The rule change will mean an extended number of family relations from so-called ‘third countries’, meaning non-EEA or Schengen countries plus the UK, will be exempted from coronavirus entry restrictions and therefore able to visit loved ones in Norway.
These include grandparents and the children of ‘established’ partners of Norwegian residents.
The incoming rule change was first reported by newspaper VG late on Thursday. The Norwegian Ministry of Justice has confirmed the reported changes to The Local.
It is important to note that, although the rule changes will mean family members previously unable to enter Norway will now be able to, they will have to observe the country’s 10-day quarantine requirement for all arrivals from non-exempted countries.
Anyone entering Norway from ‘red' countries in the EEA or Schengen area and ALL travellers from countries outside the EU/ Schengen area is obliged to comply with quarantine requirements.
“I hope this will be an early Christmas present for everyone who has missed their loved ones. Many children have contacted us and asked for their grandparents to come to Norway,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg said in a statement.
Norway's borders have essentially been closed to visitors from outside of the EU and Schengen area since March. There are exceptions, although none for tourists.
In July, Norway's government opened the country's border to foreign nationals from countries outside of the EU and EEA who have partners or family resident in Norway.
But parents whose Norway-resident children are over the age of 21 and adult children (over 21 years old) of Norway residents, as well as grandparents of people who live in Norway, were excluded from the new exemptions to Norway's border rules.
The Ministry of Justice is now working on making the necessary changes to the relevant legal provisions. The new rules are scheduled to come into force on October 21st.
From that date, exceptions to the entry restrictions will apply to the following nationals of countries not in the EEA, Schengen areas or the UK:
- Children and stepchildren over the age of 21 of a person resident in Norway
- Parents and stepparents of children over the age of 21 resident in Norway
- Grandparents and step-grandparents of a person resident in Norway
- Grandchildren and step-grandchildren of a person resident in Norway
- Children of established partners of persons resident in Norway
- Spouses, registered partners, cohabitants and children of a Norwegian citizens who live abroad and who are travelling to Norway with the Norwegian citizen
- EEA citizens and their family members resident in third countries
“I must stress that the people encompassed (by the rule changes) must still quarantine and that it is important that they follow general infection guidelines during their visit to Norway,” Minister of Justice Monica Mæland said.
“If the infection situation allows, there will in future also be a gradual opening for travel entry for new groups of foreign citizens who fulfil criteria for entry to Norway under normal circumstances,” Mæland also said.