As Covid cases skyrocket in Norway, public health officials don’t require masks in schools.

Anthony LaMesa
3 min readDec 13, 2021

Norwegian children have never had to mask up at school during the pandemic.

Despite Norway experiencing its worst-ever wave of Covid and imposing a slew of new restrictions — including a ban on the sale of alcohol at bars and restaurants — Norwegian schools will remain, as they have throughout the pandemic, mask-optional environments for the Scandinavian country’s children.

World of Data Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people

While the U.S. CDC recommends children wear masks from 2 years of age, Norwegian children have never been required to mask up at school. Indeed, Norwegian authorities don’t require children under 12 to mask anywhere in the country, including on crowded trams and buses.

The recommendation to wear a face mask applies to the same type of situations for young people as for adults. The use of face masks is not required while at school. Young people above the age of 12 years are recommended to wear a face mask in certain situations on the same basis as adults and can wear the same size face masks as adults.

Although Norway isn’t imposing mask mandates in its schools, it is taking action to slow the spread. In primary schools, the country will focus on physical distancing, assigned seating, and reducing mixing between classes. Upper secondary and university students will experience a bit of cohorting and remote instruction. Given the new school mitigation measures will start on December 15th and last for just a month, students will actually experience minimal disruption due to the Christmas break.

All primary and lower secondary schools would be moved to yellow level, and all upper secondary schools and adult education services must be run at red level.

Yellow level means social distancing, assigned seating plans for each student, no physical contact between individuals and minimising mixing between different classes to limit the spread of Covid-19.

Red level sees measures such as much smaller class sizes or cohorts and partial online schooling being implemented.

Universities’ and colleges would be required to facilitate digital teaching as soon as possible.

Anthony LaMesa

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