TRAVEL ALERT! Important information about the Coronavirus situation in Norway
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New COVID-19 guidelines for meetings and conferences, per 8th of May 2020

Norway is slowly opening up again from the lock-down following the COVID-19 pandemic as of 14th of March. There are new guidelines on the number of people in groups and meetings, and events with a responsible organiser up to 50 people are now allowed. If all goes according to plan, events with 200 people will be permitted from 15th of June.

From Monday 16 March at 8 am local time, the Norwegian government closed the borders for all but Norwegian citizens and foreigners that possess a residence or work permit. Everybody that doesn’t have a residence permit or work permit must leave the country. The government also discourage all non-essential domestic travel.

On May 7th the Norwegian government published a plan for reopening Norwegian society and easing the coronavirus restrictions. The plan has a timetable for lifting the most severe restrictions.

You will find updated guidelines related to events and gatherings on Norwegian Institute of Public Health, as well as updated travel advice.

There is still quarantine rules after travel abroad, when entering Norway. These will most likely last until 20th of August. The quarantine period is now reduced from 14 to 10 days

On 15th of May the government updated their travel advice. The general travel advice will last until 20th of August, meaning that Norwegians are recommended not to travel abroad until 20th of August. Within 15th of June the government will consider to make exceptions from other Nordic countries. 

Meetings, conferences, sport and cultural events are still limited to a maximum of 50 people, where it is possible to keep a distance of at least one metre between people who do not live in the same household. Mass gatherings such as festivals and major sport events are not allowed until 1st of September.

The Norwegian Hospitality Association (NHO Reiseliv) have developed new guidelines for hotels and venues in conjunction with guidelines from the Norwegian government and health authorities. The guidelines from the Norwegian Hospitality Association will enable safe operations at Norwegian hotels and venues, and a national standard to prevent transmission of COVID-19. This will enable Norwegian companies to organize meetings and book meeting rooms in hotels and venues for up to 50 people. According to NHO Reiseliv about 50 percent of the income for hotels are related to the meetings industry.

 

Sector specific guidelines for hotels and accommodation establishments

Main goals and principles:

By implementing increased measures to prevent transmission of COVID-19, hotels and accommodation establishments should be able to keep open and welcome guests and employees.

These guidelines are based on the national guidelines developed by the Norwegian Directorate of Health and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. The infection control measures are based on general recommendations:

  1. Good hygiene
  2. Reduced contact between persons
  3. Persons with symptoms should be placed in isolation / quarantine

The full guidelines can be found here (Norwegian only).

 

A summary of the measurements are as followed:

  • Guests and employees with any symptoms should stay home
  • Minimize congestion in the hotel reception, main areas etc. Consider implementing measures to avoid queues.
  • Payments should be made by card or cashless
  • Encourage washing of hands/use of anti-bacterial on arrival
  • Ensure increased cleaning of all exposed surfaces
  • Ensure increased cleaning of hotel rooms between guests. Remove decorating items such as pillows and blankets that are not cleaned regularly.
  • With a confirmed case of COVID-19 there should be conducted a disinfection cleaning of the hotel and areas where the guest/employee have spent time
  • Facilitate one metre distance between tables in restaurants
  • Limitation of 5-6 guests per table, but exceptions can be made for larger families or groups staying together, or by other measurements that will compensate. For example, increased distances between tables and guests, increased time between table settings etc.
  • Avoid sharing of menus, cutlery, bottles of ketchup, water pitchers, saltshakers, and all other food and equipment meant for sharing.
  • Employees must be able to keep one metre distance to each other during continuous work at kitchens etc. It is ok to pass each other or stand closer for short periods of time.
  • Ensure a one metre distance between participants in meetings and courses.
  • Swimming pools, saunas, gyms etc. will be held closed until further notice.
  • Make sure employees are well trained in new measurements and guidelines.
  • Employees should be in fixed groups if possible, to avoid transmissions between employees.

 

Many of the hotel chains have implemented safety measures for meetings and conferences. Here is one example of the measures taken by Thon Hotels.

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