Norwegian COVID-19 measures
The Norwegian authorities are continuously evaluating new measures to respond to the Corona crisis. The government has informed the puiblic of a number of measures that are already being implemented. As of March 20 the most important measures to our knowledge are:
Persons suspected of being infected with the Corona virus are put in home isolation.
Persons who have returned from travelling outside the Nordic countries February 27 or later, are put in home quarantine. They are not allowed to work, and they are under strict general regulations until March 12.
All non-critical travel abroad is advised against by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the period March 14 to April 14.
All educational institutions and nurseries are closed down. Nurseries and preschools are held open only for children of employees with critical society functions.
It is prohibited to stay in a vacation home outside of your municipality of residence during the Corona crisis.
The Directorate of Health has banned:
- Cultural events.
- Sports events and organized sports activities, both indoors and outdoors.
- All establishments in the hospitality industry, except for eating places where food is distributed, i.e. canteens and eating places that can ensure visitors to keep at least one metre distance from each other. Buffets are not allowed. The hospitality industry includes restaurants, bars, pubs and nightclubs.
- Gyms and fitness centres.
- Companies that provide hairdressing services, skin care, massage and body care, tattooing, piercing, etc.
- Swimming pools, water parks, etc.
Employment and benefits
- The employer-financed period for temporary redundancies will be reduced from 15 to 2 working days.
- All employees receive 100 % salary for 20 days (limited to salaries equal to approx. NOK 600 000 per year) during temporary redundancies due to Corona.
- Self-employed and freelancers receive 80 % income coverage for 20 days based on their average income limited to approx. NOK 600 000 per year.
- Waiting days before during temporary redundancy have been lifted.
- Demand for activity while receiving benefits/sick pay are temporary lifted.
- Demand for certification of sickness for sick pay is temporary lifted.
- The benefit period for parents who have to stay at home with kids up to 12 years during closed schools/preschools is increased by ten days for each parent.
- The employer-financed period for sick-pay still remains unchanged. The employers are still obligated to pay the employees sick pay the first 16 days, including employees in Corona-quarantine. This will hopefully be changed quickly.
- Employees’ claim for benefits during temporary redundancy is limited to minimum 40 % work reductions (normally 50 %).
- Allocations for skills upgrading and in-house training programs.
Taxes and general economic aid
The private capital market is still meant to be the main source of capital for Norwegian businesses during the Corona crisis. Norwegian banks are subject to strict capital demands that hopefully will function as the buffer it is intended.
- Businesses with deficits in 2020 can re-allocate 2020 deficits to cover 2018 and 2019 profit taxes.
- Businesses with deficits in 2020 will be given capital tax postponements upon application.
- Air-passenger and airport taxes are temporarily suspended.
- Miscellaneous allocations are made to municipal authorities for extra-ordinary Corona-specific expenses.
- Norwegian airlines are granted loan guarantees of a total of 6 000 000 MNOK.
- 100 000 MNOK is allocated to banks to grant loans and guarantees for corporate finance.
- 300 MNOK is allocated to compensate the culture sector.
- 600 MNOK is allocated to compensate the sports sector and voluntary work.
- The first advance tax payment term is suspended.
- The payroll tax is reduced by 4 %.
- The countercyclical capital bufferrequired for all banks is reduced from 2,5 % to 1 % to promote corporate finance.
- The Norwegian Bank’s policy rate is reduced by 1,25 % to 0,25 %.