For members


What changes about life in Norway in April 2021

There’s plenty happening in April besides April Fool’s Day and Easter. These are the things to be aware of in April, including the roadmap to easing coronavirus restrictions, stricter rules for entering the country and tax returns.

What changes about life in Norway in April 2021
Photo by Leonard Rb on Unsplash

Tighter rules for entering the country

On April 1st people arriving in Norway will have to provide a negative PCR test taken within 24 hours of their departure fight. Once in Norway, they must then take a rapid coronavirus test at the airport or border and wait at the test station until the result is returned.

If they are travelling for non-essential reasons they will have to enter a quarantine hotel regardless of the result. The earliest they will be able to leave quarantine is seven days after arriving and only after testing negative for the virus.

Foreign nationals who are unable to meet the requirements will be denied entry and Norwegian residents and citizens will receive fines.

More detail on this can be found here.

Norway’s roadmap to easing restrictions

Prime Minister Erna Solberg will present her plan on lifting coronavirus restrictions to parliament in early April. She has previously said that she hopes to reopen most of society by the end of the summer.

“I hope we will be able to open up many parts of society before September, but we must have control of infections,” She told broadcaster TV2.

Vaccination is going to be a big part of the plan to reopen, according to the PM. Furthermore, the reproduction rate or R-number will be key in assessing any future decisions the government makes in terms of restrictions.

An R-number below 1.0 means that 10 people with the virus will pass it on to less than 10 others. As a result, the epidemic recedes rather than growing.

Review of national coronavirus measures

The measures which came into effect on March 25th to try and combat the spread of Covid-19 over the Easter holidays will be reviewed on April 12th.

Following the review, the national measures will be either lifted, eased or tightened.

According to a senior medical consultant at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health there are signs that the country’s epidemic is reversing, with data from the national health authority NIPH suggesting that cases have decreased slightly.

“It seems the pandemic has reversed, but the picture is very unstable. It is different around the country,” Preben Aavistland told newspaper VG this week.

He also added that he believes more emphasis should be placed on regional restrictions.  

Decision on the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine

The use of the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company’s vaccine has been on pause since March 11th.  A decision is expected to be made on April 15th. Officials are currently investigating a potential link to severe blood clotting

In Norway several healthcare workers under the age of 55 have suffered symptoms including blood clots, bleeding and a drop in platelets after receiving the AstraZeneca jab.

Four deaths have been reported, with three from combinations of these complications and one from a brain haemorrhage. No link has been proven with the serum, although a Norwegian medical team said these rare but serious cases were the result of a powerful immune response.  

If it is decided that Norway will no longer use the AstraZeneca vaccine, then it will cause delays to the vaccine program as the latest vaccine schedule includes its use.

READ ALSO: Norway presents revised Covid-19 vaccination plan

Tax return deadline

The annual Skattemeldingen, tax return, is due on April 30th for individuals.The returns are being sent out electronically between March 16th and April 7th this year.

If you haven’t received your tax return already Skatteetaten, the country’s tax authority, will notify you by either email or SMS once it is ready.

After filling out the form it should take about two weeks for any rebate to be transferred into your account, meaning you could also receive your rebate in April too.

Johnson & Johnson vaccine deliveries

Norway will receive its first shipment of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in April. The NIPH was hoping to receive around 310,000 vaccines.

Instead, they will receive around 52,000 doses of the single dose vaccine. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine will mainly be used to vaccinate people between the ages of 18-44. NIPH hopes to have everyone over the age of 18 vaccinated by mid-July.

Review of stricter measures in Oslo and Viken

Olso and Viken have been under the strictest sets of regional coronavirus measures, measure level A, since March 16th.

IN DETAIL: The Covid-19 restrictions at each level of Norway’s ‘letter’ scale

The restrictions in Oslo and Viken affect 1.2 million residents and are tighter than current national rules. Measures include the closure of all bars, cafes and restaurants in addition to the closure of all non-essential retail.

The measures will be reviewed on April 11th.

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For members


What Covid-19 rules apply when going out in Norway?

Norway's government recently tweaked its Covid-19 rules and lifted the alcohol ban introduced at the end of last year, meaning changes to restrictions apply when going out.

Oslo, Norway.
These are the Covid rules if you are planning on going out this weekend. Pictured is Oslo, Norway during the evening. Photo by Ben Garratt on Unsplash

The government has eased Norway’s national Covid rules, and the ban on alcohol being sold in bars, restaurants and other licensed venues has been lifted.

Other changes include an increase to the capacity allowed at venues and a relaxation of quarantine rules for close contacts of those who test positive for the virus.

READ ALSO: Norway lifts alcohol ban as Covid rules eased

Bar’s restaurants and cafes

The country’s alcohol ban has been lifted, meaning licensed businesses can serve customers alcohol.

Venues will be allowed to serve alcohol until 11pm, and a table service requirement is in place, meaning customers can’t order at the bar.

Additionally, restaurants, bars, cafes, and other licensed premises must take customers’ contact details for infection tracking purposes.

Customers will need to wear face masks and maintain a social distance of one metre from those they don’t live with. Face masks aren’t required while seated.  

A maximum of 30 people are allowed to gather at a private event in a public place or on rented premises, such as a table booking.

Museums, shops and theatres

Museums, libraries, shops and shopping centres can stay open but are required by the government to be run in a way compatible with the current restrictions and recommendations. This means that they may opt to have capacity limits. Face masks are mandatory in these settings. Amusement parks, arcades and indoor play areas are all closed.

From noon, Friday, January 21st, the rules on how many people can gather at an indoor public event, such as a show, will rise from 200 with designated seating up to 1,500 people indoors and 3,000 outdoors.

Guests will need to be split into cohorts of 200 and will need to be socially distanced from those not in their household.

Be wary, though, as some theatres have said that the cohort system makes it hard for them to operate near the new 1,500 person limit, meaning some venues may remain closed regardless of the relaxed rules.

Public transport 

If you plan on using public transport to get to your plans, you’ll need to be aware of the rules. These haven’t been changed recently, but the public is asked to avoid public transport during bust periods where possible.

Travellers must wear a face mask if they can’t maintain a social distance of one metre. Masks are also require in taxis and ride-sharing services.

What happens if I or someone I’m with tests positive? 

If you test positive for Covid-19, the isolation period will be a minimum of six days but will not end until you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without using fever-reducing medicine.

If you live with somebody or your partner has tested positive for the virus, you will need to isolate before testing on day seven. If the test returns negative, then isolation ends. 

Other close contacts of people who test positive for the virus are no longer required to quarantine. Instead, they are asked to take a Covid-19 test on days three and five after being identified as a close contact and to keep an eye out for symptoms for ten days.

READ MORE: What are the current rules for Covid-19 self-isolation in Norway?