Children and youth

Are you wondering how many playdates and playmates a child can now have? Read more about school, children's leisure time, events and spending time with grandparents.

School playground

Illustrasjon: Mostphotos

Children and the coronavirus

Children in primary school and younger are less affected by the coronavirus than grown-ups. If they do turn ill, they typically experience a mild form of the COVID-19 disease with mild and transient symptoms. It is primarily children (and adults) with symptoms that are contagious, with the highest risk of transmission at onset and one-to-two days prior to the symptoms appearing. 

Further information on what is known about COVID-19 in children and adolescents (FHI)

The Government presents relevant information for parents (in Norwegian).

Children and youth in risk groups

Both national and international experience show that children to a lesser extent than adults develop an illness due to the coronavirus, and there is seldom a need for hospitalization. This also applies to children with chronic diseases. There is little evidence to suggest that the risk of developing a serious illness from COVID-19 is higher for these children compared to healthy children.

On a global level there are very few reports of children with COVID-19 who have died, and very rarely for healthy children.

Some children with a serious disease may be more vulnerable. In these cases, kindergarten and school adaptations can be considered. This primarily applies to children with rare and serious underlying medical conditions. For more information about these groups and COVID-19 in children and youth, visit:

Vaccination of children and adolescents

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) recommends that coronary vaccination be offered to 12-15-year-olds. The age group will in principle be offered one vaccine dose.

Parents make the final decision to vaccinate their children. Young people aged 12-15 are not of legal age, but they must be heard in decisions about their own health. Vaccination requires the consent of the person or persons who have parental responsibility.

Read more about the vaccine for 12-15-year-olds (fhi.no)

Adolescents between the ages of 16 and 17 are also offered vaccine.

Read more about the vaccine and the age group 16-17 years (fhi.no)

Events and kids' birthday parties

It is recommended not to be visited by more than 20 guests. Children can visit each other and be exempted from the distance requirement at events.

Please note that your local municipality may have implemented additional local rules. Check the website of the local municipality.

Leisure time and social life for young people

We should all limit the number of people we are in contact with in person. You should not have more than a maximum of 20 guests visiting in addition to those who are part of your own household. You can have more than 20 guests if the guests are from the same household.

Your boyfriend/girlfriend can be considered part of the household. 

Meeting up outdoors or finding alternative ways of staying in touch is a good idea.

Leisure time and social life for children

It is recommended not to be visited by more than 20 guests. 

It is still important that both children, young people and adults limit the number of people with whom we are in close contact.

Recommendations for play and socialising:

  • Outdoors activities are preferred, rather than indoor activities
  • Avoid playgrounds where many children meet at the same time
  • Wash your hands often - both before and after playdates - and maintain good cough etiquette
  • Avoid shaking hands, hugging and other physical contact
  • Children and youth with symptoms of a respiratory infection should stay at home and not be with other children or youth outside of the family. This also applies when only mild symptoms are observed.
  • Children / youth who are in isolation or quarantine at home should avoid contact with other children / youth outside the household.

Leisure and sports activities

Children and young people under the age of 20 can take part in both indoor and outdoor leisure and sports activities as normal. They are also exempt from the recommendation on keeping a distance of one metre when necessary to carry out the activity.

Recommended group size is up to 40 people outdoors and 30 people indoors. The groups should not have contact before or after the activity. Gathering in regular groups is recommended.

Limiting the number of leisure activities that involves participation in many different groups makes good sense.

Events

Children and young people under the age of 20 can take part in both indoor and outdoor sports and leisure events or competitions across regions/districts (national). They are also exempt from the recommendation on keeping a distance of one metre.

For information related to the maximum number of participants at such events, please refer to the article on advice for events at a public venue.

Local rules may apply, please refer to the website of your local municipality.

Summer camp and leisure activities

Up to 300 participants is recommended for summer / activity camps and other leisure activities that gather many people over several days. It is recommended to split the participants into groups of about 40 people.

Keeping a distance of one meter is not a requirement, however the recommendations on distance and hand hygiene do apply.

Schools and kindergarten

The national guidelines for infection control follow the traffic light model for the three levels of measures: green, yellow and red for schools and kindergartens.

