Isolation and quarantine - step by step


Who should go into isolation?

All who test positive for Covid 19 are required by law to go into isolation.

How long do you have to stay in isolation?

The duration of the isolation starts from the onset of symptoms, ie the day you first experience corona symptoms.
If you have no symptoms at all, you start counting from the day you took a positive corona test.
If you are uncertain if symptoms you experienced before the test are related to your corona infection, you should start counting from the test date.
If you get symptoms after you have taken the test, the count starts from the day you first display symptoms.

You should be in isolation for at least 10 days and until you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without taking antipyretic medication.

NB! Always confer with your doctor or the infection control team before exiting isolation.

Transmission quarantine

Who should go into transmission quarantine?

Anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the corona virus in the last 48 hours before the onset of symptoms or 48 hours before the test day if they have no symptoms should be in quarantine.
Close contact means either physical contact such as a handshake, hugging or intimate contact – or being less than 2 meters apart for more than 15 minutes.

Your household members and anyone you are dating or have intimate contact with should go into a waiting quarantine. See below.

How long do you have to stay in transmission quarantine?

Anyone in transmission quarantine will be offered a test at the beginning and the end of the transmission quarantine.

You should stay in transmission quarantine for 10 days from the last close contact with the person who is infected.
If the person infected is a household member, the quarantine period is 15 days .

In transmission quarantine you should get tested as soon as possible. If you have a negative result for a test taken on day 7 of the quarantine at the earliest, you may end the quarantine. If the infected person is a household member, this test must be taken no earlier than on day 12.

If you test positive during transmission quarantine

If you test positive while in transmission quarantine, go into isolation and follow the rules for this. (See above).
If anyone is in a waiting quarantine because of you, they should go into transmission quarantine.

If you develop covid symptoms of covid-19 whilst in transmission quarantine

If you develop symptoms while you are in transmission quarantine, you should be considered as likely infected. You must be tested and placed in isolation until you have received a test result. If someone is in a waiting quarantine because of you, they should remain in a waiting quarantine until you have received a test answer, even if the waiting quarantine would otherwise have been completed.

If you get a positive test result, you should go into isolation, and anyone in a waiting quarantine because of you, should go into a transmission quarantine.

If you get a negative answer, go back to into transmission quarantine and complete it.

If you still have symptoms after the quarantine period is over, you should stay at home until you are in a good general condition. This means that you feel healthy and are fever-free, even if you still have some symptoms after a respiratory infection.

Exemptions from transmission quarantine

If you have been fully vaccinated with a covid-19 vaccine, you do not need to be transmission quarantined after having been in close contact with an infected person. This applies from one week after the last dose.  

If you have received only a first vaccine dose between 3 and 15 weeks ago, you do not need to go into transmission quarantine if you get tested between 3 and 7 days after close contact with an infected person. You need not be quarantined until tested. If you test positive, you must be go into isolation.  

To obtain the exemption, documentation from Norwegian health services is required.


Waiting quarantine

Who should go into a waiting quarantine?

  • Household members of a person in transmission quarantine, ie household members
  • Boyfriends/girlfriends and others who have intimate contact with a person in transmission quarantine
  • other groups at the discretion of the health services

How long do you have to stay in a waiting quarantine?

You must stay in a waiting quarantine until:

  • the person in quarantine has completed 10 days in transmission quarantine. This applies if the person is not tested for the corona virus.


  • you yourself test negative on a PCR test taken at the earliest three days after the person in transmission quarantine had close contact with an infected person.
    If you test positive, you should go into isolation, and your close contacts should go into transmission quarantine.

If the person in quarantine tests positive

If the person in transmission quarantine tests positive, you who are in a waiting quarantine should go into a transmission quantine. If you have household members or others with whom you have intimate contact, who are not in quarantine, they should now go into a waiting quarantine.

Exemptions from the waiting quarantine

You are exempt from the waiting quarantine if you have received the first dose of a covid 19 vaccine not less than three weeks ago. You are also exempt if your household member in transmission quarantine received the first dose of a covid 19 vaccine not less than three weeks ago.

To obtain the exemption, documentation from Norwegian health services is required.

Travel quarantine

Anyone returning from international travels must as a rule of thumb stay in quarantine for 10 days after the date of their arrival in Norway. This is referred to as travel quarantine.

Read more about travel quarantine on

How to self-isolate

You must be in isolation if you have a confirmed coronavirus infection or develop symptoms while in quarantine.

If you are in home isolation the following applies:

  • Stay at home and do not go out, apart from in your own garden or balcony / porch / terrace.
  • Make arrangements for others to help out with your necessary errands.
  • Preferably keep a distance of at least two meters to others in your same household.
  • Stay in separate rooms and use separate bathrooms if possible. Use your own toiletries, including your own towel.
  • Take extra care to maintain good hand and cough hygiene to avoid infecting others in the household.
  • Frequent cleaning of the home is also important, especially surfaces that are often touched.

Where to implement the isolation

You will be in isolation in your home, in a health institution or somewhere else if required.

The municipality is responsible for making sure you have a suitable place to implement your isolation period. If the municipality considers that your isolation period should be implemented elsewhere, the municipality should offer alternative accommodation at a hotel or other suitable residence. The municipality may also decide for those who live with a person with a coronavirus infection to stay at another suitable place of residence. In both cases, the municipality must cover the cost.

The municipality is responsible for making sure persons in travel quarantine at a quarantine hotel who test positive for the coronavirus are given a suitable place of residence for implementing their isolation period

Watch for symptoms

Contact a doctor, preferably by telephone, if your health deteriorates (eg if you have difficulty breathing).

Doctor visits

If you need to see your doctor, call the health service and tell them that you have or are in isolation due to covid-19. This will help the health service to implement infection control. You should not use public transport or taxis. Notify the health service if you can't use your own car.

Laundry and cleaning

Soiled textiles and bedding should be placed directly in the washing machine and washed at a minimum of 60 degrees.

Frequent cleaning of surfaces, such as bathroom sinks, toilets, door handles and kitchen counters, is recommended. Ordinary cleaning agents can be used. 

Read more about isolation on

How to self-quarantine

(Applies equally to transmission quarantine and waiting quarantine)

It is important that you are alert to the development of symptoms such as coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath or fever. If you are a close contact to a person with covid-19 and are experiencing symptoms, call a doctor.

In the event of illness, follow the advice for self-isolation.

Quarantined persons may not:

  • go to work, school or kindergarten.
  • make longer trips domestically or travel abroad.
  • visit places where it is difficult to keep the necessary distance to other people.
  • use public transport (except on arrival from abroad on the way to the quarantine location, or the opposite way if you leave Norway before the quarantine is over. Those over 12 years must then wear a face mask).
  • You should not visit public places, such as shops, pharmacies and cafes. If you have no other options, you may make necessary errands to the food store or pharmacy, but you must make sure to keep enough distance (that is, at least one meter) to others and avoid queuing.
  • You may walk outside, but keep a good distance from others.
  • Children who are in quarantine may not have playmates beyond household members.

For more info see helsenorge's info page about quarantine and isolation due to the coronavirus.