Only one in five Norwegians says they have hoarded due to coronavirus: survey

Less than one in five people in Norway say that they have purchased extra food and other goods as a result of the coronavirus crisis, according to a new survey by Consumption Research Norway.

Only one in five Norwegians says they have hoarded due to coronavirus: survey
Trond Bentestuen, chief executive of the supermarket REMA 1000, asked people not to hoard at the start of the coronavirus lockdown. Photo: Rema 1000
And fully 86 percent of respondents said that they had “avoided hoarding” because they did not want to contribute to panic in society. 
Harald Throne-Holst, senior researcher at Consumption Research Norway, put the relatively low levels of panic-buying in Norway down to the country's high level of trust in government. 
“You can see this high confidence or trust in the government, it’s quite visible throughout our survey,” he told The Local. “It’s an old story. We have found this for many years in all Scandinavian countries.” 
The survey of 1,000 Norwegians, which was carried out by Nordstat, found that 85 percent trusted the advice on coronavirus given by the country's authorities, and that 80 percent said they would only buy extra food and other goods “if the authorities recommended it”. 
The survey also found a very high trust in the supermarkets, with 45 percent of respondents saying they trusted them, and only 20 percent saying they didn't. 
Throne-Holst said that might be why Norway had only been a short burst of panic-buying after which supermarkets had returned to more or less normal
The survey found that of the 17 percent who said they had bought extra goods in the supermarket, 84 percent had stocked up on dry goods like crisp bread, pasta, flour and biscuits, 41 percent bought toilet paper, 38 percent bought canned goods, 37 percent frozen food, and 34 percent medicines. 
Here is a graph from the survey on what people said they had purchased. From left to right: Dry goods, toilet paper, cans, frozen goods, medicines, other food, antibac, chocolate, batteries, water, disposable gloves, books. 
“We can see that dry goods are dominant, and the nice thing about this is that one of the concerns about hoarding is that a lot of food might get spoiled when it turns out there's no need for it,” Throne-Holst said. “But dry goods have such longevity that you will probably end up using them in the end”. 
He said that the extra purchase of toilet paper was a mystery.
“It may be that it's very visible. You can see it in the stores if someone else has filled a basket with it, so you think 'they're buying toilet paper, maybe it will run out,” he said. “It might be a sort of peer pressure.” 

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EXPLAINED: What Oslo’s easing of Covid-19 restrictions means for you

Most, but not all, of the Norwegian capital's local Covid restrictions have been lifted to fall in line with national coronavirus rules, with new limits on guests at home and new guidance on face masks. Here’s a rundown of what the latest restrictions mean for you.

EXPLAINED: What Oslo's easing of Covid-19 restrictions means for you
Oslo's skyline. Photo by Oscar Daniel Rangel on Unsplash

Covid-19 measures in Oslo have been relaxed, with the majority of local restrictions being replaced with the looser national rules.

The new rules are a mix of steps three and four of the city’s five-step reopening plan and were introduced after the lowest infection numbers since last autumn were recorded in Oslo last week. 

Last week, 239 coronavirus infections were registered in the Norwegian capital. 

“The gradual, controlled opening of Oslo has been a success. Many of the rules that the people of Oslo have been expected to live with are now being removed, and we will essentially live with the same corona rules as people elsewhere in Norway,” Oslo’s Executive Mayor Raymond Johansen said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Not all local restrictions have been lifted however, meaning there are a mix of local and national rules in place. 

Below we’ll take a look at how the measures will affect everyday life in Oslo. 

At home 

The significant change here is that the ban on having more than ten people gathered at home has been lifted completely. Instead, this will be replaced with the national recommendation not to have more than guests. 

So while it will not be recommended to have more than ten guests, it’s not an enforceable rule anymore. 

READ MORE: What happens if you get caught breaking the Covid-19 rules in Norway


The local rules for shopping malls and stores have been tweaked too. There will no longer be any rule that makes face masks mandatory in shops. In addition to this, the official social distancing measure has been halved, to one metre, and the limit on the number of people allowed in shops has been scrapped. 

However, it’s worth noting that some shops may wish to keep some infection control measures in place if they feel it helps keep staff and shoppers safe, so it may be worth bringing a mask along on your next trip to the shops just in case.

Face masks  

The rule on mandatory face masks in public has also been given the axe, with two exceptions. 

You will still need one if you are taking public transport or taking a taxi. 

Masks will no longer be needed in shops, gyms, museums and galleries, indoor swimming pools, spa facilities and hotel facilities such as pools and dining areas. 

Although, some places may still wish to continue with a mask policy, so always remember to have one handy to be sure. 


At indoor public places, such as restaurants, 50 people are allowed in venues without fixed assigned seats and 200 people at events with set, assigned seats.

Outdoors, 200 people can gather in cohorts of three, meaning a potential venue of 600 for places with the space and capacity and where there is fixed designated seating.

Soon, when the government changes its rules for events, up to 5,000 people will be able to gather when there is a seating plan in place, provided venues aren’t operating above 50 percent capacity.  

Up to 20 people can book a table at a restaurant or bar when indoors and 30 people outdoors. 

Alcohol will now be able to be served until midnight rather than 10 pm, and this rule will stay in place until July 4th. The cut-off point will remain in place even if national rules change and allow alcohol to be served later. 

Sports, leisure and entertainment 

Bingo halls, bowling alleys, arcades, playgrounds can now reopen.

Oslo’s numbers cap on the people allowed in gyms, museums, galleries, and indoor pools has been lifted. 

Now, 20 people can work out, go for a swim, or take in some art indoors, and up to 30 can do so outdoors. 


Restrictions for schools and kindergartens haven’t changed, however. 

This means that schools and kindergartens in Oslo will remain at yellow level. 

Yellow level means that full class sizes are allowed, but mixing between classes must be kept to a minimum. Yellow level also means increased cleaning and hygiene measures are also in place. 

You can read more about yellow level here

Adult education and university are at red level, which means digital learning where possible and minimal contact between students and teachers. 

You can read more on red level here


People are still required to work from home where possible until July 4th. 

Executive mayor Johansen has previously said the home office would be one of the last pandemic measures to go, meaning it could be here for a while longer.