The Easter holidays are almost around the corner. Yesterday, the Norwegian government announced a series of recommendations on how to enjoy the holidays in a COVID-safe manner.
These recommendations have been drawn up in consultation with the Norwegian Directorate of Health and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI).
“The infection situation in Norway remains unstable, and over the last few weeks, we have seen infection rates rise. We are concerned about the consequences of allowing a large number of people to travel and mix with others this Easter,” Bent Høie, Minister of Health and Care Services, noted.
The infection situation is being closely monitored, and these measures may be amended at short notice.
The recommendation to avoid non-essential domestic remains in effect over Easter. The government advises against all travel abroad unless it is strictly necessary.
“Although travel to second homes in Norway is not considered necessary, people may visit cabins this Easter provided they take extra precautions in relation to preventing the spread of infection. If you do travel to a cabin, we recommend that you make all purchases beforehand, that you avoid public transport where possible, and that you maintain a distance from others,” Høie added.
Points of contact
If you are sick, you should stay at home this Easter. If you become unwell while at your cabin, you should return home. If you are in quarantine or awaiting test results, you should also remain at home.
People living in areas with high infection rates, such as the Greater Oslo region, should avoid visiting hotels or other overnight accommodations where large numbers of people gather.
“We are recommending that everyone has fewer points of contact with other people than they would usually and that meetings and activities take place outdoors as much as possible,” Høie noted.
Church services and religious ceremonies are an important part of Easter for many people.
People may participate in church services and religious events where they live, but they should avoid any such gatherings outside of their own municipality.
Here are the recommendations for a safe Easter holiday
- Stay at home if you are not well, and take a test as soon as possible if you think you may be infected with COVID-19.
- The government advises against all travel abroad unless it is strictly necessary. Avoid unnecessary domestic travel within Norway.
- Nevertheless, travel to a second home or leisure property (owned/borrowed/rented) may take place if you are particularly vigilant with regard to infection prevention en route and during your stay. You should only travel with people you live with (or who are correspondingly close to you), and you should seek to make purchases before departure and ensure you keep a distance from other people.
- It is important to check which measures are in place in the municipality that you will be staying in. You can do so by a number of means, including via municipal websites or at helsenorge.no.
- If you are traveling to a municipality with fewer restrictions in place than your home municipality, you should generally adhere to the recommendations that apply at home.
- If you are in quarantine or awaiting a test result, you should not travel during the Easter holidays – this includes visiting your own cabin.
- If you are staying in a cabin and become unwell, you should return home. If you are telephoned and told to quarantine, you should return home.
- You may travel to hotels within Norway, but you should ensure you maintain social distancing from other guests, and you should limit any time spent in common areas. If you come from an area with high infection rates and strict local measures in place, you should not travel to a hotel or equivalent overnight accommodation where large numbers of people gather.
- The government recommends that you avoid moving from cabin to cabin since this results in a significant increase in infection risk.
- If you are staying in self-service cabins, it should be possible to make a reservation in advance in order to avoid several households/travel parties staying in them at the same time.
- If a cabin is in a particularly remote or inaccessible location, and a request for health-related assistance or the need to quarantine/be tested may pose challenges to the local health authorities, then it should be evaluated at a local level whether such cabins should be closed to the public.
- In the case of strictly necessary foreign travel (e.g., children visiting parents in another country), it is extremely important to exercise caution while traveling and adhere to quarantine regulations and testing requirements upon your return to Norway.
- Travel operators should consider limiting access to common areas to reduce the risk of infection and make it easier to adhere to infection prevention regulations.
- You should avoid having more than ten social contacts over the course of a week.
- You should avoid visits from more than five people in your own home. If your home municipality recommends against visits, you should follow this advice whether you are at home, in your cabin, or elsewhere.
- If you come from an area with high infection rates and strict local measures in place, then the government advises against any overnight visits during the Easter holidays. Nevertheless, children and young people under the age of 20 and people who live alone may have overnight visits from 1–2 specific friends.
- Opt for outdoor activities where possible. Seek to avoid locations where many people are gathered and where it is difficult to maintain social distancing. This includes bars, cafes, restaurants, ski resorts, ski lounges, play centers, water parks, etc. You may visit downhill skiing facilities, but you should avoid crowded areas.
Church services and other religious ceremonies
- The rules, guidelines, and recommendations relating to events apply to church services and other religious ceremonies and faith gatherings taking place over Easter. You may not participate in events of this kind that take place outside of your municipality.
Source: Ministry of Health and Care Services / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews
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