-19 Regulations.

If they so wish, municipalities may opt to adopt local regulations that enhance national government measures. However, they are not able to adopt measures that are less strict.

Depending on how the outbreak develops and infection rates, the government may determine that a municipality can be downgraded from Level A measures to Level C measures after a period of time.

A case study - the Nordre Follo outbreak:
Over the weekend of 22-24 January, the municipality of Nordre Follo experienced an outbreak of the more infectious English strain of the virus, which could no longer be traced back to known cases that had arrived from abroad. The municipality of Nordre Follo is very closely integrated into the Oslo and Follo regions, and there was an acute need for strict, coordinated measures covering a significant number of municipalities.

Following a meeting of the municipalities, the Norwegian Directorate of Health, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the county governor, agreement was reached that the government should impose measures on the municipalities in question centrally. The alternative to this would have been for the 25 municipalities directly or indirectly affected by the outbreak to have drawn up 25 different sets of local regulations and recommendations, before then coordinating their efforts to avoid any unfortunate consequences as a result of their differing measures. This would have taken a number of days and significantly impeded communications to the population about the measures.

Level A measures were imposed on Nordre Follo and nine other municipalities that are closely linked with each other. Level B measures were imposed on 15 municipalities in bordering areas to these.