The measures for infection control in schools and kindergarten will vary based on the local level of infection and is decided locally for the municipality.

Please refer to the website of your local municipality for further information.

You can read more about the guidelines here:

Higher education

Students can be present in person at universities, colleges, and vocational colleges, with enhanced measures for infection control. Regular testing should be considered.

Registration of who is present – including seat placement - should be made.

Exemption from transmission quarantine by regular testing

If you are under 18 years of age, it will be possible to avoid transmission quarantine if someone in your class, leisure activity of group of friends is infected – pending you undergo regular testing.  

If someone in your family/household, your boyfriend/girlfriend or another close contact is infected, you will still need to enter transmission quarantine.

A close contact can be a close friend, someone who has stayed overnight at your place, someone with whom you share a room/dorm etc. The contact tracing team in your municipality with assess who your close contacts are.

Testing for persons up to 12 years of age, as well as for those in primary school who are 13 years old

  • When the time of potential infection is known, testing at day 3 and 5 is recommended.
  • When the time of potential infection is not known, or if you over time have been in contact with the person who is infected, testing as soon as possible or on day 1 is recommended. To be exempt from transmission quarantine you will need to take an additional test between day 3 and 5.
  • You should keep a distance to others until you receive a negative test result on the first test.

You, or your parents, will be contacted by your local contact tracing team. They will tell you when and where to undergo testing. They will also tell you if the exception does not apply to you and you will need to be in transmission quarantine.

Testing for persons over 13 years of age who is a close contact

  • When the time of potential infection is known, testing at day 3 and 5 is recommended.
  • When the time of potential infection is not known, or if you over time have been in contact with the person who is infected, testing as soon as possible or on day 1 is recommended. To be exempt from transmission quarantine you will need to take two additional tests with a 48 hour interval, on day 3 and 5.
  • You should keep a distance to others until you receive a negative test result on the first test.

For those over 18 years of age

The Municipal doctor can decide on the exemption from transmission quarantine by regular testing for those over 18 years of age. The same rules as for testing for persons over 13 years of age will then apply. The intention is to facilitate education at educational and training institutions.

Read more here: Testing may in certain situations replace transmission quarantine for children and youth - The Norwegian Directorate of Health  (in Norwegian)

Children living in two homes

As a rule of thumb, planned contact arrangements can be carried out. A child has the right to be with both parents, even if they do not live together.

Read more about advice from the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs (Bufdir).

Children In transmission quarantine and waiting quarantine

A child can move to the other home while in transmission or waiting quarantine. Unless they are exempt. persons who live in the same household as someone who is in transmission quarantine should be in waiting quarantine.

If a child in transmission quarantine moves to the other home before receiving the first negative test result for the coronavirus, both households of the child must - unless they are exempt - enter a waiting quarantine. If the child's test result come back negative, both households will be able to end the waiting quarantine. The child must complete his/her quarantine.

Children who are infected and in isolation

Children living in separate homes are part of two households in two places can generally change household during the period in isolation. The child's general condition, care needs and whether others in the same household are part of a risk group must be considered very carefully before moving the child.

The measures for infection control are more strict when in isolation. At the same time, the child or young person must receive their required care. If the child moves to the other home while in isolation, the other persons in the household where the child moves in will have to enter transmission quarantine and/or waiting quarantine, unless they are exempt.

Read more about children and COVID-19 at the webpages of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH).

Close contacts of the child should undergo testing. Testing of the chile is also recommended, in consultation with parents / guardians. This will reduce the risk of infection when moving between homes. Read more about the test criteria at the NIPH webpages.

Contact the municipal doctor if further clarification of these questions is required.

Caring for children and youth when others in the household are ill

It is important that the child or young person receive their required care – even if the parent / caregiver has COVID-19. Similarly, if the child or young person has COVID-19 they will require care and assistance by the parent, caregiver or others – even f this means keeping a sufficient distance between the one/those who is ill and the one/those who is healthy is impossible. Solid routines for infection control is important in such situations.  Read more about the advice for preventing infection at helsenorge.no.

If a caregiver is ill and unable to care for the child in their responsibility, the municipal health services must provide support from the child welfare services or other bodies.

Being with grandparents

Grandparents can have children and grandchildren visit. You should not have more than 20 guests 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.