Children and youth

Are you wondering how many playdates and playmates a child can now have? Read more about school, children's leisure time, events and spending time with grandparents.

School playground

Illustration: Mostphotos

Children and the coronavirus

Children in primary school and younger are less affected by the coronavirus than grown-ups. If they do turn ill, they typically experience a mild form of the COVID-19 disease with mild and transient symptoms. It is primarily children (and adults) with symptoms that are contagious, with the highest risk of transmission at onset and one-to-two days prior to the symptoms appearing. 

Further information on what is known about COVID-19 in children and adolescents (FHI)

The Government presents relevant information for parents (in Norwegian).

Children and youth in risk groups

Both national and international experience show that children to a lesser extent than adults develop an illness due to the coronavirus, and there is seldom a need for hospitalization. This also applies to children with chronic diseases. There is little evidence to suggest that the risk of developing a serious illness from COVID-19 is higher for these children compared to healthy children.

On a global level there are very few reports of children with COVID-19 who have died, and very rarely for healthy children.

Some children with a serious disease may be more vulnerable. In these cases, kindergarten and school adaptations can be considered. This primarily applies to children with rare and serious underlying medical conditions. For more information about these groups and COVID-19 in children and youth, visit:

Events and kids' birthday parties

It is recommended not to be visited by more than 20 guests. Children in the same cohort can visit each other and be exempted from the distance requirement at events.

Please note that your local municipality may have implemented additional local rules. Check the website of the local municipality.

Leisure time and social life for young people

We should all limit the number of people we are in contact with in person. You should not have more than a maximum of 20 guests visiting in addition to those who are part of your own household. You can have more than 20 guests if the guests are from the same household.

Your boyfriend/girlfriend can be considered part of the household 

Meeting up outdoors or finding alternative ways of staying in touch is a good idea.

Leisure time and social life for children

It is recommended not to be visited by more than 20 guests. Children in the same cohort or school class can visit each other.

It is still important that both children, young people and adults limit the number of people with whom we are in close contact.

Recommendations for play and socialising:

  • Outdoors activities are preferred, rather than indoor activities
  • Avoid playgrounds where many children meet at the same time
  • Wash your hands often - both before and after playdates - and maintain good cough etiquette
  • Avoid shaking hands, hugging and other physical contact
  • Children and youth with symptoms of a respiratory infection should stay at home and not be with other children or youth outside of the family. This also applies when only mild symptoms are observed.
  • Children / youth who are in isolation or quarantine at home should avoid contact with other children / youth outside the household.

Leisure and sports activities

Children and young people under the age of 20 can take part in both indoor and outdoor leisure and sports activities as normal. They are also exempt from the recommendation on keeping a distance of one metre when necessary to carry out the activity.

Group sizes of up to 20 people is recommended. Several groups with a maximum of 20 people each can gather if the groups are kept separate. The groups should not have contact before or after the activity. Gathering in regular groups is recommended.

Limiting the number of leisure activities that involves participation in many different groups makes good sense.

Events

Children and young people under the age of 20 can take part in both indoor and outdoor sports and leisure events or competitions across regions/districts (national). They are also exempt from the recommendation on keeping a distance of one metre.

For information related to the maximum number of participants at such events, please refer to the article on advice for events at a public venue.

Local rules may apply, please refer to the website of your local municipality.

Summer camp and leisure activities

Up to 300 participants is recommended for summer / activity camps and other leisure activities that gather many people over several days. It is recommended to split the participants into groups of about 40 people.

Keeping a distance of one meter is not a requirement, however the recommendations on distance and hand hygiene do apply.

Schools and kindergarten

The national guidelines for infection control follow the traffic light model for the three levels of measures: green, yellow and red for schools and kindergartens.

The measures for infection control in schools and kindergarten will vary based on the local level of infection and is decided locally for the municipality.

Please refer to the website of your local municipality for further information.

You can read more about the guidelines here:

Higher education

Students can be physically present for classes at universities, colleges and vocational colleges with reinforced measures for infection control and regular testing.

Those present and their seat placement should be registered.

Study rooms and libraries can stay open with measures for infection control.

Other rules may apply in local municipalities based on the local level of infection and local measures for infection control.

Children living in two homes

As a rule of thumb, planned contact arrangements can be carried out. A child has the right to be with both parents, even if they do not live together.

Read more about advice from the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs (Bufdir).

Children In transmission quarantine and waiting quarantine

A child can move to the other home while in transmission or waiting quarantine. Unless they are exempt. persons who live in the same household as someone who is in transmission quarantine should be in waiting quarantine.

If a child in transmission quarantine moves to the other home before receiving the first negative test result for the coronavirus, both households of the child must - unless they are exempt - enter a waiting quarantine. If the child's test result come back negative, both households will be able to end the waiting quarantine. The child must complete his/her quarantine.

Children who are infected and in isolation

Children living in separate homes are part of two households in two places can generally change household during the period in isolation. The child's general condition, care needs and whether others in the same household are part of a risk group must be considered very carefully before moving the child.

The measures for infection control are more strict when in isolation. At the same time, the child or young person must receive their required care. If the child moves to the other home while in isolation, the other persons in the household where the child moves in will have to enter transmission quarantine and/or waiting quarantine, unless they are exempt.

Read more about children and COVID-19 at the webpages of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH).

Close contacts of the child should undergo testing. Testing of the chile is also recommended, in consultation with parents / guardians. This will reduce the risk of infection when moving between homes. Read more about the test criteria at the NIPH webpages.

Contact the municipal doctor if further clarification of these questions is required.

Caring for children and youth when others in the household are ill

It is important that the child or young person receive their required care – even if the parent / caregiver has COVID-19. Similarly, if the child or young person has COVID-19 they will require care and assistance by the parent, caregiver or others – even f this means keeping a sufficient distance between the one/those who is ill and the one/those who is healthy is impossible. Solid routines for infection control is important in such situations.  Read more about the advice for preventing infection at helsenorge.no.

If a caregiver is ill and unable to care for the child in their responsibility, the municipal health services must provide support from the child welfare services or other bodies.

Being with grandparents

Grandparents can have children and grandchildren visit. You should not have more than 20 guests in addition to those who are part of your own household. You should also be able to keep a distance to those who are not part of your own household.