Quarantine and isolation due to the coronavirus

House with a white door

Illustration: Mostphotos/Michael Erhardsson

Travel quarantine

Your travel quarantine period is 10 days if you arrive in Norway after having visited a red area/country. If you are under quarantine duty and take a test that comes back negative, you still need to complete your 10 days quarantine period. This requirement is based on present knowledge of the incubation period for the virus (from time of infection to onset of symptoms).

Quarantine hotel

Persons that are under quarantine duty after arriving in Norway must stay at a quarantine hotel. You do not have to implement the quarantine at a quarantine hotel if:

  • you are a resident of or own a residential property in Norway
  • your employer provides a suitable single-room accommodation

If you arrive in Norway to visit friends, family or your boyfriend/girlfriend you must therefore implement your quarantine duty at a quarantine hotel.

The cost of staying at a quarantine hotel will be NOK 500 per night for individuals and NOK 1500 per night for companies and employees.

The municipality is responsible for organising the quarantine hotel. You will be offered a test for the coronavirus at the quarantine hotel. Even if your test result comes back negative, you will need to complete your full 10 days quarantine period.

If you study abroad, but are a registered resident of Norway, you do not need to implement the quarantine at a quarantine hotel. Neither do you need to implement the quarantine at a quarantine hotel If you are a student in the Nordic countries and have had to change your residential address to the place of study in order to comply with specific rules. Anyone who studies abroad will still need to complete their full 10 days quarantine period in a suitable place, avoiding close contact with family members and others with whom they do not normally live.

Minor children who are not exempt from quarantine duty and who arrive in Norway alone shall have the opportunity to have an accompanying caregiver at the quarantine hotel.

If you are not a resident in Norway, but you own a residential property or a holiday property, you can implement your quarantine at this property. The ownership must be documented at the time of entry. It is sufficient that one person in a household is the owner, as long as the owner and the rest of the household are traveling together.

The exception does not apply to mobile housing arrangements such as caravans, boats etc. A rented residence is not a suitable location for implementing your quarantine duty.

How to implement the travel quarantine

Your 10 days travel quarantine period starts from the day you arrived in Norway.

If you are in travel quarantine you should:

  • Stay at home, at a quarantine hotel or a suitable single-room accommodation as provided by your employer.
  • Not go to work, school or kindergarten
  • Not travel domestically
  • Not seek places where it is difficult to maintain a distance to other people
  • Not use public transport (with the exception of traveling from your place of arrival to the place where you will be in quarantine, or the opposite direction when leaving Norway prior to completing your quarantine duty period. Anyone over the age of 12 should then wear a face mask.)
  • Not seek out public places such as shops, pharmacies and cafes. If unavoidable, you can conduct necessary errands in the store or pharmacy, but you should keep a safe distance to others.
  • Avoid having guests visit. Children cannot meet up with playmates other than those who are part of the same household. 

You can go for a walk but keep a good distance to others.                            

The key point is not to infect others prior to possibly developing symptoms yourself.

Member of the same household as someone who is in travel quarantine

If you live with a person who is in quarantine, you should follow the advice given to the general population. You should maintain an increased distance to other adults in the household. You should also be in quarantine if a member of your household develops symptoms while in quarantine

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 while in travel quarantine

If you are in quarantine and develop symptoms, you need to  If the test result comes back negative, you must still remain in quarantine for the rest of your quarantine period.

If you have lingering symptoms after completing your quarantine period you must stay in quarantine until you have recovered (meaning you feel well and do not have a fever), even if some symptoms of a respiratory tract infection lingers.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can be coughing, fever, breathing difficulties, reduced sense of smell and taste, headache, lethargy, and muscle pain.

The use of public transport is in general not permitted

You are not allowed to travel by public transport during your time in quarantine. Those arriving in Norway can travel by public transport from their place of arrival to the place where they will be in quarantine, and those leaving Norway prior to completing their quarantine duty period can travel by public transport to their place of departure. Persons in both these groups who are exempt should wear a face mask when traveling by public transport if they are above the age of 12 years old. 

Svalbard

Anyone arriving in Norway from a red area/country need to complete their full quarantine period in mainland Norway prior to travelling on to Svalbard. This applies to all who want to travel to Svalbard, including residents. For more information, see the governor of Svalbard.

Exceptions to the quarantine rules

As a rule of thumb, you will need to go into quarantine upon your arrival to Norway but with some exceptions. Some exceptions apply both during work and leisure time, while other exceptions apply only during work.

Even if you are exempt from quarantine duty, you should as far as possible avoid close contact with others. As an example, you should maintain a safe distance to those you work with even if you are exempt from quarantine duty due to work.

The exemption from quarantine duty ceases to apply If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 or a doctor suspects that you are infected.

Read more about the exceptions to the quarantine rules.

Transmission quarantine

A close contact to a person with confirmed COVID-19

Everyone who is a close contact to a person with a confirmed coronavirus infection must be in quarantine for 10 days from the day of contact. If you are a close contact, you will be contacted in connection with contact tracing and informed as to what applies to you.

