High risk groups

Elderly man sitting in a chair talking to a woman

Is the coronavirus more dangerous for some groups?

Persons who are part of a risk group will normally be protected from a serious course of the disease if they follow the advice and take the vaccine. They will to a large extent be protected from serious illness if they should be infected by the coronavirus and can hence live as normal and follow the same advice for infection control as others do.

Yet some groups run a higher risk of serious illness.

We should all follow the general advice for infection control.This is especially important for people in risk groups.

The risk of serious illness increases with increasing age and underlying illness leading to a potentially impaired immune response. 

Assessment of risk is done at a group level and not per individual. The level of risk will vary greatly between individuals within each group. If needed, an individual assessment should be made in consultation with your doctor.

You will find a definition of the groups considered to be at elevated risk for a more serious progression here (fhi.no)

General advice for persons in risk groups

  • Keep a distance to persons who show signs of respiratory infection.
  • Stay at home if you are ill.
  • Take the coronavirus vaccine
  • Remember keeping a good hand and cough hygiene. 
  • Remember that social contact with other people is important. 
  • Talk to your doctor if you are unsure about your health situation.

In particular persons who are at high risk of a serious progression of COVID-19 should consult their doctor and consider living a more sheltered life during periods of increased infection.

What should you do if you become ill?

You should stay at home if you develop any symptoms.

It is important that you contact the health services - regardless of whether you may be infected or not - if you develop other acute symptoms for which you would normally seek medical attention.

Visits and socialising

It is important to stay in touch with other people and not live isolated. It will normally be sufficient for an elderly person or others who are part of a risk group – and who have received their recommended doses of the vaccine - to follow the general advice for infection control.

If you are part of a risk group, you must assess the risk of infection and make up your own mind on any additional measures to be able to have visits and contact with family and friends.

Measures to reduce the risk of infection that can be considered are:

  • Limit the number of persons visiting. The risk is lower when meeting up outdoors rather than indoors.
  • Keep a physical distance to those visiting.
  • Avoid crowds.
  • Wearing face masks can also be considered.
  • Elderly persons and other persons in risk groups who are fully vaccinated and have received their booster dose can assess whether they want to be in close contact with their loved ones.

Children and youth in risk groups

Both national and international experience show that children to a lesser extent than adults develop an illness due to the coronavirus, and there is seldom a need for hospitalization. This also applies to children with chronic diseases. There is little evidence to suggest that the risk of developing a serious illness is higher for these children compared to healthy children.

On a global level there are very few reports of children with COVID-19 who have died, and very rarely for healthy children.

Kindergarten and school for children and youth in risk groups

Some children with a serious disease may be more vulnerable. In these cases, kindergarten and school adaptations can be considered. This generally applies to children with rare and serious underlying medical conditions. For more information about these groups and COVID-19 in children and youth, visit:

Advice for persons who receive home services and their relatives

Those who receive health and care services at home and their relatives/caregivers should follow the advice given to the general population and possibly the advice given to risk groups.

Persons with symptoms of a respiratory infection should not visit. 

More information from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health: Health and care services at home and infection control for COVID-19 (in Norwegian).

Visits to a healthcare institution

Visits to hospitals, nursing homes or other health institutions should be facilitated as far as possible.

In the event of serious illness or in connection with childbirth, the institution should facilitate for visits even if the relative visiting has tested positive for the coronavirus.

All visits should be carried out in line with the national recommendations for infection control. Local rules may also apply, relative to the local level of infection in the specific municipality. Check the website of the relevant municipality.

The Norwegian Directorate of Health has published recommendations for visits to health and care institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic (in Norwegian). 

Do you have questions about corona and need someone to talk to?

Several user organisations can provide information and support.