Norway’s Coronavirus Regulations for Christmas 2020

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Christmas in Norway - Children with Christmas trees

Norway's prime minister has announced the coronavirus restrictions that will apply over the Christmas period.

The ongoing pandemic creates a headache for the authorities with the upcoming Christmas celebrations in Norway. Norway's health authorities want to prevent loneliness at Christmas, while still preventing the spread of infection.

“Christmas is a time for closeness, and not a time for distance. But we are worried that the Christmas celebration will lead to more infection in society. We do not want to start the year with rising infection rates,” said Norway's prime minister Erna Solberg at a press conference today.


Extra guests permitted on two days

At present, a household can welcome no more than five guests from different households. Today, Solberg announced that up to ten guests will be permitted on two days over the Christmas period, as long as social distancing is maintained.

Read more: Christmas Food in Norway

Solberg said the authorities have worked to find the right balance between preventing more infection and allowing celebrations: “We maintain the rule of up to five guests, but for two of the days we allow up to ten guests. For example, on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, or on two other days.”

Other restrictions remain in place

Solberg emphasised that the new announcement is a national recommendation. Some municipalities may implement stricter rules. This could include the city of Oslo, which has recently extended its social lockdown into December.

Norwegian christmas beers available in a supermarket
Norwegian christmas beers

The prime minister also reminded everyone that the previous recommendation of limiting close contacts applies throughout the Christmas period.

“It should not be the case that you have five new guests every day and ten new and different guests on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve,” she explained.

Read more: Christmas Beer in Norway

Quarantine rules still apply. For example, everyone should be quarantined for ten days after coming to Norway from a “red” country. At present, this is most European countries.

Christmas market in Trondheim
Christmas market in Trondheim, Norway

Solberg also insisted that social distancing rules should be maintained throughout the festive period:

“We must still hold a one metre distance from each other. This also applies to the Christmas party. From when the gløgg is served until we sit down at the table and when we open the Christmas presents. The main rule is still to limit the people you have contact with throughout Christmas.”

Preventing loneliness a key consideration

One of the reasons why the government and health authorities made this announcement is to prevent the isolated from becoming extra lonely due to the infection control rules.

“This is one of the main reasons why we have emphasized in our recommendation that you should expand the number of guests that you can invite at Christmas, so that no one is not invited due to a somewhat rigid limit,” said the Norwegian Institute of Public Health's Line Vold.

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

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12 thoughts on “Norway’s Coronavirus Regulations for Christmas 2020”

  1. I am due to move from the UK to Norway on the 19th December but because i am not on the Norwegian register yet, have to wait until March to see Police, I would have to face 10 days in a quarantine hotel over Christmas. My wife is a Norwegian citizen who lives in and owns her own home, we both live on our own and are both in our sixties. While I understand the concern around the spread of the disease, it does not make sense and in truth I would feel more at risk living in a hotel than in the basement of my wife’s house which is remote from everyone. I have tried to peak with Norwegian officials but got a “those are the rules” speech. So both me and my wife will be on our own in our respective counties or me in a quarantine hotel during Christmas. Crazy world.

    • I completely sympathies and agree.
      Hotel 3 or 4 visits from staff, you are allowed to eat in the restaurant say 10 people per meal in close proximity that makes 34 people so far. Oh and you are allowed to visit the supermarket and Pharmacy say another 25 possibilities of close contact. (59) over 10 days 590 possibilities.

      Stay at my home: Fully stocked with food, supermarkets and Pharmacy visits =0 no staff to interact with =0 eating at restaurants = 0 nearest neighbours 500m away zero interaction. Just me =1

      So in this very unscientific assessment, you are nearly 600 times more likely to catch coronavirus at the hotel.

      and obviously 600 times less likely to pass anything on
      Just my 2 øre worth

  2. Me and my partner are supposed to arrive on the 18th she is a citizen and lives with her dad even though we will both have to quarantine for 10 days if have to on my own in a hotel while she can at hers makes no sense

  3. This is so stupid, I did not see my Boyfriend since March because of this, he has his own house, which he won’t be in when I arrive he works out on fish farms, so I would basically be all alone for 14 days in his house, but nope they want to put me in a stupid hotel, which I have to pay for it. And I should not be quarantined at all I had covid already month ago….


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