Coronavirus: These are Norway’s health guidelines for Christmas gatherings

Coronavirus: These are Norway's health guidelines for Christmas gatherings
Norway's health authorities advise people from different households to sit with a social distance for Christmas dinner. Photo: James Coleman on Unsplash
Norwegian health authorities have announced guidelines on overnight stays and family gatherings during the Christmas holidays.

People in the country should limit themselves to attending or hosting a maximum of two larger gatherings over Christmas, public health authority NIPH and the Directorate of Health state.

If you stay overnight following a gathering, you have used your entire two-occasion quota, NIPH said in guidelines, the authorities recommend in official Christmas guidelines.

The government asked health officials to provide advice in relation to questions many residents in the country might have as to how to follow rules connected to Christmas gatherings, VG reports.

Current coronavirus restrictions in the Nordic country limit households to no more than five outside guests at private gatherings, but that will be extended to ten people on two days at Christmas. Families are to be given free choice over the two days on which they decide to use the provision.

Stricter rules remain in place in capital Oslo, however.

“This advice is important for people to be able to plan Christmas and enjoy themselves in a safe and good way,” assistant health director Espen Nakstad told VG.

A full list of the recommendations is available on the Helsenorge website, although the information is not available in English at the time of writing.

The Christmas guidelines are effective from December 23rd until January 1st.

The health authorities recommend ‘limiting social physical contact’ with people you do not live with throughout Christmas.

In private homes or cabins (hytter), where many head to for their holidays, no more than five guests in addition to household members are advised. But that may be increased to 10 guests on two occasions over Christmas, as per the government’s announcement last week.

It is at these extended gatherings that a maximum of two participations – either as guest or host – is advised.

There should be a minimum of one metre’s social distance between people who don’t live together, the health authorities recommend, including at meals and when giving and receiving gifts.

It is not allowed to consider a couple or a household as a single guest.

Family visits lasting several days, such as from children or grandparents, are permitted. But the limit of five guests applies in these cases and there should be enough space to follow the distance and hygiene recommendations. Guests should have their own rooms.

An overnight stay following a gathering with up to 10 guests should be considered a ‘double gathering’ – as such, the quota for both gatherings is used up by overnight stays, so no other gatherings should be attended or invited to.

It should be noted that – such in Oslo – stricter rules can be put in place locally.

READ ALSO: These are Norway’s Covid-19 guidelines for Christmas shoppers


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