Travellers arriving in Norway now have the option of spending 10-day quarantine period at alternative locations to the country’s ‘quarantine hotels’, if they are able to secure suitable accommodation, NRK reports.
The adjusted rules were confirmed by justice minister Monica Mæland at a briefing on Wednesday afternoon.
“Some of the rules have been perceived as unfair. I am therefore happy that we are able to present some changes,” Mæland said.
“The primary rule will remain that travellers arriving in Norway must stay at a quarantine hotel, but exemptions will be introduced for those who rent housing in Norway. Additionally, we will allow people who neither own nor rent housing to stay at a suitable place, if they can document that quarantine rules can be complied with,” she added.
Guest rooms are not sufficient accommodation for quarantine, the minister said.
“This requires accommodation in a private room. There must be access to own toilet, kitchen or food service. It must also be possible to avoid close contact,” she said.
People arriving in Norway from abroad are required to comply if they qualify for a 10-day entry quarantine under the country's coronavirus restrictions. People from the same household are allowed to quarantine together if they have also travelled to Norway together.
The quarantine hotel rule was introduced by the government on November 9th.
Since that date, everyone required to observe entry quarantine has been obliged to stay at a quarantine hotel during the isolation period.
Up to now, that rule has had following exceptions: Norwegian citizens and residents, with three exceptions: people who reside or own a home in Norway and can stay there; Norwegian students returning from study abroad who can stay with their parents or own registered address; and people who come to Norway to work and have accommodation arranged by an employer.
Wednesday’s announcement broadens the options for observing quarantine at accommodation other than the hotels.
The changes are expected to take effect by the end of this week.
“We have always said that we will continually be open to adjusting rules related to quarantine hotels. We are now working on further adjustments of the rules,” health minister Bent Høie said in parliament earlier on Wednesday, as reported by NTB.
Infection numbers in both the capital and nationally are currently at a lower level in comparison with the situation at the end of November, when they were last extended, according to newspaper VG’s running analysis of official data.
372 cases of Covid-19 were registered in Norway in the last daily update, including 117 in Oslo.