Advice for people in quarantine

People who are in quarantine are basically well but have been in a situation where they may have been infected. This applies to close contacts of people with confirmed COVID-19 (infection quarantine) or because you have visited an area with a high infection rate during the last 10 days (entry quarantine).

Quarantine lasts for 10 days.  

Quarantine may be shortened if you take a PCR test with a negative result no earlier than 7 days after arrival or 7 days after your most recent exposure with a confirmed case of COVID-19 (see Section 4(c) of the COVID-19 Regulation). The right to shorten your entry quarantine depends on the availability of sufficient local testing capacity where you are staying.  It is recommended that you get yourself tested during the quarantine period, even if you do not have any symptoms. If the result of your PCR test taken 7 days after arrival, or 7 days after your most recent exposure with a confirmed case of COVID-19, is not negative, you must remain in entry quarantine for 10 days.

From 23 February, there will be a requirement for a test on the 7th day after arrival for all travellers who do not stay in quarantine hotels. Municipalities should arrange for voluntary testing for those staying in quarantine hotels.

Vaccination does not currently give exemption from quarantine duty or testing.

If you do not have a permanent residence, or a suitable place for quarantine, the municipality you are staying in can help you find such a place. This may apply to people without legal residence in the country / undocumented migrants. This is free and you will be given food and drink. You can go out, but are not allowed to be visited or to visit others.

People aged over twelve years of age who have visited the UK, South Africa, Ireland, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal or Brazil during the past 10 days must have a PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 at the border crossing into Norway. 

When you are in quarantine, the following applies: 

  • For entry into Norway: You must go into quarantine for 10 days after arriving in Norway. The quarantine period may be shortened if you have a PCR test with a negative result no earlier than 7 days after arrival.
  • For close contact: You must go into quarantine for 10 days after your most recent contact with the person who is infected. If you are staying with someone who receives a positive test result during the quarantine period, you must start a new quarantine period from the last time you had contact.The quarantine period may be shortened if you have a PCR test with a negative result no earlier than 7 days after your most recent contact with the infected person.
  • Anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19 infection during the past 10 days should be tested
  • You can be in normal contact with younger children you live with, but maintain a distance (more than 1 metre) from older children and other adults.
  • If older children in the household are in quarantine, where possible it is recommended to avoid close, or physical contact with other household members. This also applies to contact between other household members in quarantine. For children and people in need of healthcare, however, the need for care must be given the highest priority.
  • Do not go to work, school, childcare centre or other activities outside the home. 
  • Do not take long trips in Norway. 
  • Do not use public transport. 
  • Avoid places where it is difficult to maintain a distance from other people. 
  • As a rule, you should not visit public places like shops and cafes. If there is no alternative, you may go out to carry out essential errands to the supermarket or pharmacy, but ensure that you maintain a distance (at least 1 metre) from other people, wear a face mask and avoid queues. 
  • You can go for a walk, but maintain a distance of at least 1 metre from others. 

Be alert for any symptoms. If you develop an acute respiratory tract infection with fever, cough, shortness of breath or loss of sense of taste or smell while in quarantine, you will be considered to have probable COVID-19 disease. You should be tested as soon as possible and go into isolation at home until your test result is available. If you have other household members, it is recommended that they go into quarantine until your test result is available. If you test positive for COVID-19 during your quarantine period, you must continue your home isolation, and the contact tracing team in your district or municipality will carry out full contact tracing. With a negative test result, you must continue your quarantine as planned, but quarantine will end for other household members. 

Unsure whether you should go into quarantine? Take the quarantine check (helsedirektoratet.no)

Suitable locations for quarantine

  • The most important requirement for accommodation to be considered suitable for spending quarantine is that you must be able to maintain a safe distance from other adults throughout the entire quarantine period.
  • For those with a permanent residence in Norway, it is normal to spend quarantine at home. In order for accommodation other than a person’s own home to be suitable, it must be possible to avoid contact with other people other than those you normally live with. 
  • Halls of residence/shared housing can be suitable accommodation if it is the person’s own home. Wherever possible, you should then keep a distance from others and use communal areas as little as possible. The Municipal Medical Officer or the person who contacts you on his or her behalf can assess the suitability of accommodation for quarantine use when a person is defined as a close contact.
  • Student housing made available by the Student Association is probably not suitable as quarantine accommodation. Student housing belonging to Student Associations must be assessed under the exception in Section 5 second paragraph (d), which stipulates requirements for private rooms with their own toilet and kitchen, in order for the student to be able to complete their quarantine in student housing.
  • Overnight accommodation where you need to interact with other guests is not suitable for quarantine use. Staying in a motorhome, caravan, tent or cabin on campsite without a private bathroom/toilet and kitchen facilities is not acceptable for quarantine if you have to share these facilities with people other than your close contacts/travel companions. The same applies to staying at addresses where you have to share rooms/facilities with people other than those you normally live with, such as halls of residence and other accommodation with a shared bathroom or kitchen. 
  • Barracks may be suitable as accommodation, provided that you have a private room with your own bathroom/toilet/kitchen, or you have organised food delivery. See below regarding the organisation of adapted accommodation for quarantine use where many people live together.  
  • Home quarantine and home isolation

About quarantine hotels and exemptions 

The general rule is that people arriving in Norway from countries and regions with a quarantine obligation must stay at a quarantine hotel. This does not apply to people who are resident (registered in the population register) or have a permanent residence in Norway, and there are also some other exemptions; see Section 5 of the COVID-19 Regulation.

Quarantine hotels must provide play facilities and activities for resident children.

People who come to Norway to perform work or assignments, and who can document that the employer makes a pre-approved place of residence available, are not obliged to stay in quarantine hotels. 

Conditions for approval from the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority include:

  • Possible to avoid close contact with others
  • Single occupancy room
  • TV and internet in the room
  • Own bathroom
  • Own kitchen or food service

It is also possible to get an exemption from the requirement to stay in quarantine hotels for those who can document strong welfare considerations, such as having contact with their own children or attending a funeral. This applies to both Norwegians and foreigners. They must then submit confirmation that they have another suitable place of residence during the quarantine period. This includes: 

Advice if you are in quarantine and need to use public transport

If you have been placed in quarantine, you should normally avoid using public transport, and must never use it if you have COVID-19 symptoms.  

If you have been placed in entry quarantine, you may still use public transport to reach your quarantine accommodation within or outside Norway. 

If you are in quarantine because you have been in contact with an infected person (also known as ‘infection quarantine’), you can only make such a journey following a specific assessment by the Municipal Medical Officer. The Municipal Medical Officer will consider the degree of exposure and any test results when making their assessment. Household members without a negative test result will not normally be given permission. 

For these journeys, the following apply: 

  • Take the quickest route. 
  • Face masks must be worn during the entire journey in these cases, except for children under 12 years. Wear the recommended type of face mask and follow the advice concerning correct use.
  • Be particularly careful about maintaining good hand hygiene and cough etiquette. 
  • Try to avoid departures where it is not possible to keep at least one metre distance. Use pre-booked/registered seats where possible.
  • If you must stay overnight on the way, use pre-booked accommodation in accordance with the requirements and recommendations applying to quarantine.
  • Entry quarantine upon arrival in Norway

Exemption from quarantine duty

Exemption from the quarantine obligation can be granted under certain circumstances. Read more here: 

There are specific recommendations for the follow-up and testing of people who are granted exemption from the quarantine obligation

Source: National Institute of Public Health