Norway's former capital, Bergen. Photo by ZHANG Shaoqi on Unsplash
The announcement about the easing of social distancing rules indoors was made by Norway’s health minister, Bent Høie, at a government press conference.
As of Wednesday, 28th April, fully vaccinated people can:
• Have close social contact, defined as being within 1-meter proximity, with other vaccinated people, even those in risk groups.
• Have close social contact with unvaccinated people who are not in risk groups. This means those who have both vaccines can hug and be in close contact with visiting friends and relatives, for example.
• Still maintain social distancing from those who are not yet vaccinated and belong to risk groups.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health is advising people to maintain social distance until a week after receiving their second jab.
“We are advising that you save your hug with your grandchildren until one week after the second dose,” director at the NIPH Line Vold said.
The health minister, Høie, also clarified that social distancing will still have to be observed in public places.
“Since those vaccinated can still be infected and infect others, there will be no relaxation of the rules in public,” he said.
“When you are out, you don’t know if there are those who are unvaccinated and in risk groups,” the health minister added.
Fully vaccinated people are also encouraged to stick to the national recommendation of only entertaining five guests at home.
Furthermore, those who have received vaccines will still have to self-isolate if they have been in contact with somebody infected with Covid-19.
In addition to this, vaccinated people will not be exempt from entering quarantine hotels if they return from “unnecessary” trips abroad. Those who go abroad for trips classed as “necessary” such as for family emergencies are exempt from hotel quarantine.
While 1.5 million people in Norway have received a first vaccine jab, only 310,000 people are fully vaccinated.
Vaccine certificates were also on the agenda at the press conference. Certificates will begin to be issued next week. However, the certificates that will be distributed will not be the complete certificate; these will be launched alongside the EU’s coronavirus passports in June.
Despite launching the certificates next week, the government still hasn’t outlined exactly how they will be used.
Denmark has already begun to issue its own “corona passes”.