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ERNA SOLBERG

Updated:’Covid certificates’: Norway’s plan for its vaccine passport

Norway will use "Covid-19 certificates", or vaccine passports to ease restrictions for those that have been vaccinated, the Prime Minister announced on Wednesday. Here are the details.

Updated:'Covid certificates': Norway's plan for its vaccine passport
Norway's preliminary version of the Corona certificate. Photo by Erik Odiin on Unsplash

How will it be used?

PM Erna Solberg revealed that the certificates will be used to exempt people from infection control measures domestically and make travel to and from other countries easier. The government has also submitted a proposal to parliament to amend the Infection Control Act to allow the introduction of a full corona certificate in relation to easing measures. 

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

While the government has not decided on the exact details on how the pass will be implemented, Solberg said that they would also use the certificates to accelerate the country’s four-step plan for reopening.

“We want to make a certificate that can securely document who you are, whether you have been vaccinated, recently had a negative test or had coronavirus. We can use that to open up society more and earlier,” the prime minister said.

The government also plans to introduce a scheme whereby corona certificates will be used at the entrance to large events such as concerts and festivals. 

The government is also looking into how mass testing can be used to prevent coronavirus outbreaks at large events.

READ MORE: Norway to trial live concerts with mass Covid testing  

Covid certificates could soon be used for those returning to Norway from a trip abroad, According to Health Minsiter Bent Høie. 

“When we have received new professional advice, we will consider removing entry quarantine completely for those protected with a vaccine or have immunity,” he said. 

The vaccine passes will also be used to allow Norwegians to book domestic tours and cruises.  

When will it be ready?

A preliminary version of the Covid-19 certificate is already ready. You will be able to see your own status for vaccination and test results on helsenorge.no and website is available in English. You will need a form of level 4 security electronic ID, such as BANKID or Commfides to log in and access the certificate.

What the preliminary Covid-19 certificate looks like. It is available in English or Norwegian. Source: helsenorge.no

The first version will not count as proof of immunity according to the prime minister.

“The first version does not provide verifiable proof. It is therefore vulnerable to cheating. Therefore, there will not be an extensive use of this version,” Solberg said.

Norway is hoping to launch it’s Covid-19 certificate in the second half of June, before the EU launches it’s vaccine passport.

The full version will then show vaccination status, negative test results and immunity following Covid-19.

Solberg is hoping to have a version of the certificate easily accessible as a QR code. The vaccine is being designed within the EU’s vaccine passport framework and Norway has been invited to participate in the scheme. 

Prime Minister Erna Solberg has said that the country could allow cross-border travel for vaccinated travellers before the EU’s vaccine passport is ready.

READ MORE: Can I travel to Norway if I’ve been vaccinated 

“If Norway has a certificate in place before that, we will consider opening travel to and from the EU before the European certificate is in place,” Solberg said. 

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COVID-19 VACCINES

Explained: How to register foreign Covid-19 vaccines in Norway 

Did you know that you can get coronavirus vaccines taken abroad added to your Norwegian Covid certificate? Here’s how. 

Explained: How to register foreign Covid-19 vaccines in Norway 
Here's how you can add a Covid-19 vaccine taken abroad added to your Norwegian Covid certificate. Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Residents in Norway can get vaccines taken in other countries registered in Norway and have them added to their Norwegian Covid certificate. 

This comes with a number of perks, such as being able to skip quarantine on your return to Norway if you are fully vaccinated, travelling freely to countries that accept EU Covid passes and attending events such as concerts that require a Covid certificate without having to test. 

It can, in most cases, also be a relatively straightforward process. Below we’ll talk you through everything you need to know. 

Who can register a foreign vaccine? 

Pretty much anyone who has an identity number, either a Norwegian national identity number or a D-Number, can register a European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved Covid-19 vaccine that’s been administered outside of Norway. 

For practical reasons, you will need to have a level-four form of electronic ID to log into helsenorge.no, Norway’s digital health portal, when you wish to access your Covid certificate, so this is worth bearing in mind also. 

You can take a look at our guide to e-IDs in Norway here

Which vaccines are you able to register? 

You are currently only able to add EMA approved coronavirus vaccines taken in other countries to your Norwegian Covid certificate. 

These are currently Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and the Johnson & Johnson single-use Janssen vaccine.

This means that if you are planning on getting a jab in a country that offers vaccines that aren’t EMA approved as part of its inoculation program, you should prioritise getting a jab you will be able to add to your Norwegian Covid certificate. 

For those vaccinated in the UK it is unclear whether batches of AstraZeneca produced in the UK are included in this. The Local has contacted the Ministry of Health to confirm what applies to those who have received these batches. 

How do you register the vaccines? 

To add a foreign vaccine to your Covid-19 certificate with the Norwegian Immunisation Registry, SYSVAK, you will need to have your proof of vaccination verified by a medical professional. This can be a general practitioner, municipal health services, or a private healthcare provider. 

The vaccination certificate will need to contain the name of the vaccine, vaccination site, date and batch number of the vaccine.

In terms of proof, you can use either written documentation of vaccination or a Covid-19 certificate that has been issued in the EU or EEA. Some vaccine cards or certificates come with all this information included, so that may be sufficient proof. If not, you may need written proof from a medical professional in the country where the vaccine was issued that contains all the relevant information. 

Then you will need to request either an in-person consultation or a video one if you aren’t currently in Norway. 

This will cost around 160 kroner if you are seeing your regular doctor. If you cannot get an appointment and want to speed up the process, you can use a private provider such as Dr.Dropin or Volvat. The price of a private provider will range from 350 kroner to 1,300 kroner depending on who you choose.

How long will it take for them to be registered? 

According to helsenorge.no, the jabs are typically added to the all-important vaccine certificate within 24 hours. 

Anecdotally, some people have reported that it can take up to a few days before the vaccine is added to the certificate. 

This means that if you are planning on getting a foreign vaccine registered before returning to Norway to skip quarantine and testing, you should give yourself ample time. This isn’t just if the vaccine takes longer than expected to appear on your certificate, but also in case the information is wrong and needs updating. 

One last thing worth remembering is that you aren’t considered fully vaccinated in Norway until a week after your final jab. 

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