Life in the times of corona

The present unprecedented situation with the corona pandemic reshapes everyday life. We need to adjust to this new normal for some time to come.

Two people walking while keeping a good distance between themselves

Illustration: Helsedirektoratet / Eva Rustad de Brisis

The information will be updated with new measures from 4 January. 

General advice

Social distancing

Social physical contact and gatherings

We should preferably avoid having guests visiting in our own home. There are exceptions for necessary health care services at home or when visiting persons in their last stages of life. If you live alone, you can have one or two regular friends or households visit you or you can go visit them.

Children in kindergarten and primary school can have children from their own cohort visiting.

The recommendation differentiates between a friend and a boyfriend/girlfriend. Your boyfriend/girlfriend can be considered part of the household and you can visit each other.

This recommendation is currently valid until January 19th but might be extended.

See more on gathering at a private venue here.

Physical distancing

We should all maintain a greater physical distance to others than what we usually do. Keep a distance of at least one meter to others than those in your own household. You can associate as you normally do within the household. This also applies to children living in two homes after divorce. You should avoid shaking hands, kissing and hugging others outside of your own household. If you live on your own, you can define two or three people as your closest contacts to whom you do not need to keep a physically distance.

Good hand and cough hygiene

It is important that we continue washing our hands frequently and carefully. Wash hands prior to leaving the house, when you return back home and prior to eating. Try also to avoid touching your face.

Public transport

You can travel by public transport if you make sure to keep a distance to your fellow passengers. In regions with an increased level of infection the recommendations are to avoid the use of public transport as far as possible. In areas where the level of infection is high recommendations on wearing a face mask when travelling by public transport might be given. See the recommendations on face masks.

Travel

The Government advises against all domestic travel that is not strictly necessary. Necessary travels in connection with work and travels to a holiday property, where you avoid close contact with others can be still carried out. Read more about the domestic travel advice.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UD) advises against all international travel that is not strictly necessary. This global travel advice from UD is valid until January 15th, 2021. See advice before travelling despite recommendations here.

Work and travel

Work from home if possible. If you cannot work from home, you should keep a distance of at least one metre to your colleagues. The general advice on good hand and cough hygiene, physical distance and to follow the group size recommendations also apply at work. It is important that you stay at home if you develop even mild symptoms of a respiratory infection. You should go home as soon as possible if you turn ill while at work. Avoid using public transport. Read more about workplaces and working from home (helsedirektoratet.no) (in Norwegian).

The Government advises against domestic travel that is not strictly necessary. Business trips that are considered necessary and trips to a holiday property that can be carried out without contact with others can still be carried out. Read more about the travel advice.

Children and youth

The children should preferably spend time mainly with those in their cohort (group) in kindergarten, school or organised leisure activities. 

See advice for kindergarten and school.

See general advice for children and youth.

Risk groups

It is even more important for you to follow the advice for infection control if you are part of a risk group. See advice for persons in risk groups.

Tips to maintain good habits during the times of corona

Life can be stressful when you have to work from home or are temporarily laid off. We can all benefit from proactively looking after of our mental as well as our physical health.

Social support and staying connected is important

Keep in touch with family and friends.

Feel free to find alternative forms of social contact. If you socialize in person with people outside of your own household, it is better to meet up outdoors rather than indoors.

Be kind to yourself and to others

The present situation can be stressful to connections and relationships. Accept that these can be tough times both for yourself and for those around you. It is also important that we accept other people's prioritizations on who they choose to spend time with or if they need to cancel an appointment, visit or event due to illness. Try not to set the expectations too high.

Structure your day and set goals along the way. Remember to include time for rest. Appreciate what you accomplish.

Do things that you enjoy doing – either alone, with a friend or with your family

Go for a walk or engage in other outdoor activities

Let the outdoor activity become a part of your daily routine. Here are some tips for increasing physical activity (in Norwegian).

Keep a daily meal plan with food that is healthy and varied 

A healthy and varied diet is important for your health and well-being. This will contribute to a well-functioning immune system as well as the ability to concentrate.
For more info on a healthy and varied diet:

Maintain your daily rhythm and bedtime routines

Getting up at roughly the same time every day is a good idea, even during weekends. Try to get at least 30 minutes of daylight every day.
Here you can find additional advice for a better night's rest (in Norwegian).

Limit your intake of alcohol

Here you can read more about alcohol and health (in Norwegian).

Do you consider quitting smoking?

Here you can read more about help and advice on how to quit smoking (in Norwegian).

Seek support – do not hesitate to ask for help

When times are tough and you need someone to talk to, or if you are worried about someone who might not be doing well, there are places you can turn to. Here is an overview of helplines and chat services that can help out

What about sex and corona? 

You can still have sex with your regular partner given that you are both healthy. If you are ill with signs of a respiratory infection, you should keep a distance also to those closest to you and not have sex. There is no evidence of the coronavirus being sexually transmissible. The coronavirus spreads mainly by droplet transmission and can be transmitted via kissing if you are infected by the virus. Contact transmission can occur if your hands have virus on them and you come into contact with mucous membranes of the nose or mouth. Washing your hands is therefore a good advice prior to having sex with yourself or others.
  • Enjoy your own body. You are your own safest sexual partner – masturbation will not spread the coronavirus. Wash sex toys well before and after use.
  • Enjoy sex with your regular partner.
  • Stick to one partner and avoid random sexual contacts. If you are having sex with others, limit the number of sexual partners as much as possible. Avoid kissing and oral sex. If you choose to have oral sex, use a condom / dental dam to avoid saliva. Do not share sex toys.  
  • If you meet your sexual partners online, via dating apps etc, you can consider taking a break from meeting people in person. Video dating, sexting and chat rooms can be an exciting option. Be webwise!

Follow the advice for infection control

We've grown accustomed to hearing them, but the following advice are still very valid to the present coronavirus situation:
  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly 
  • Keep a physical distance to others
  • Stay at home if you are ill 
  • Follow the recommendations from the health authorities