Norway to tighten Covid restrictions over Christmas period

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Norway to tighten Covid restrictions over Christmas period
The government has announced several Covid-19 restrictions. Pictured is Karl Johan Street, Oslo. Photo by Nick Night on Unsplash "

Social distancing, recommended limits on guests at home and the return of tighter rules around the sale of alcohol in bars and restaurants will be implemented over the festive period in Norway, the government announced Tuesday.


Several Covid-19 restrictions have been announced by the Norwegian government to reduce social contact and slow the transmission of coronavirus, following weeks of surging cases and several outbreaks of the recently discovered Omicron variant in the country. 

The restrictions include recommendations on the number of visitors allowed at home. Social distancing and facemasks being reintroduced were also among the measures announced. 

"We would very much like to be done with the pandemic. Now the situation is still so serious that we must put in place new measures to maintain control," Prime minister Jonas Gahr Støre said.

The measures will come into effect on Thursday and be in place for four weeks. They will be reassessed after two weeks on December 23rd. 

A maximum of ten guests at home will be recommended over the Christmas period. The recommended limit can be raised to 20 on Christmas Eve or for a party. Children can visit classmates, even if it exceeds the total recommended limit. The public are also being asked to try and limit their social contacts, without isolating themselves. 

Everyone is being advised to maintain a social distance of one metre around those not in their household. However, this will not apply to children in Kindergartens and primary schools and those who work with children, young people and vulnerable people. 


The public have also been encouraged to meet outdoors where possible too.

A maximum of 20 people will be able to meet at private gatherings in a public place, in or on rented premises. In addition, alcohol service will cease at midnight at venues with a liquor licence. 

Furthermore, there must be seating for all guests in restaurants and table service will be used for alcohol. 

At public events up to 3 groups of 200 can meet where there is fixed allocated seating and a social distance of two metres is in place. 

Wakes can have up to 50 attendees. 

Social distancing must also be practiced in hospitality settings. Leisure settings will also be required to make it possible for social distancing to be maintained. 


Bars and restaurants and one-on-one services such as hairdressers will need to register the contact information of customers, provided consent to do so is given. Some leisure settings will also need to register guests contact info. This won't apply to shops, libararies and shopping centres, however.

Facemasks must also be worn when it is not possible to keep a social distance of one metre in shops, malls, restaurants, public transport, taxis and indoor areas at public transport stations. 

Employers will also need to facilitate working from home where possible and where it doesn't compromise necessary services. When employees are in the office they too will need to social distance.

Leisure settings such as gyms and swimming pools have been recommended to limit organised activities for adults over 20 to a maximum of 20 participants. It's also been suggested that changing rooms be kept closed. 

The longer isolation period for suspected Omicron cases would also be rolled out to other close contacts, not just household members. 

The government has also said that municipalities will reintroduce the traffic light system for schools if necessary. However, for the time being all schools would remain at green level, meaning mostly normal teaching. Local areas can decide to change this if they want. 

Universities and colleges have been asked to try and introduce smaller class sizes and more digital teaching. 


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also