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NEWSLETTER

What changes about Norway’s coronavirus restrictions on April 16th?

Norway on Friday embarks on the first step of its reopening plan. Restrictions and recommendations being eased include a ban on serving alcohol, social distancing and the number of permitted guests at homes.

What changes about Norway's coronavirus restrictions on April 16th?
Photo by Florencia Viadana on Unsplash

April 16th sees the easing of strict measures that were introduced on March 25th to curb infection over Easter after they were found to have had the desired effect of limiting infections.

“It is clear that people have been very good at following the advice and rules this Easter. Fewer people travelled abroad and those who have been in Norway have limited social contact. There is a big difference compared to Christmas and autumn holidays,” assistant health director at the Norwegian Directorate of Health, Espen Nakstad told newspaper VG.

It should be noted that in some cases, local measures will apply that will be tighter than the new national measures.

Bars, cafés and restaurants

Alcohol can now be served in hospitality settings, provided it is ordered alongside food. Serving is not permitted after 10pm.

The recommended social distancing has been reduced to one metre, rather than two.

Restaurants, bars and cafés can also welcome more guests through their doors than previously. Hospitality venues will now be able to host up to 100 people, if they have a fixed designated seating plan and a distance of one metre can be maintained between the tables. If there is outdoor seating, another 200 guests are allowed.

Reservations can be made for up to 10 people or 20 if you are enjoying the spring sunshine and sitting outside.

At home

It’s not just restaurants that can now host more people. The government is recommending that people have no more than five guests at their homes, excluding the occupants. Previously the recommended limit was two people.

The recommendations are not legally binding like restrictions meaning you can in theory have more guests, but auhtorities have urged people to try and limit their social contacts and are asking people to meet outside rather than indoors.

This is reflected in the recommendations as up to 20 are allowed to meet outside.

If you are renting a cabin or apartment temporarily then a maximum of ten people may stay there.

Children can have visits from other children from the same cohort (class) they are assigned to at school or kindergarten and young people under the age of 20 can have visits from one or two friends they see regularly.

The government still advises events that gather people from multiple municipalities to be cancelled and people should still work from home if they can.

Travel

There are no changes to the existing travel restrictions, which can be summarised as follows:

Norway still advises against all non-essential travel abroad. People returning from unnecessary foreign travel must quarantine for 10 days. At least 7 of those days will have to be spent at a quarantine hotel. Travellers will also have to provide a negative test taken within 24 hours of their flight to Norway and then test once again upon arrival in the country.

READ MROE: When will I be able to travel to and from Norway again? 

Non-essential domestic travel should also be avoided. This applies especially to those living in areas with high infection numbers, such as Oslo. Study and work trips are considered necessary.

You can travel to a cabin that you own or have rented, as well as hotels, but you should avoid public transport.

People travelling from areas with tighter local restrictions to other municipalities should try to stick to the stricter measures of their home municipalities where possible. 

Sports

Gyms are permitted to reopen as of Friday. A maximum of 10 people are allowed to be in a gym at one time, provided that social distancing can be maintained.

Children and people under the age of 20 can exercise, train, and take part in leisure activities as normal. They are exempt from social distancing if necessary in order to carry out the activity, such as in a football game. They may also train, practice and compete with teams in other municipalities, should local restrictions allow it.

Up to 50 people can gather when sports events are taking place involving young people under 20, if they are all from the same municipality.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

The UK is set to scrap all Covid-19 travel restrictions in what the government described as a "landmark moment".

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

Testing is no longer required for vaccinated travellers, but the UK government has announced that it will scrap all Covid-19 travel rules on Friday, March 18th.

“As one of the first major economies to remove all its remaining Covid-19 travel restrictions, this is a landmark moment for passengers and the travel and aviation sector,” said the Government in a press release. 

From 4am on March 18th:

  • Passengers going to the UK will no longer be required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form before travel;
  • Passengers who are not vaccinated will not be required to take a pre-departure Covid test, or a Day 2 test following arrival. Fully vaccinated travellers are already exempt from having to do this;
  • Hotel quarantine for travellers coming from ‘red list’ countries, of which there are currently none, will also be scrapped by the end of the month. 

“We will continue monitoring and tracking potential new variants, and keep a reserve of measures which can be rapidly deployed if needed to keep us safe,” said UK Health Minister Sajid Javid. 

The UK has lifted all Covid-related rules including mask rules and mandatory self-isolation if you test positive for Covid.

Some European countries still have Covid restrictions in place for unvaccinated people coming from the UK. 

Until March 18th

Until the new rules come into effect, all travellers are required to fill out a passenger locator form. 

Unvaccinated travellers are also required to take pre-departure test and a test on or before Day 2 following their arrival. 

The UK border officers will recognise proof of vaccination provided with an EU Covid Certificate.

For the UK “fully vaccinated” means 14 days after your final dose of a EMA/FDA or Swiss approved vaccine (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson). 

After a period of confusion, the UK government says that it will accept mixed doses administered in the EU (eg one dose of AstraZeneca and one of Pfizer).

However people who have only had a single dose after previously recovering from Covid – which is standard practice in some European countries – are not accepted as vaccinated by the UK.

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