Quarantine and isolation due to the coronavirus

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Quarantine for close contacts

Members of the same household or similar close contacts of someone with a confirmed coronavirus infection should as a rule of thumb enter a 7-day transmission quarantine. This applies when the close contact happened within the 48 hours prior to the person developing symptoms of COVID-19 or from when the test was taken if no symptoms appear.

If you are fully vaccinated or have had COVID-19 

If you are fully vaccinated or have had COVID-19 you must follow a testing regime and can end the transmission quarantine when your first test result comes back negative, pending that you take another test.

You must:

  • take a test for the coronavirus (PCR-based or antibody-based rapid test) as soon as possible after close contact.
  • stay in transmission quarantine until your first test result comes back negative.
  • take another test (PCR-based or antibody-based rapid test) no sooner than days and no later than 7 days after havin been in close contact.

If you develop symptoms of a respiratory tract infection, you must contact the municipality to arrange for testing.

Non-vaccinated

If you are NOT fully vaccinated nor have had COVID-19 you will have to enter a transmission quarantine and must follow a testing regime.

You must:

  • Take a test every day for 7 days (rapid antigen-based self-test)

or

  • Take a test every second day for 7 days (PCR-based test)

You should take the first test as soon as possible after having been in close contact. You must stay in transmission quarantine until your first test result comes back negative. With no virus detected you can end the isolation, pending that you follow the testing regime.

If you develop symptoms of a respiratory tract infection, you must contact the municipality to arrange for testing.

Children and youth under the age of 18 years old

It you are under 18 years of age the recommendations are to follow the same rules testing regime that apply applies to those above 18 years of age. Children and youth under the age of 18 are exempt from transmission quarantine.

Testing for other close contacts

The recommendation for other close contacts is still valid. Other close contact can for example be colleagues or pupils in the same class at school.

If you are fully vaccinated or have had COVID-19 less than 12 months ago: You do not need to undergo testing.

If you have received one dose of the vaccine more than three weeks ago: You should take one test for the coronavirus, preferably as soon as possible. If you take a self-test and the result is positive (virus detected), you must contact the municipality.

If you are non-vaccinated: You should take one test for the coronavirus, preferably as soon as possible. If you take a self-test and the result is positive (virus detected), you must contact the municipality.

What to do if the test is positive?

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health offers a flow chart and information on what you should do if you have a positive coronavirus test result. See the overview here.

Isolation

You must be in isolation if you have a confirmed coronavirus infection. Separate rules apply if there is reason to believe that you are infected by the omicron virus variant, see the separate section below.

When in isolation the following applies:

  • Stay at home and do not go outside, except 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.

It is important that the child's need for care is met, even if the child or parent is ill with COVID-19.

Where to implement the isolation

You will be in isolation in your home, at another suitable location or in a health institution

If the municipality considers that you cannot implement your isolation period at home 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.

The municipality is responsible for making sure persons in travel quarantine at a quarantine hotel who test positive for the coronavirus are given a suitable place of residence for implementing their isolation period.

For how long do you have to be in isolation

You can end the isolation period when 5 days have passed since the onset of symptoms and you have not had a fever for at least 24 hours (without having taken antipyretics against fever). This applies whether you are vaccinated or not.

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

For persons in hospital or who undergo immunosuppressant treatment the requirement for isolation may be longer.

You are no longer considered contagious after having completed your isolation period.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health provides further information advice on the criteria for ending theisolation and how long you should be in isolation (in Norwegian).

Lingering symptoms

Lingering symptoms are symptoms that remain after the isolation period is ended. This can be loss of/altered sense of taste and smell, coughing, shortness of breath and a reduced general condition. These symptoms are usually transient and will pass after some time.

As long as you have completed your isolation period and have not had a fever for 24 hours (without having taken antipyretics against fever), some lingering symptoms do not pose a concern.

If you feel ill, you should stay at home until your general condition has improved.

Omicron – testing, transmission quarantine and isolation

The section below relates to situations where there is reason to believe that the person has been infected by the omicron virus variant.

Isolation when there is reason to suspect infection by the omicron virus variant

If you take a test and the result is positive (virus detected) you will have to enter a 7 day isolation period, counting from the day you received the test result. This applies:

  • If you arrive (direct flight or via a connecting flight) from one of the following countries: South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho, Eswatini and Malawi-
  • If the municipal doctor has reason to believe that you may be infected with the omicron virus variant.

The isolation period should be implemented at home or at another suitable location where you are able to keep a distance to others. You should stay in a separate bedroom, use a separate bathroom and kitchen or catering service.

You should as far as possible keep a distance to (isolation from) other members of your own household.

If the infection is later confirmed not to be by omicron virus variant, you can then follow the usual rules for isolation.

If you get a confirmed coronavirus infection while in travel quarantine at a quarantine hotel and there is reason to believe that the virus is of the omicron variant, you will need to enter isolation immediately and will be offered a suitable location by the municipality to implement the isolation period.

Quarantine for members of the same household and similar close contacts

You should enter a 10-day transmission quarantine if you live with or are a similar close contact (for example a boyfriend or girlfriend) to a person in isolation with a suspected omicron virus variant infection. This also applies if the close contact happened during the 48-hour period prior to the person developing symptoms.

When in transmission quarantine you should take two PCR-based tests:

  1. as soon as possible after having been in close contact
  2. 7 days after having been in close contact

You can end the transmission quarantine if the test taken on day 7 comes back negative.

You can implement the transmission quarantine at home or at another suitable location, pending that you have a separate bedroom, bathroom and kitchen or catering service.

When in transmission quarantine the following applies:

  • Stay at home or another suitable location
  • Not go to work, school or kindergarten
  • Do not travel by 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. Make sure you keep sufficient distance to others

You can go for a walk but keep a good distance to others. If you develop symptoms of a respiratory tract infection, you must contact the local municipality to arrange for testing.

You can end the transmission quarantine if the person is confirmed not to be infected by the omicron virus variant.

Parents under quarantine duty can spend time with their children under access arrangements during the quarantine period.

Duty to test for other close contacts

If you have been in close contact with a person who has a confirmed coronavirus infection and there is reason to believe that the virus is of the omicron variant, you are obliged to take a test. This applies if the close contact happened less than 48 hours prior to the infected person developing any symptoms.

You must take a PCR-based test:

  • as soon as possible

AND

  • between 3 and 7 days counted from the day of contact

If possible, you should avoid close contact with others until you have received a negative test result on your first test.

You do not need to take a test if the infected person receives confirmation that the infection is not by the omicron virus variant,

Travel quarantine

The requirement for entering a travel quarantine varies with age, vaccination status and the colour of the country you are travelling from.

See the rules for entry and how to complete your travel quarantine here.