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

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.

LATEST: What are the Covid-19 rules for travelling to and from Norway?
Oslo airport. Photo: Chuttersnap on Unsplash

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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TRAVEL NEWS

Tourists: What to do if you catch Covid-19 in Norway 

All Covid travel rules for Norway have been completely lifted for a while now- but what happens if you test positive or start to develop Covid symptoms while you are here?

Tourists: What to do if you catch Covid-19 in Norway 

Covid travel rules in Norway have been lifted for a while, and all but a few recommendations remain domestically. This is a far cry from a similar time last year when Norway had very strict travel rules in place. 

Testing

Close contacts of Covid infected are not required to get a test, meaning if you have been in contact with somebody with Covid-19, you will not be required to get tested under the official rules. 

However, if you wish to take a test, you can buy self-tests at supermarkets and pharmacies. You can also order Covid-19 tests from Norwegian municipalities if you want a PCR test. You can find the contact information for every municipality in Norway here. Facemasks are also widely available in shops and pharmacies. 

Several private providers, such as Volvat and Dr Dropin, offer antigen and PCR tests with results within 24 hours. However, municipality tests can take longer to deliver results. If you need a test to travel home, you will not be able to get one from a local authority. These tests are only for those with symptoms of Covid-19.  

Home tests will not cost more than 60 kroner from supermarkets, while a municipality test will be free. However, private providers’ tests are pricier, costing between 1,000 and 1,500 kroner at most private clinics.

Isolation

There are also no specific rules in regards to isolation. 

“If you have respiratory symptoms, you should stay at home until you feel well. If you feel well, you can live as normal,” Helsenorge advises on its websiteMeaning that if you are asymptomatic, you aren’t advised to isolate. 

Other symptoms which you may need to isolate with include headache and blocked nose and influenza-like symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat and feeling unwell. 

The isolation information means you will need to liaise with the hotel or accommodation you are staying at. 

Travellers are advised to check what their insurance covers before taking out a policy to avoid being left out of pocket if they have to pay for new flights or an extended stay because they are isolating. 

If you test positive, you are also advised to steer clear of those in risk groups. 

Self-isolation advice applies regardless of vaccination status or previous infection. 

What else should I know? 

If your symptoms get worse, the best course of practice would be to contact a standard GP.

You can also contact the out-of-hours urgent care number on 116 117. This will put you through to the nearest urgent care centre to you. Visitors can also call for an ambulance on 113, but this is only advisable in life-threatening situations, such as a stroke or cardiac arrest.

In addition to checking your insurance policy, you also will need to check the rules of the country you are returning to or travelling through in case you may need a test to enter. 

If you have an EHIC card and receive medical care after testing positive for Covid-19, you will only be required to pay the same subsidised fees Norwegians do for healthcare. Despite this, European citizens are also advised to take out travel insurance. 

Non-European visitors are entitled to urgent medical care but will need to pay the full cost with no prospect of reimbursement if they don’t have health insurance. 

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