You are defined as a close contact if you, during the 48 hours prior to the person developing symptoms, have been either:

  • closer than 2 metres for more than 15 minutes
  • in direct physical contact
  • in direct contact with secretes (such as saliva).

If the person with a confirmed coronavirus infection does not develop any symptoms tthe transmission quarantine still applies if less than 48 hours have passed prior to when the positive test was taken.

How to implement the transmission quarantine

If you are in transmision quarantine you should:

  • Stay at home or another suitable place of residence*.
  • Maintain an increased distance to other adults in the household.
  • Not go to work, school or kindergarten.
  • Not travel domestically.
  • Not seek places where it is difficult to maintain a distance to other people
  • Not use public transport.
  • Not seek out public places such as shops, pharmacies and cafes. If unavoidable, you can conduct necessary errands in the store or pharmacy but ensure that you maintain a minimum of one metre distance to others and avoid queuing.
  • Avoid having guests visit. Children cannot meet up with playmates other than those who are part of the same household.

You can go for a walk but keep a good distance to others.

The key point is not to infect others prior to possibly developing symptoms yourself.

* Suitable place of residence when implementing your quarantine duty

Quarantine duty is typically implemented in your own home, yet it should be possible to avoid contact with other adults in the household.

A place where you are sharing a toilet, kitchen or other rooms/facilities with people other than your close contacts is not an acceptable address for implementation of quarantine duty. A motorhome, caravan, tent or cabin at a camping site, a dormitory or other place of residence with a shared bathroom or kitchen are examples of place that are not suitable.

Student housing, a dormitory or barracks may be suitable as a place of residence if this is where the person' normally lives (not visitors / temporary residents). You should keep a good distance to others who live in the same place of residence and avoid the use of common facilities and areas as far as possible.

Duration of the transmission quarantine for household members of a person in isolation

The duration of your transmission quarantine period when you live with a person who is in isolation will primarily depend on whether the person with COVID-19 displays any symptoms or not.

  • If the person in isolation shows symptoms of COVID-19 you need to be in quarantine until 10 days have passed since the last day the isolated person displayed any symptoms.
    If it is possible for the person in isolation to live separated from the rest of the household (separate bathroom, bedroom and living room), you should be in quarantine for 10 days after your last pint of contact with the person with COVID-19.
  • If the person in isolation does not show any symptoms of COVID-19 (asymptomatic) you need to be in quarantine for 10 days (the same time period as for the person who is in isolation with a confirmed coronavirus infection), irrespective of whether you live separated in the same household or not.
    If the person in isolation should develop symptoms during the time in isolation, this will affect the quarantine period for household members.

Member of the same household as someone who is in transmission quarantine

If you live with a person who is in quarantine, you should follow the advice given to the general population. You should maintain an increased distance to other adults in the household. You should also be in quarantine if a member of your household develops symptoms while in quarantine.

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 while in transmission quarantine

If you are in quarantine due to possible transmission and develop symptoms, you should act as if you have a probable COVID-19. You should undergo testing and you need to go into isolation while awaiting your test result. Other members of your household should be in quarantine.

If the test result is negative, you must still remain in quarantine for the rest of your quarantine period.

Will I receive sickness benefits if I must stay at home?

You are entitled to sick leave if a doctor recommends you stay at home because you are infected, might be infected or are quarantined. Self-notification must always be considered before sick leave.

The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) can approve sick leave without personal examination in the case of an infectious disease of significance to public health. More information is available on NAV's webpages (in Norwegian).

Exemptions from quarantine duty

As a rule of thumb, you will need to go into quarantine upon your arrival to Norway but with some exceptions. Some exceptions apply both during work and leisure time, while other exceptions apply only during work.

Even if you are exempt from quarantine duty, you should as far as possible avoid close contact with others than those you live with. As an example, you should maintain a safe distance to those you work with even if you are exempt from quarantine duty due to work.

The exemption from quarantine duty ceases to apply If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 or a doctor suspects that you have a coronavirus infection.

Read more about the exceptions to the quarantine rules.

Advice and information from The Norwegian Institute of Public Health:

Isolation

You must be in isolation if you have a confirmed coronavirus infection or develop symptoms while in quarantine.

If you are in home isolation the following applies:

  • Stay at home and do not go out, apart from in your own garden or balcony / porch / terrace.
  • Make arrangements for others to help out with your necessary errands.
  • Preferably keep a distance of at least two meters to others in your same household.
  • Stay in separate rooms and use separate bathrooms if possible. Use your own toiletries, including your own towel.
  • Take extra care to maintain good hand and cough hygiene to avoid infecting others in the household.
  • Frequent cleaning of the home is also important, especially surfaces that are often touched.

Where to implement the isolation

You will be in isolation in your home, in a health institution or somewhere else if required.

The municipality is responsible for making sure you have a suitable place to implement your isolation period. If the municipality considers that your isolation period should be implemented elsewhere, the municipality should offer alternative accommodation at a hotel or other suitable residence. The municipality may also decide for those who live with a person with a coronavirus infection to stay at another suitable place of residence. In both cases, the municipality must cover the cost.

