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Extension of medical certificates for offshore work

To prevent the spread of infection, maintain capacity in the health service and ensure that production in the offshore industry is maintained, the Directorate of Health has decided that medical certificates will be extended under certain conditions.

The directorate’s decision opens for medical certificates which should have been renewed to remain valid, providing they certificate had not expired before 1 January 2020.

The directorate’s decision

Decision pursuant to section 22 of the health requirements regulations, see sections 15 and 17 – extension of the validity of medical certificates

To prevent the spread of infection, to maintain sufficient capacity to guard against infection in local authorities and in the health and care services, and to ensure that production in the offshore industry is maintained despite the Covid-19 position, the Directorate of Health has hereby taken the following decision pursuant to section 22 of the regulations on health requirements for persons working on facilities in the offshore petroleum industry, FOR-2010-12-20-1780 (the health requirements regulations), see sections 15 and 17.

Legal basis

Section 15 of the health requirements regulations contains provisions on the duration of validity for medical certificates. The certificate is valid for up to two years, and for up to one year for those working under elevated ambient pressure. The county governor can award medical certificates pursuant to the exemption rules in section 17 of the regulations.

Section 22 of the regulations give the Directorate of Health the authority in exceptional circumstances to introduce exemptions to the regulations.

Extension of medical certificates pursuant to sections 15 and 17 of the health requirements regulations

Medical certificates which have expired are extended, providing that:

  • the period concerned does not exceed six months
  • the holder is in possession of an expired medical certificate with an expiry date of 1 January 2020 or later.

This also applies to medical certificates issued under the exemption provision.

The other provisions of the health requirements regulations will continue to apply as normal.

Grounds for the decision

Covid-19 has been declared a serious outbreak of a generally hazardous infectious disease which can have serious health consequences for many people. It has also been declared a pandemic and a serious incident of significance for international public health by the World Health Organisation.

The spread of the Covid-19 epidemic currently varies around Norway. In recent days, it has not been possible in a growing number of cases to identify the chain of infection for everyone falling ill. This means that the spread of infection is currently out of control.

In these circumstances, further measures are necessary to prevent and combat the transfer of the Sars CoV-2 virus and Covid-19. This measure is considered necessary both to protect vulnerable groups and to maintain necessary capacity in the health service.

The Directorate of Health considers that the measure is justified medically, and is necessary to protect against infection and to maintain adequate capacity for guarding against infection in local authorities and in the health and care services.

This decision remains in force until 1 June 2020, with the possibility for extension.