Advice for events and social gatherings

There are restrictions on how many can be gathered, but it is still possible to celebrate, mark an occasion and meet if we follow the given advice and restrictions.

Familie som feirer bursdag sammen

Illustration: Daria Petrenko / Mostphotos

Local measures

Other or additional measures may apply to events and gatherings and for the catering industry in areas where the level of infection is high or increasing.

If you are going to host an event, visit the website of the local municipality to see if there are additional local measures or measures that are stricter than those that apply at a national level.

Local measures for the catering industry may also apply.

If no specific local measures are imposed in your municipality, the national measures apply. You can read about the national measures here at helsenorge.no.

The advice for infection control are important

The following three key advice for preventing transmission are also valid for events, celebrations and other gatherings:

  • Stay at home and avoid having people visit if you are ill
  • Keep a distance of at least one metre to others than those who are part of your close circle of contacts
  • Practice good hand hygiene with frequent and thorough washing or apply an alcohol-based disinfectant.

You cannot attend a social gathering or event if you are ill or in quarantine or isolation.

Avoid hugging and shaking hands

We should meet, greet and congratulate without hugging and shaking hands. Reminding your guests of this in advance would be a good idea.

Events at a public venue

Regulations apply to events at public venues. Violation of the regulations can be prosecuted if not complied with. If you are planning an event you will therefore need to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations.

What is considered an event and a public venue?

A public place refers to a place intended for public access or a place that the public frequent. Premises or outdoor areas that you can rent or borrow, including hotels, community centres, conference rooms and halls, is also considered a public venue.

The definition of an event includes:

  • Sports events (not including training).
  • Cultural events, concerts, exhibition openings, opera, ballet, theatre and cinema (not including practice and training).
  • Seminars, conferences, courses and other professional gatherings without alcohol being served.
  • Religious gatherings and ceremonies
  • Trade fair and temporary markets. Not including flea markets to raise money for a voluntary organization

A private gathering will also fall under the definition of an event, including:  

  • Gathering family, friends and acquaintances.
  • A social gathering in connection with work or school.
  • A gathering that directly follows a ceremony, such as a baptism, wedding, confirmation or funeral.
  • A dinner party or party where alcohol is served and that directly follows a seminar, conference, course or other professional event.

Private events at a public venue

No more than a maximum of 10 persons should be gathered at a private event hosted at a public venue. A maximum of 20 persons can be gathered if the event is hosted outdoors.

Children in the same cohort at school (primary school level) or kindergarten can be gathered, with an appropriate number of accompanying adults.

Pay attention to the fact that different rules apply to a ceremony and a private event after the ceremony. This applies to ceremonies such as a christening, wedding or funeral. Different rules also apply to a seminar or company event that later turn into a party.

Public indoor events

No more than a maximum of 10 persons can be gathered at a public event hosted at a public indoor venue without fixed seats.

No more than a maximum of 200 persons can be gathered at a public event hosted at a public indoor venue with fixed seats.

Cinemas, theatres, seminars or religious ceremonies are examples of a public event hosted at a public indoor venue.

Funerals

A maximum of 50 persons can be gathered indoors at a funeral. Up to 200 persons can be gathered if they can be seated in fixed seats

Public outdoor events

Up to 200 participants can be gathered at an outdoors public venue without fixed seats. Up to 600 participants at an outdoors public venue with fixed seats. The organizer must ensure that the participants are kept in separate groups of up to 200 people. A distance of at least two metres must be kept between the different groups at all times.

A distance of at least one metre must be kept between each of the participants within each group of 200 people.

Requirements for all types of events at a public venue

  • The premises or outdoors area for the public event must be large enough to accommodate the given requirements on keeping a distance.
  • A shoulder-to-shoulder distance of at least one metre should be kept between guests.
  • Those who are part of the same household or cohort in kindergarten /primary school do not need to keep a one metre distance*.
  • A responsible organizer must be designated.
  • Keep an overview of who is present by writing down their names and contact details to allow for contact tracing. The information must be deleted after 14 days.
  • Only people who are healthy should be present.
  • Make it easy for the participants to wash their hands, both when they arrive and during the event.
  • Do not carry out activities that involve a lower distance between the participants.
  • Employees or contractors responsible for the public event are not counted as part of the allowed maximum number of participants.
  • Temporary ban on the serving of alcohol at venues serving food or alcohol.
  • See also tips for preparing and serving food.

* If the venue has fixed seats, everyone should be given tickets / seats with sufficient distance in between. After you have found your seats those who are part of the same household can move closer.

Responsible organiser

The responsible organiser should keep an overview of who is present, pass information on infection control on to those invited and make sure the rules are followed. The responsible organiser can either be you as the lessee (the person renting the premises) or the lessor (the owner/landlord renting out the premises). This should be agreed upon in advance, prior to hosting the event. If you rent a venue without a clear agreement with the lessor as to who is the responsible organiser, you yourself as the lessee will typically be held accountable.