Ending the isolation

You can end the isolation when 10 days have passed since the onset of symptoms and you have not had a fever for at least 24 hours. For persons in hospital or who undergo immunosuppressant treatment the requirement for isolation may be longer.

Your isolation is ended also if others in your household are still in isolation or quarantine.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health provides advice on isolation and how long you should be in isolation (in Norwegian).

Members of the same household as someone who is in isolation

If you live with a person who is in isolation with a confirmed coronavirus infection, you must be in quarantine.

Duration of the quarantine for household members of a person in isolation
The duration of your quarantine period when you live with a person who is in isolation with a confirmed coronavirus infection will primarily depend on whether the person with COVID-19 displays any symptoms or not.

  • If the person in isolation shows symptoms of COVID-19 you need to be in quarantine until 10 days have passed since the last day the isolated person displayed any symptoms.
    If it is possible for the person in isolation to live separated from the rest of the household (separate bathroom, bedroom and living room), you should be in quarantine for 10 days after your last pint of contact with the person with COVID-19.
  • If the person in isolation does not show any symptoms of COVID-19 (asymptomatic) you need to be in quarantine for 10 days (the same time period as for the person who is in isolation with a confirmed coronavirus infection), irrespective of whether you live separated in the same household or not.
    If the person in isolation should develop symptoms during the time in isolation, this will affect the quarantine period for household members.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health also provides advice for people who are isolated at home due to the coronavirus.

Stress-reducing measures during home quarantine and isolation

Being confined to home quarantine or isolation can be stressful and can often lead to a sense of worry, tenseness, irritability, restlessness and concentration difficulties. Many people feel sad, lonely or have trouble sleeping. Most people will however handle a period of home quarantine or home isolation quite well, with only transitory psychosocial effects.

During a period of home quarantine or isolation, daily routines and family life take a different turn. You cannot go to work, school or kindergarten and we cannot socialise in the same way as we are used to. This can often lead to less physical activity, irregular meals, and a possible decrease or increase in the amount of sleep. Most people will spend more time in front of a screen.

Positive measures for those affected

Stay updated with the news – but not too much

There is a steady stream of important information and useful advice. Too much focus on news-updates can trigger concern and worry. If you want to stay updated, you should turn to reliable sources such as the websites of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and Helsenorge.no.

Structure your day

Creating new routines at home is important. Try to stick to a normal sleep pattern. For many, school and working from home will help bring structure, meaning and a sense of security in their everyday life. Find good ways to structure and manage your job situation while working from home. Keeping up your hobbies can also be a good way to stay active.

Get your daily dose of physical activity and daylight

Life during an indoor quarantine can easily turn sedentary. Physical activity, enjoying nature and getting your daily dose of daylight have a positive effect on both mental health and sleep patterns. For out-door activities, keep distance, and follow recommendations from the health authorities.

Maintain social interactions

While in home quarantine or isolation, you can stay in touch via social media or over the phone. Setting up regular appointments to communicate with family, friends, fellow students and colleagues can be a good thing.

Positive measures for children, youth and families in home quarantine or isolation

Young people can experience a range of reactions while being confined to home quarantine or isolation. Some can feel stressed out, sad, angry or annoyed, while others seem not to experience any negative emotions related to the situation. Some can observe stomach-ache, headache or other bodily sensations and might wonder whether they are ill.

They can also be concerned for the health of parents or siblings. All these emotions are totally normal. And for most, these reactions will be transitory. Yet the situation can be a challenge for a family with their daily routines impacted.

There are many activities that can be of help for families with children in this situation:

Talk to the children

Children need intelligible information as to why they are confined to home quarantine or isolation, and what they themselves can do. It is important the children learn that their efforts will help reduce the risk of others being infected. Ask if they have any questions and give them clear answers. Remember that children pick up on more than you think. Children can also have a sense of guilt in the situation or be very afraid. Do not wait for them to approach you with their questions. Ask them what information or news they have heard and respond to their query.

Soundness is contagious

When you are secure, the children feel secure. When children are afraid, they need comfort and care. Take some deep breaths and find your inner strength. Build a sense of safety by recognising their emotions and help them handle all their emotions. Children might need adults to display extra patience in this situation.

Stick to your routines

Keeping a daily rhythm with structured activities is beneficial. This includes getting up and going to bed at the usual time, being physically active and doing homework. Healthy, regular meals, sleep and physical activity will reduce the level of stress in a young person as well as in adults.

Bedtime routines can be affected when children are afraid and/or ill. Stick to your regular bedtime routines. Avoid letting children spend too much time alone with their phone or tablet, and preferably put these down one hour ahead of bedtime. Children might often wake up during the night and come to their parents, this is quite normal and will pass.

Social contact

Stay in touch with friends and family via social media or over the phone. This is both supportive and encouraging and relieves stress.

Do what work for you

Do stuff that you and your family enjoy - like watching a film, read books, listen to music or audiobooks. Family time can be positive, yet we should also respect a child's need for spending time alone.