Advice for events, gatherings and celebrations

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. As a host or organizer, you need to make sure that it will be possible for your guests to keep a distance of one metre.

Familie som feirer bursdag sammen

Illustration: Daria Petrenko / Mostphotos

Even though there are many restrictions, it is possible to get together both at home and outside of home for celebrations, occasions to be marked or if we want to gather for private events.

Some might wonder how many people can be together, how to go about serving food at private events and whether grandparents can spend time with their grandchildren. In this article we have summarized the advice and present answers to some of the questions that you might have.

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 those that are not part of your close circle of contacts*
  • Practice good hand hygiene with frequent and thorough washing or apply an alcohol-based disinfectant.

* It is up to you to define who your «close circle of contact» refers to, but they should not be too many and they should remain the same persons over time. For most people it would be those you live with, a boyfriend or girlfriend or next of kin. For others it might be their closest friend.

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.

Public events with up to 200 people

If you are hosting an event at a public venue, you need to make sure the rules for infection control are followed. The responsible organiser can be prosecuted if an event at a public venue are not in compliance with the given regulations.

Requirements for events with up to 200 persons

  • The premises or outdoors area for the public event must be large enough to host the expected number of participants.
  • A distance of at least one metre should be kept between guests. This does not apply to those who are part of the same household or close circle of contacts.
  • Only people who are healthy should be present.
  • Not more than 200 persons should be gathered.
  • A responsible organizer must be appointed.
  • Keep an overview of who is present by writing down their names and contact details to allow for contact tracing.
  • Make it easy for the participants [MT1] to wash their hands, both when they arrive and during the event.
  • Employees or contractors responsible for the public event are not counted as part of the event.
  • Table service is required at events with a licence to serve alcohol.
  • Served alcohol is to be consumed by 00:30 am.

What is considered an event?

An event refers to a private event such as a confirmation, christening, wedding, birthday party and funeral, as well as a concert, seminar, trade fair, religious meeting and temporary market etc.

A flea market to raise money for a voluntary organization is not covered by the ban on events with more than 200 persons. The general advice on maintaining a distance of at least one metre between persons who are not part of the same household and keeping good hand hygiene still apply to flee markets.

What is considered a public place?

A public place refers to a place intended for public access or a place that the public frequent. The same applies to events in premises or outdoor areas that you can rent or borrow, including hotels, community centres, conference rooms and halls.

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.

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).

Private events with up to 20 people

Events can be hosted at a private property, but it is important to pay attention to the advice for infection control. An event at a private property can for example be a birthday party or confirmation hosted at home. Your own garden or holiday home is also considered to be a private property.

  • You should not gather more than 20 persons.
  • Keep a distance of at least one metre between guests. This does not apply to those who are part of the same household or close circle of contacts.
  • 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, preferably by writing down a list.
  • It can be easier to keep a distance outdoors rather than indoors. Gathering more than 20 persons for a private event is still not advisable, even if outdoors.

Visits, guests and staying overnight

When receiving guests, the same advice for infection control applies s for a private event at home.

Who can be invited as guests?

If you are healthy you can receive visits from guests who are healthy. Grandparents or other guests above the age of 65 can also visit, but those who are part of a high-risk group for COVID-19 should take extra care to follow the advice on hand hygiene and social distancing.

If possible, meeting up outdoors as it will be easier to maintain a distance of at least one metre to others outdoors.

Considerations to be taken when staying overnight

When someone stays overnight at your place, you should all pay extra attention to the hygiene measures and remember to keep a distance. Overnight stays involve a higher risk of transmission than shorter visits during the daytime.

During an overnight stay, guests and hosts will often share bathroom, touch the same surfaces and it will be more challenging to keep a distance. Guests who stay overnight should have separate towels available in the bathroom as well as separate toiletries.

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.

Can we go to a restaurant?

You can enjoy eating at a restaurant if you keep a distance of at least a metre to others and wash your hands prior to the meal. The restaurant you are visiting is responsible for making his possible. Those living in the same household are not required to keep a distance of one metre.

Requirement for table service when serving alcohol

Table service is required at events with a license to serve alcohol, as well as at restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs, nightclubs etc. Served alcohol is to be consumed by 00:30 am. Consuming alcohol at a public event after this hour is prohibited.

The requirement has been introduced to reduce the risk of infection at events e.g. by avoiding congestion and queues at the bar.