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LATEST: What are the Covid-19 rules for travelling to and from Norway?

LATEST: What are the Covid-19 rules for travelling to and from Norway?
Oslo airport. Photo: Chuttersnap on Unsplash
In recent days Norway has extended and tightened its rules around travelling to and from the country. Here's the latest on what you need to know.

As a general rule, the Norwegian government advises against all international travel in an effort to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.

The only exemption is for “essential trips” and visits to “green” EU and EEA countries.

There has been a lot of controversy around what constitutes an “essential trip”. The government has declined to clarify with a list of reasons that mean a journey is essential and has preferred to leave it up to the individual.

The government and public health agencies have also introduced a range of guidelines and rules for people returning to or arriving in Norway from abroad. Here are some of the most important to be aware of.

‘Green’, ‘yellow’ and ‘red’ countries in the EU and EEA

Travel restrictions are issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, based on recommendations from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH).

The NIPH recommends different restrictions depending on which country in the EU and EEA people are returning or arriving from. Countries can be either ‘red’, ‘yellow’ and ‘green’ based on infection rates in the country:

  • Red’ countries: Travel is advised against and quarantine after returning or arriving to Norway is mandatory,

  • ‘Yellow’ countries: Travel is advised against, but quarantine after returning or arriving to Norway is not mandatory,

  • ‘Green’ countries: There is no recommendation against travel and quarantine after returning or arriving to Norway is not mandatory.

Recommendations are reconsidered on a weekly basis. As of January 13th, all countries are “red”, except a few regions in Finland.

Quarantine

Everyone traveling to Norway has to quarantine for ten days. The only exception is for people returning or arriving from ‘yellow’ and ‘green’ countries.

Note that even if you have received the vaccine it does not change the quarantine rules yet.

The quarantine period can be reduced to seven days if the traveller has two negative Covid-19 tests after traveling to Norway. The tests must be conducted on day one and day seven after arrival.

Appropriate places to quarantine are:

  • Your own home (for permanent residents in Norway),

  • A quarantine hotel,

  • Accommodation where you have no contact with other adults.

Quarantined people are only allowed to leave their accommodation if they are able to avoid contact with other people.

You are not allowed to use public transport or go to work.

Testing

On Monday January 18th Norway introduced mandatory Covid-19 testing for travellers at its borders.

Those who fail to comply face a fine of 20,000 Norwegian Kroner.

Previously all international travellers returning or arriving to Norway were required to produce a negative test at least 73 hours before arrival and then get tested as soon as possible after they arrived.

The only exceptions were people traveling from ‘yellow’ and ‘green’ countries.

But those rules proved hard to enforce so were replaced by mandatory testing at the border.

Arrival registration

All travellers returning or arriving to Norway must register with the government before arrival. This applies to Norwegian and international citizens and is used to ensure compliance with quarantine rules.

Travellers can register within 72 hours before arriving in Norway.

Travellers from the United Kingdom

Due to the new mutated strand of Covid-19 discovered in the UK, the Norwegian government introduced some specific rules for people travelling to Norway from the UK.

Like other travellers from abroad, UK-arrivals must quarantine for ten days. However, they must also get tested for Covid-19 on day one and day seven after arrival. The duration of the quarantine will not be reduced, even if both tests are negative

Exemptions

Special rules apply for some groups. These include:

  • People commuting regularly for work or school, drivers of freight trains and lorries, people travelling to Norway to work on ships in Norwegian ports and some essential workers.

  • Members of the armed forces

  • Parents travelling to spend fixed time with their children

  • In cases of serious illness or death of a close one

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