What are Norway’s coronavirus ‘quarantine hotels’ and who is obliged to stay at them?

People arriving in Norway from abroad are required to comply if they qualify for ‘quarantine hotel’ isolation under the country’s coronavirus restrictions.

What are Norway’s coronavirus 'quarantine hotels' and who is obliged to stay at them?
Illustration photo: Marten Bjork on Unsplash

Editor's note: rules relating to accommodation at quarantine hotels have changed. Check with Norwegian authorities for up-to-date information before travelling.


The quarantine hotel rule was introduced by the government on November 9th.

The quarantine period remains at 10 days, as it did prior to the use of hotels, and the same rules apply regarding who must quarantine.

Anyone entering Norway from ‘red' countries in the EEA or Schengen area and all travellers from countries outside the EU/ Schengen area are currently obliged to comply with quarantine requirements. You may also have to present a negative Covid-19 test to be allowed to enter the country.

Norway's rules on which countries and regions qualify for quarantine are subject to change.

You can find more detail on entry and quarantine rules here.

Since November 9th, everyone required to observe entry quarantine must stay at a quarantine hotel during the quarantine period. That includes Norwegian citizens and residents, with three exceptions: people who reside or own a home in Norway and can stay there; Norwegian students returning from study abroad who can stay with their parents or own registered address; and people who come to Norway to work and have accommodation arranged by an employer.

People staying at a quarantine hotel must pay a set charge of 500 kroner per night (1,500 kroner per night if employers are paying). The remaining expenses are covered by local municipalities who in turn will be reimbursed by the state.

While staying at a quarantine hotel, you can be tested for Covid-19, but the duration of the quarantine period is not reduced even if you test negative for the virus.

On arrival in Norway, police will inform the traveller about the requirement to stay at a quarantine hotel and inform them which hotel to go to.

Some municipalities organise transport, while others don’t. It is permitted to use public transport to get from the airport, harbour or border crossing to your quarantine hotel, but local coronavirus restrictions (for example, the use of face masks on public transport if applicable) must be followed.

READ ALSO: Norway extends coronavirus restrictions by three weeks

Any breaches of quarantine duty observed will be reported to the police.

Paragraph 5 of Norway’s infectious disease law (smittevernloven) states that, if you are encompassed by rules requiring a stay at a ‘quarantine hotel’, you are obliged to comply, with some exemptions.

If you do not comply, you could be punished with a fine or up to six months in prison under the law’s paragraph 19, according to VG, although the newspaper also reports that few fines appear to have been issued so far.

A few other exceptions apply with regard to quarantine hotels. These include:

  • people who can document that have had a confirmed case of Covid-19 within the last six months
  • people entering Norway as part of access and contact arrangements between parents and children, or those returning to Norway after fulfilling such arrangements abroad
  • people invited by the Norwegian authorities for foreign policy reasons


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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.