The Norwegian Directorate of Health has issued a decision to close schools and other educational institutions

In order to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to contribute to the maintenance of necessary health and care services, the Norwegian Directorate of Health has, according to the Infection Control Act, issued a decision to close schools and other educational institutions.

The decision includes: 

  • Childcare centres
  • Primary schools
  • Lower secondary schools
  • Upper secondary schools
  • Universities and colleges
  • Other educational institutions.

The following exceptions to the closure order apply: it is important to maintain operations in the health and care services and other critical society functions, and to avoid the use of people in risk groups for babysitting. Managers of childcare centres and headteachers in primary schools must therefore provide a solution for children of healthcare personnel, the transport sector or within other critical society functions. The same applies to children with special care needs that cannot be taken care of when childcare, school or other day care facilities are closed.

The Directorate of Health continues to act on another section in the Infection Control Act, on a ban on / closing of:

  • Cultural events
  • Sports events and organised sports activities, both indoors and outdoors
  • All establishments in the hospitality industry, except for eating places where food is distributed, i.e. canteens and eating places that can ensure visitors to keep at least 1 metre distance from each other. Buffets are not allowed. The hospitality industry includes restaurants, bars, pubs and nightclubs.
  • Gyms
  • Companies that provide hairdressing services, skin care, massage and body care, tattooing, piercing, etc.
  • Swimming pools, water parks, etc.

Measures to safeguard healthcare personnel in Norway

Decisions pursuant to the Health Emergency Act on the ban for travel abroad for healthcare personnel working in patient treatment. In order to maintain the necessary health and care services, the Directorate of Health has implemented the following measures:

Healthcare professionals working with patient treatment are prohibited from travelling abroad. The ban applies to both business travel and leisure travel. The decision is effective from today until end of April 2020.

Retail, groceries and events

Retail trade will remain open. There is no need to stock up on food. Grocery stores will stay open.

Travel

  • We want domestic transport to continue as normal as possible but we strongly encourage everyone to avoid leisure travel
  • We encourage everyone to avoid journeys that are not strictly necessary (both domestic and international), avoid public transport if you can, avoid other places where you can easily get close to others, avoid close contact with others.
  • Everyone who comes from outside the Nordic countries should be in quarantine for 14 days from their arrival in Norway, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not. Retroactive from 27 February.

Public transport and working from home

  • Public transport will continue so that people with critical society functions can get to and from work and be able to distance themselves from each other.
  • We request not to visit people in institutions with vulnerable groups (elderly, psychiatry, prisons etc)

Health service capacity

To ensure that everyone receives good treatment and care, we are working closely with the healthcare service so that all parts of the service can maintain capacity. The Norwegian Directorate of Health is also in close dialogue with municipalities, county governors and the regional health authorities to assist with measures. Our work covers all aspects of the health service; nursing homes, home help, hospitals, health centres, general practitioners, private as well as public. It is especially important to ensure that healthcare professionals can perform their work safely and well and that we always have the healthcare personnel we need.

Entry control in healthcare institutions

Restrictions are imposed on visitors to all the country's health institutions and the introduction of entry control to safeguard infection control for patients in the country's health institutions. People who may be infected will be turned away from all the country's health institutions. The Directorate of Health will advise the healthcare service on this

These are critical society functions:

The emergency response committee considers that the following 15 functions to be critical to society:

  • Government and crisis management
  • Defence
  • Law and order
  • Health and care services
  • Rescue services
  • IT security in the civilian sector
  • Nature and environment
  • Security of supply
  • Water and wastewater
  • Financial services
  • Power supply
  • Electronic communication services
  • Transport
  • Satellite-based services
  • Pharmacies

Først publisert: 13.03.2020