At a private event, such as a confirmation at a smaller local venue, it will be natural for the person renting the venue (lessee) to be the responsible organiser. If you are hosting a wedding celebration at a hotel or similar venue it might be more natural for the owner of the entity (lessor) to be the responsible organiser.

The guests and participants must be informed about who the organizer is and who to contact for questions related to measures for infection control.

Requirement at venues with fixed seats

Guests at events at venues with fixed seats must be able to keep at least one free seat between them on the row they are seated. Those who live in the same household can be seated closer.

Further information on public events

The Government provides answers to several questions related to events and the closing of some businesses. You can read these questions and answers at regjeringen.no (in Norwegian).

Read more about the recommendations for public events at the Norwegian Directorate of Health (in Norwegian).

Posters, films, information material

Gathering at a private venue

We should all limit the number of people we are in contact with in person. You should not have more than a maximum of 5 guests visiting 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.

There are two exceptions to this recommendation:

  • If all guests belong to the same household, you can have them all visit.
  • If all guest are from is in the same cohort at school (primary school level) or kindergarten.

Meeting up outdoors is recommended as far as possible.

Stay in touch with your family and friends. Feel free to find alternative ways of staying in touch rather than meeting up in person.

How to host a gathering at a private venue

  • Keep a distance of at least one metre between guests. This does not apply to those who are part of the same household or the same cohort at school or kindergarten.
  • Make it easy for your guests to wash their hands, both when they arrive and during the visit.
  • Only people who are healthy should be present.
  • Do not invite more people than you have room for.
  • Keep an overview of who is present at any given time.
  • It can be easier to keep a distance outdoors rather than indoors.

It is recommended that we all socialize in person with fewer people, for a shorter period and not with many different people in the course of one week.

See further advice for life in the time of corona here.

Kids birthday parties

Having more than 5 guests visiting is not recommended. This restriction does not apply to children in the same cohort at primary school or kindergarten. Children in the same cohort can visit and are exempted from the social distance requirements at events.

Kids birthday parties at a private venue

  • If you throw a birthday party at home with children only from your cohort at school (primary school level) or kindergarten, you can include the full cohort. You cannot then include additional children from outside the cohort, even if they e.g. are part of your football team.
  • Parents and accompanying persons who are not hosting the birthday party are not part of the cohort and only the required number of adults should therefore be present.
  • The cohort exception does not apply to lower and upper secondary school levels.
  • No one who is ill can be present, even if their symptoms of a respiratory infection are only mild. This also applies to children and youth who are in quarantine or isolation.
  • Washing of hands or hand disinfection should be easily accessible. Hands should be washed upon arrival, prior to eating and when the visit is over.
  • In general, you should follow the rules that apply to gatherings at a private venue.
  • If possible, the celebration should preferably take place outdoors.
  • Food – including cake – should be served in prepared portions. Remember to keep hands clean, both for those who serve and those who eat.

Kids birthday parties at a rented venue

  • Up to 10 persons can be gathered if the event is hosted at a rented venue or a public place. You can still host a birthday party at a rented venue and include the full cohort for children in primary school or kindergarten. Local restrictions may apply where only a lower number of guests is permitted.
  • In general, you should follow the rules that apply to events at a public venue.
  • Everyone should keep a distance of at least one metre to others. Cohorts in kindergarten and primary school are exempt from this requirement.
  • Adults – both those organizing the party and any accompanying persons – should strive to keep a distance to other children and adults and follow the general advice for infection control.
  • If possible, the celebration should preferably take place outdoors.
  • Food – including cake – should be served in prepared portions. Remember to keep hands clean, both for those who serve and those who eat.

Serving food and alcohol

Tips for preparing and serving food

There is no indication so far of transmission of the coronavirus via food or drinking water. Yet it is – as always – important that those preparing the food keep a good hand hygiene with thorough and frequent washing. It is also important that those preparing the food are not ill. The same goes for the guests, they should be healthy and wash their hands prior to the meal. The guests can use the same serving tools, but everyone needs to use their own cutlery. Avoid finger food.

If you want further information about food and drink, read more at the website of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.

Requirement on social distancing at venues serving food or alcohol

Venues that serve food or alcohol must ensure the guests are able to keep a distance of at least one metre when seated. Persons who are part of the same household can be seated closer than one metre apart. Venues can be restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs, nightclubs etc.

Serving alcohol

Venues with a license to serve alcohol can only serve guests who are also served food. Serving of nuts, chocolate or other typical kiosk products is not sufficient. 

Guests should not be admitted after 10 pm. Serving of alcohol is not permitted after midnight.

Private party at a restaurant

A catering venue can only serve a private group of up to a maximum of 10 persons.

Requirement on contact details registration

Venues serving food or alcohol should register contact details provided the guests agree to this. The information will allow the municipality to get in touch with you in the event of contact tracing. The required information includes telephone number, date and time of your visit and if possible, where you were seated. The venue should inform what the contact details is to be used for. The information must be deleted after 14 days.