Severity: Warning Alert

Entry/Exit: Norway closes all universities and schools March 12-26, mandates self-quarantine for travelers who have arrived in country since Feb. 27.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Norway
  • Oslo
  • Bergen
  • Trondheim
  • Tromso

This alert began 12 Mar 2020 20:39 GMT and is scheduled to expire 31 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Preventative restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least March 26
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions, limited services, event cancellations

Summary
Norwegian authorities have ordered from March 12 the closures of all kindergartens, schools, and universities. In addition, authorities have mandated a 14 day self-quarantine for travelers that have arrived in Norway from anywhere other than Scandinavia since Feb. 27. Authorities will also close sport, leisure, and entertainment venues throughout the country.

Authorities are likely to further increase restrictions throughout Norway in the coming days. While there are no travel restrictions to and from the area, authorities may impose some limitations if the COVID-19 cases increase and spread in the region. As of March 12, more than 700 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Norway.

Background and Analysis
Older individuals, infants, and those with chronic illness are more susceptible to infection and are at increased risk for severe complications. Human-to-human transmission can occur, though it remains unclear how easily the virus spreads between people.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions.

Advice
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
WHO coronavirus knowledge base