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COVID-19

Travel: Norway extends Covid entry restrictions

Restrictions on entry into Norway first introduced in January due to the Covid-19 pandemic are to remain in place until May 24th, the government announced.

Travel: Norway extends Covid entry restrictions
Boeing 747 landing at Oslo Gardermoen. Photo by Alan Wilson, Flickr.

Current restrictions limit entry to a very small group outside of Norwegian residents and citizens.

“Even though we see that infection levels are declining in Norway, the serious infection situation in the world around us means that we still need strict entry restrictions from the time being. We are extending them until May 24th,” Minister for Justice Monica Mæland said in a statement.

“The Norwegian government is paying close situation in the world and will always ensure that the entry restrictions are adapted to the current situation. No one wants strict entry requirements longer than necessary,” she said.

Mæland also said that the restrictions would be lifted in line with the government’s reopening plan.

The government has said repeatedly that it hopes to begin step two of its four-step plan to lift restrictions and reopen society towards the end of May.

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

This would allow entry for family visits from abroad and potentially entry for partners and extended family such as grandparents.

Business travel will also resume.

The government has also said it would consider exemption from measures such as quarantine for those with vaccine passports or corona certificates, but it is yet to finalise the details.

Currently, only permanent residents and Norwegian citizens may enter Norway, with a few exceptions.

READ MORE: ‘Inhumane and discriminatory’: How Norway’s Covid border closure has left lives on hold

Exemptions apply to close family such as a spouse or children of a resident of Norway; foreign residents who commute daily between Norway and Sweden; and children who commute from Sweden or Finland for school.

There is an entry quarantine period in Norway of 10 days. Anyone returning to Norway on trips deemed unnecessary will have to enter a quarantine hotel and pay a subsidy of 500 kroner per day for between 7-10 days.

Only Norwegian residents, a child of, or somebody who shares parental responsibilities with a permanent resident of Norway, will be able to leave the quarantine hotel after seven days, provided they return a negative PCR test for Covid-19. But they will still have to spend the remaining three days in quarantine at their home.

Everyone arriving in Norway must also register before their arrival and provide a negative PCR or rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours of their departure flight. They are also obliged to take a rapid test on arrival and remain at the test centre until their result is delivered.
You are exempt from quarantine if your trip abroad is considered essential.

Essential trips include those taken to visit your children, go to a funeral, or to visit a relative or close relation with a severe or terminal illness, as well as strictly necessary maintenance on a holiday home in Sweden or Finland.

Foreign residents taking a trip are advised to make sure they are in the population register and have a fødselsnummer as some foreign residents with D-numbers have been turned away at the border.

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OSLO

EXPLAINED: What Oslo’s easing of Covid-19 restrictions means for you

Most, but not all, of the Norwegian capital's local Covid restrictions have been lifted to fall in line with national coronavirus rules, with new limits on guests at home and new guidance on face masks. Here’s a rundown of what the latest restrictions mean for you.

EXPLAINED: What Oslo's easing of Covid-19 restrictions means for you
Oslo's skyline. Photo by Oscar Daniel Rangel on Unsplash

Covid-19 measures in Oslo have been relaxed, with the majority of local restrictions being replaced with the looser national rules.

The new rules are a mix of steps three and four of the city’s five-step reopening plan and were introduced after the lowest infection numbers since last autumn were recorded in Oslo last week. 

Last week, 239 coronavirus infections were registered in the Norwegian capital. 

“The gradual, controlled opening of Oslo has been a success. Many of the rules that the people of Oslo have been expected to live with are now being removed, and we will essentially live with the same corona rules as people elsewhere in Norway,” Oslo’s Executive Mayor Raymond Johansen said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Not all local restrictions have been lifted however, meaning there are a mix of local and national rules in place. 

Below we’ll take a look at how the measures will affect everyday life in Oslo. 

At home 

The significant change here is that the ban on having more than ten people gathered at home has been lifted completely. Instead, this will be replaced with the national recommendation not to have more than guests. 

So while it will not be recommended to have more than ten guests, it’s not an enforceable rule anymore. 

READ MORE: What happens if you get caught breaking the Covid-19 rules in Norway

Shopping 

The local rules for shopping malls and stores have been tweaked too. There will no longer be any rule that makes face masks mandatory in shops. In addition to this, the official social distancing measure has been halved, to one metre, and the limit on the number of people allowed in shops has been scrapped. 

However, it’s worth noting that some shops may wish to keep some infection control measures in place if they feel it helps keep staff and shoppers safe, so it may be worth bringing a mask along on your next trip to the shops just in case.

Face masks  

The rule on mandatory face masks in public has also been given the axe, with two exceptions. 

You will still need one if you are taking public transport or taking a taxi. 

Masks will no longer be needed in shops, gyms, museums and galleries, indoor swimming pools, spa facilities and hotel facilities such as pools and dining areas. 

Although, some places may still wish to continue with a mask policy, so always remember to have one handy to be sure. 

Hospitality 

At indoor public places, such as restaurants, 50 people are allowed in venues without fixed assigned seats and 200 people at events with set, assigned seats.

Outdoors, 200 people can gather in cohorts of three, meaning a potential venue of 600 for places with the space and capacity and where there is fixed designated seating.

Soon, when the government changes its rules for events, up to 5,000 people will be able to gather when there is a seating plan in place, provided venues aren’t operating above 50 percent capacity.  

Up to 20 people can book a table at a restaurant or bar when indoors and 30 people outdoors. 

Alcohol will now be able to be served until midnight rather than 10 pm, and this rule will stay in place until July 4th. The cut-off point will remain in place even if national rules change and allow alcohol to be served later. 

Sports, leisure and entertainment 

Bingo halls, bowling alleys, arcades, playgrounds can now reopen.

Oslo’s numbers cap on the people allowed in gyms, museums, galleries, and indoor pools has been lifted. 

Now, 20 people can work out, go for a swim, or take in some art indoors, and up to 30 can do so outdoors. 

Schools 

Restrictions for schools and kindergartens haven’t changed, however. 

This means that schools and kindergartens in Oslo will remain at yellow level. 

Yellow level means that full class sizes are allowed, but mixing between classes must be kept to a minimum. Yellow level also means increased cleaning and hygiene measures are also in place. 

You can read more about yellow level here

Adult education and university are at red level, which means digital learning where possible and minimal contact between students and teachers. 

You can read more on red level here

Work

People are still required to work from home where possible until July 4th. 

Executive mayor Johansen has previously said the home office would be one of the last pandemic measures to go, meaning it could be here for a while longer. 

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