The ban on serving alcohol after 11pm has gone, as has the capacity limit on indoor and outdoor events and the border testing requirement for travellers entering Norway.
“Let there be no doubt: We are in a new phase of the pandemic,” said Labour Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre during Tuesday evening’s press conference, according to VG.
But Støre and his coalition government refrained from announcing a complete reopening.
These are the rules that remain in place, as presented in the government press briefing:
Mask wearing in public
Wearing a face mask remains obligatory in public places if it is impossible to maintain a distance of at least one metre. Masks will therefore still be required to move around in crowded restaurants, shops, malls, on public transport, in taxis and similar.
You may take off your mask at the table of a restaurant or inside the cinema, but put it back on when moving around in the establishment. This rule only goes for places with fixed seating, so even if you’re sat down on the subway you still need to wear a mask if it is too crowded to keep a one metre distance.
One metre distancing
The rule of keeping a one metre distance remains in place for public places, but again the exception is events with fixed seating. That means cinemas, theatres and other organisers of seated events now may fill up all their seats, without keeping seats empty between separate groups of attendees.
However, they must ensure that it is possible to maintain a one metre distance when moving around on the premises.
All events of more than 200 people must also have a written Covid-19 infection control plan in place.
The one-metre rule means that while drinking into the early hours is now effectively allowed, dancing remains banned.
While Støre jokingly confirmed to VG that there won’t be a dancing police patrolling bars, the rules effectively ban close-contact activities at bars and restaurants, dancing included.
Those who test positive for Covid-19 will still have to quarantine, though the self isolation period has been shortened from six to four days. Infected people however have to be fever-free for at least 24 hours before breaking their self isolation period. The government has specified that the fever-free period must be natural, so without taking paracetamol or similar medication.
People living with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 are recommended – but not required – to get tested every day for five days in a row. The same goes for contact cases with symptoms. Those who cannot avoid close contact with the Covid positive person during their isolation period are recommended to get tested every day during that period and then every day for five days, so nine days in total. The government recommends self-tests, so there is no need to get an antigen or PCR test at a testing station.
Those who have returned a positive Covid-19 test are recommended to register in the “smittestopp” tracing app.
Testing when travelling for some
Unvaccinated people travelling to Norway must get tested prior to their journey, unless they can document that they have recently recovered from Covid-19. Testing at the border is scrapped for everyone, which means vaccinated travellers no longer face restrictions when entering Norway, except from registering digitally before the trip.
The current rules will remain in place until February 17th. Health Minister Ingvild Kjerkol said in the press statement that the government envisages being able to lift remaining rules on that date unless the pandemic develops “significantly differently” than the government foresees.