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.
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.
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.
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.
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.