The Norwegian Armed Forces and the COVID-19 pandemic

The outbreak of the new coronavirus and COVID-19 has affected Norway and the Norwegian Armed Forces. However, we carry on with our daily operations and missions.

​Background

The first COVID-19 case in Norway was confirmed on 26 February 2020, and since that, the disease has spread throughout Norway. On 12 March, the government implemented a string of measures to fight back the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in Norway. The measures are the strongest Norway has seen in peacetime.

Preschools, schools and universities are closed, as are large and small businesses, restaurants, fitness centres and concert venues. The measures continue to at least 13 April.

The Norwegian Armed Forces

To some extent, the strict measures also affect the Norwegian Armed Forces, but in general our daily operations and business run as normal. As of April, soldiers in initial military service will end their service as planned, and new soldiers will be called in for recruit training according to schedule. The Norwegian Chief of Defence has outlined three priorities during the coronavirus situation:

  • Maintain our operational ability and carry on solving our missions
  • Step forward as good citizens and prevent any spread of COVID-19
  • Support civil society with everything from transport, medical equipment, expertise, and guarding and protection

 The Norwegian Armed Forces have already implemented several measures to prevent spreading of COVID-19 – both in Norwegian society and internally in our military forces.


The Norwegian-led winter exercise Cold Response 2020 was ended on 11 March, the day before the main part was due to start. 15,000 soldiers were to take part in the exercise. Several other events have been cancelled or postponed, including Norwegian Military Tattoo, Rygge Air Show and some of our admission and selection sessions.

Assistance to civil society

The Norwegian Armed Forces are also assisting and supporting civil authorities throughout the coronavirus situation. Some of our contributions include:

  • Medical equipment and tents for triage facilities to hospitals in Bærum, Drammen, Orkdal, and Haukeland in Bergen.
  • Around 300 soldiers from the Home Guard participate in border controls along Norway's land border and Oslo Airport Gardermoen. 
  • Several military personnel function as liaison officers and are deployed at civil authorities like the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection and health authorities.

Press contacts

For comments and information, media can contact the Norwegian Joint Headquarters on telephone +47 403 38 083 (no SMS) or e-mail: info@njhq.no

For official information on the COVID-19 outbreak in Norway, please see:
Norwegian Institiute of Public Health (NIPH)
Norwegian Government's official corona site

Published 27 March 2020 09:09.. Last updated 02 April 2020 15:41.