Transmission quarantine and isolation - questions and answers

Here you will find answers to the most common questions about transmission quarantine and isolation.

Who needs to go into transmission quarantine?

Household members or corresponding close relations of a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19 who had close contact with the infected person less than 48 hours before that person developed their first symptoms of COVID-19, or from the test date if the person has not developed symptoms, must go into transmission quarantine for 10 days after their last contact with the person who tested positive for COVID-19.

It is possible to take a test to end quarantine early 7 days after last contact with a person who has tested positive. A PCR test, a rapid antigen test administered by a health worker, or a self-test can be used as a test method to end quarantine early on day 7.

Other close contacts may take a test to end quarantine early after 3 days, but must remain in quarantine during their leisure time until they receive a negative test after 7 days.

What is quarantine during leisure time? 

Quarantine during leisure time means that you must quarantine during your leisure time and cannot e.g. visit anyone or participate in any leisure activities.

What is a household member or corresponding close relation?

A household member or corresponding close relation is any person you live with or person with whom your relationship is so close that they are comparable to someone you live with. This includes romantic partners, best friends, and overnight guests.

Who is exempt from transmission quarantine?

Transmission quarantine does not apply to people who: 

  • have recovered from COVID-19 during the past 3 months, from the time of leaving isolation until 3 months after the test date;

  • received a booster dose at least 1 week ago – household members and corresponding close relations of the person with a confirmed case of COVID-19 must also take a rapid antigen test every day for 7 days or be tested every other day in the same period using a PCR test after the close contact with the person who tested positive for COVID-19;

  • are under the age of 18 and are not a household member or corresponding close relation of the person with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

This means that children are granted an exemption from quarantine if they have close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 if they do not live with them or are a corresponding close relation.

They are recommended to get tested anyway. This means that children under the age of 18 should only go into transmission quarantine if they are a household member or corresponding close relation of the infected person. They can take a test to end quarantine early on day 7 using a PCR test, a rapid antigen test administered by a health worker, or a self-test after their last contact with a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19, like adults.

Personnel in critical societal functions and people who are strictly necessary in order to maintain sound operation of critical societal functions are exempt from a duty to quarantine during working hours if they can present a negative test result at the beginning of the working day. They must quarantine during their leisure time. For people within the same household or corresponding close relations of the person who tested positive for COVID-19, this exemption only applies if they are fully vaccinated and wear a face covering during working hours.

What are the rules for quarantine?

The following rules apply to people in transmission quarantine:

  • stay at suitable accommodation or your home;
  • do not go to work, school, or kindergarten;
  • do not travel domestically;
  • do not go anywhere where it is difficult to keep the necessary distance from other people;
  • do not take public transport;
  • do not go to public locations, like shops, pharmacies, and cafés – if you do not have any other options, you can perform essential errands at a shop or pharmacy, but keep a good distance from other people;
  • do not receive visitors – children should not have any other playmates than those who live in the same household as them;
  • parents and children can go ahead with access visits even if one of them is in transmission quarantine;
  • you can go for walks outdoors – children and young people should be able to play, and parents are encouraged to go out and play with their children at least once a day;
  • remember to keep a distance from other people.

Where can I complete transmission quarantine?

You must stay in your own home or other suitable accommodation where it is possible to avoid close contact with others and stay in a private bedroom with a separate bathroom and kitchen or food service.

You can only go outdoors as long as you avoid close contact with other people than those with whom you are staying. People in quarantine are prohibited from going to a workplace where other people are present, to a school, or to a kindergarten. You are not permitted to use public transport.

Parents in transmission quarantine can have access visits with their children during the quarantine period.

Student accommodation, studios, or flat shares can be suitable accommodation if they are the person's own home. You should keep a good distance from the other people who live there and minimise use of the communal areas.

If you do not have suitable accommodation to complete your quarantine, your municipality can help you find somewhere suitable to stay.

Do children need to complete transmission quarantine?

Children under the age of 18 must go into transmission quarantine if they are a household member or corresponding close relation of an infected person. They can take a test to end quarantine early on day 7 using a PCR test, a rapid antigen test administered by a health worker, or a self-test, like adults.

Children under the age of 18 are exempt from the requirement to complete transmission quarantine if they do not belong to the same household as the person who tested positive for COVID-19, or are a corresponding close relation. They are recommended to get tested anyway.

Do parents in transmission quarantine need to limit contact with their children?

No. Parents in transmission quarantine can have access visits with their children during the quarantine period.

I have respiratory symptoms, but my test has come out negative. Do I need to quarantine anyway?

No, but you should stay home until you feel well and have been fever-free for 24 hours, in order not to infect anyone else. If you have diffuse symptoms (like a slightly runny nose or mild headache), you can return to work/school immediately. If your symptoms worsen, you should go home and consider taking a new test.

Can I shop for food while I’m in transmission quarantine?

If you do not have any other options, you can perform essential errands at the shop or pharmacy. Keep a good distance from other people. Wear a face covering. Go to the shop when it is less busy.

Many shops, retailers, and venues that serve food also have good systems for online shopping, home delivery, or safe collection of products.

Can I go to work while I’m in transmission quarantine?

You cannot go to the office, but you can work from home, if that is possible.

Can I travel while I’m in transmission quarantine?

No, you cannot travel while you are in transmission quarantine. You must also avoid public transport.

Can I receive visitors while I’m in transmission quarantine?

Do not receive visitors. Children should not have any other playmates than those who live in their home with them.

Who should go into isolation?

There is a single set of rules regarding isolation and quarantine, regardless of the virus variant.

People with a confirmed case of SARS-CoV-2, who do not have symptoms, must go into isolation for 6 days, calculated from the date that they received a positive test for SARS-CoV-2.

People with a confirmed case of SARS-CoV-2, who have symptoms, must go into isolation for at least 6 days, calculated from the date of onset of the symptoms. They must not come out of isolation until they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever relief medication.

What are the rules for isolation?

  • You need to stay home and not leave the house, but you can spend time in your garden or on your balcony/veranda/terrace.
  • Other people need to help you with essential errands.
  • You should keep a distance of at least 2 metres from the people you live with.
  • You should have your own room and bathroom, if this is possible. Use your own toiletries, including your own towel.
  • You need to be diligent about hand and cough hygiene to avoid transmitting COVID-19 to anyone else in your household.
  • Clean your home frequently, especially surfaces and places you often touch.

Do you need to isolate at your home?

You must go into isolation at home, in suitable accommodation, or at a health institution.

If your municipality decides that you cannot isolate at home, it must offer accommodation at a hotel or other suitable location. The municipality can also decide that the people who live with the infected person must also stay at other suitable accommodation. The municipality will cover the costs in both cases.

Can I receive visitors while I’m in isolation?

No. You must stay home, and keep a distance from the people you live with. For children and people who need health care, the need for care will take priority over keeping a distance.

At home you must:

  • wear a face covering if it is difficult to keep the proper distance from the people you live with – or they could wear a face covering;
  • stay in a room by yourself;
  • not receive visitors.

If your home is not suitable for isolation, your municipality can help you find suitable accommodation.