Ida Marie Rygg from Norway and her American fiancé Luke DeBoer should be helped under the new rules. Photo: private
“The government is constantly trying to find the right balance between infection control and opening,” Monica Mæland, Norway's justice minister said in a press release. “The coronavirus situation has hit families and sweethearts particularly hard. I am glad that we can now give further relief for people from countries outside the EU and the EEA.”
According to the statement, to qualify as a the sweetheart of a Norwegian citizen, you need to be able to show that you have met the Norwegian citizen physically at least once, and that you have been in a relationship for at least nine months.
The person living in Norway must fill in a solemn declaration on the relationship, which is here on the website of the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration, which confirms these requirements, and also that their girlfriend or boyfriend will go into quarantine for ten days on arrival
Their girlfriend or boyfriend must then present this paper on arrival in Norway.
The news was met with near ecstatic posts on Oss med familie eller kjæreste i utlandet under Covid-19 2020 We with family and lovers abroad during Covid-19 2020), a Facebook group which has campaigned hard for changes to border rules.
“We made it!!!!!!! WE MADE IT! I have never cried so hard in my life!!!!” wrote one member.
“A big day for this group today. Thanks to those of you who created the group and to those of you who fought so hard to win this victory!!” wrote another.
Mæland stressed that the changes would not remove the need for people to obtain the required visas and travel documents.
Family members who before Norway's introduction of border controls would have been able to enter Norway and apply for a residency permit after arrival, will now, however, be able to do so once again.
“Sweethearts and family members must follow general quarantine rules, and stay in quarantine for ten days in just the same way as everyone else who travels into Norway,” Mæland added.
At the same press conference, the government announced that tourism to and from all but seven countries in the European Union will be allowed from next Wednesday.
The excluded countries are Bulgaria, Croatia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania, Hungary, and all regions in Sweden except Skåne, Blekinge and Kronoberg.
The girlfriends and boyfriends of Norwegians who live in “red” regions or countries within the EU can also travel to Norway to meet their lover, using the same form, although they will also have to go into quarantine for ten days.
If the Norwegian boyfriend or girlfriend is found to have falsified the relationship in the solemn declaration, their claimed lover risks being denied entry, while they themselves risk prosecution for perjury.