Quarantine and isolation due to the coronavirus

House with a white door

Illustrasjon: Mostphotos/Michael Erhardsson

Transmission quarantine

It is your duty to familiarize yourself with the rules that apply when in transmission quarantine:

Who should be in transmission quarantine?

A person who is not protected and who is a close contact to a person with a confirmed coronavirus infection must be in quarantine. See the rules that apply for persons who are protected here.

The quarantine duty period is 10 days, but you can take a test to end the quarantine after 7 days. If you are a close contact, you will be contacted in connection with contact tracing and informed as to what applies to you.

Who is considered a close contact?

You are a close contact of the infected person if you, during the last 48 hours have been either:

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

Start counting back 48 hours from the point in time where the person first developed symptoms. If the person does not develop any symptoms you start counting from when the positive test was taken.

How to implement the transmission quarantine

How to implement the transmission quarantine

If you are in transmission 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.
  • 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. Children and young people should have the opportunity for play. Accompanying children for outdoor activities at least once a day is encouraged.

Many shops, suppliers and restaurants offer online shopping, home delivery or sound solutions for picking up goods.

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

Where to implement the transmission quarantine?

Transmission quarantine duty should be implemented in your own home or other suitable place of residence. If you are staying at another suitable place of residence outside of your own home, it should be possible to avoid contact with other adults. A separate room with a separate bathroom and a separate kitchen is required.

Staying in places where you have to share toilets, kitchens or other facilities with others than those in your own household is not allowed. 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. 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.

If you do not have access to a suitable place to implement your quarantine, the municipality can help find a suitable place.

Testing when in transmission quarantine

You should undergo testing as soon as possible after entering transmission quarantine.

The transmission quarantine duty period can be shortened if you take a test that comes back negative (PCR-based test) and the test was taken no sooner than 7 days after you were in contact with the person with a coronavirus infection. Your quarantine duty period applies until you can document a negative test result.

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

The other household members should implement their quarantine as described above if the person with a coronavirus infection is able to live separately from the rest of the household.

If the person with a coronavirus infection is not able to live separately from the rest of the household, day 5 of the quarantine period can be counted as their last day of contact and first day of quarantine. Hence the members of the household will need to stay in quarantine for a total of 15 days.

If you are required to stay in quarantine for 15 days, you will also be able to take a test to shorten your quarantine duty period. The test cannot be taken any earlier than on day 12 (5 + 7) after the onset of symptoms for the last person in the household who turns ill.

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 probably been infected with the coronavirus. 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 even if the waiting quarantine is completed.

If you are diagnosed with a coronavirus infection you will have to go into isolation. If your test result comes back negative you will have to complete your transmission quarantine duty period.

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

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

You are entitled to sick leave if you must stay at home because you are infected, might be infected or are under quarantine duty. You will need to contact your doctor. 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).

Exceptions to the transmissioon quarantine

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.

Travel quarantine

Anyone returning from international travels must as a rule of thumb stay in quarantine for 10 days after the date of their arrival in Norway. This is referred to as travel quarantine.

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

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, at another suitable location or in a health institution

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.

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

Ending the isolation

You can end the isolation period 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.

If you do not develop any symptoms, you can end the isolation period after 10 days from when your positive test for the coronavirus was taken.

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

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health provides further information on the criteria for ending the 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 other household members should implement their quarantine as described above if the person with a coronavirus infection is able to live separately from the rest of the household.

If the person with a coronavirus infection is not able to live separately from the rest of the household, day 5 of the quarantine period can be counted as their last day of contact and first day of quarantine. Hence the members of the household will need to stay in quarantine for a total of 15 days.

If you are required to stay in quarantine for 15 days, you will also be able to take a test to shorten your quarantine duty period. The test cannot be taken any earlier than on day 12 (5+7) after the onset of symptoms for the last person in the household who turns ill.

Advice during quarantine and isolation

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.

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.

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. You can go for a walk while in quarantine, pending you keep a good distance to others.

Maintain social interactions

While in 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

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.

Stick to your routines

Even if our daily routines differ from what we are used to, 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.

You can go for a walk even if you are in quarantine, but make sure you keep a good distance to others. Children and young people should have the opportunity for play. Accompanying children for outdoor activities at least once a day is encouraged.

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.