Important information for students in Bergen

To students in Bergen: As you will be aware, there is an ongoing major outbreak of coronavirus disease in the student community in Bergen.

We who are engaged in halting this outbreak wish to provide some clear explanations of a number of concepts and specific information based on questions that many of you have been asking us over recent weeks.


In the City of Bergen, the Accident and Emergency Clinic (A&E) is responsible for testing. More detailed information on the practicalities of this can be found on the City of Bergen website.

The objective of testing is to determine whether a person is infected/infectious. The test provides a snapshot of the situation and gives no indication of the extent to which a person will be infectious at a later time. If you suspect that you have been infected with the coronavirus it is important to take a test quickly.

The time from becoming infected until the disease manifests itself can vary from 5 to a maximum of 14 days. This means that you may be infected and still test negative. It is therefore important not to take the test too soon after the time of infection.

After having taken a test and while waiting for the result, the main rule is for you to stay at home, not come to work or school, not travel on public transport or attend public places, and maintain social distancing from all persons other than your immediate circle. Household members do not have to go into quarantine, nor do household members who work in the health services. If you are living in shared housing or a collective, your flatmates will be considered household members.

What should I do if nobody calls me and I have tested positive?

You can now see your own test result at You can read the result here before the laboratory has had time to inform those who tested you. Some time may therefore pass from when you read your own positive test result on until you receive the phone call. In the meanwhile, you must stay in isolation as described below. It is a good idea to start compiling a list of those you consider to be your close contacts (whom you may have infected) during the last 48 hours before you developed symptoms or the last 48 hours before you tested positive if you have no symptoms. Whether or not you should contact them and tell them to go into quarantine is up to you, but they will also be contacted quickly by one of our staff who undertake infection tracing in the municipality.

Definition of close contact.

Quarantine and isolation

Students frequently live in shared flats or collectives with other students, including from other campuses. It is common to sharea kitchen and bathroom with many others, and it may be a challenge to combine staying at home with being in quarantine or isolation. We fully understand this, and many of the questions we are currently being asked focus on how to practically organise a quarantine or isolation period in this type of housing situation.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health has published an overview of what these concepts entail in the document ‘Social distance, quarantine and isolation’.


If you have a likely or confirmed COVID-19 infection you must remain isolated at home, in a health institution or somewhere else. A ‘likely infected’ person is someone who has not been confirmed as having COVID-19 but has developed symptoms and is already under imposed quarantine. Most students who are affected are young and develop only mild symptoms. As a result, home isolation tends to be the most relevant solution.

The rules for home isolation are:

  • You must not leave your home, but you can be in your own garden or on your own balcony.
  • You must enlist the help of others who can run any necessary errands for you.
  • Keep a distance of at least 1 metre between yourself and the other members of your household when possible.
  • If possible, have a room and bathroom of your own. Use your own bathroom items, such as towels.
  • Agree with your doctor on how you should monitor your own health condition.
  • Call the health services if your illness worsens to a point where you need medical assistance (for example difficulty breathing) or for other reasons. When making the call, state that you have COVID-19. This will allow for precautions to be taken that prevent others from becoming infected. You should not use public transport.
  • Clean your home frequently, especially surfaces such as the bathroom washbasin, toilet, door handles and kitchen worktop. Normal detergents can be used. Used textiles and bedlinen should go directly into the washing machine and be washed at a minimum of 60°C.
  • Your flatmates must be in quarantine.
  • Your flatmates must be careful with their hand hygiene, washing their hands with soap and water frequently. In particular, they should wash or disinfect their hands when leaving the room where the isolated person is staying, after contact with the isolated person or with equipment that the isolated person has used, and before leaving the house.
  • Your doctor will estimate how long you will need to be isolated. Having fallen ill, a person must stay isolated for 8 days. If you have been confirmed as infected, but have no symptoms, the period of isolation lasts for 10 days after the date on which your positive test was taken.
  • If more than one person in a household has a confirmed or likely infection you can be isolated together.

If the measures described above cannot be implemented, you must discuss this with a doctor or municipal healthcare worker who can organise another form of isolation. In Bergen you can be provided with a room in the Koronahotellet in Danmarksplass after an assessment of your circumstances with regard to isolation.

If you have completed your period of isolation and have been declared as recovered, and intend to move back in with others, you are advised to try to limit your contact with your flatmates if some of them are in isolation. In this case, even though you are part of the household of an infected person you will not need to go into quarantine again.

Quarantine – both imposed and self-imposed

Anybody who has been in contact with persons who have confirmed COVID-19 or who has travelled in an area where the infection is widespread must go into quarantine. In Bergen, we are recommending all students and others who have attended student parties in the last 10 days, where there is doubt as to whether the infection control measures have been complied with, to go into self-imposed quarantine. In this case, you should follow exactly the same rules as for imposed quarantine. The difference between the two different types of quarantine is that breaches of the self-imposed quarantine do not entail any risk of penal sanctions pursuant to the COVID-19 regulations. This does not diminish the importance of complying with quarantine rules.

Quarantine rules:

  • You must remain in quarantine for 10 days after your last exposure or after arrival in Norway. You can read more about places suitable for quarantine below.
  • You can interact with your flatmates as normal, but avoid visits by outsiders.
  • You must not attend school, work, childcare facilities or other activities outside your home.
  • You must not undertake extended domestic travel or go abroad.
  • You must not travel on public transport.
  • You must avoid places where social distancing is difficult.
  • As a main rule, you should not visit public places, such as shops and cafés. In the absence of alternatives you can go out for necessary errands to shops or pharmacies – but make sure to keep sufficient social distance (at least 1 metre) and avoid queues.
  • You can go for walks outside, but keep a distance of at least 1 metre from others.
  • Be alert to your own symptoms. If you develop a fever or respiratory symptoms you must self-isolate and take a test as soon as possible.
  • The most common solution is to go into quarantine in your own home. For another location to be suitable, it must enable you to avoid contact with persons other than those with whom you normally share your accommodation.
  • This means that overnight accommodation where you have to interact with other guests is unsuitable for quarantine. Staying in a camper van, caravan, tent or campsite cabin without a separate bathroom/toilet and kitchen is not approved as an address for staying during the quarantine period if you will need to share facilities with persons other than your immediate family/travel companions. The same applies to addresses where you need to share rooms/facilities with persons other than your regular flatmates, for example student halls of residence or other housing with a shared bathroom and kitchen.
  • Spending the quarantine in somebody else’s home is OK if you and your household members are the only guests.
  • It is extremely important to note that you cannot terminate your quarantine even if you test negative during the quarantine period!

If you have any questions or feel uncertain, you can either contact your GP or call the municipal coronavirus hotline, telephone 55 56 77 00. The coronavirus hotline is staffed from Monday to Friday 0800–2000, Saturday and Sunday 0900–1400. At busy times, you may have to wait before your call is answered. If you become seriously ill, you should call your GP or the medical advisory hotline 116 117.