Travel: Norway increases number of countries exempt from hotel quarantine rule

The Norwegian government, on Friday, added to its list of countries exempt from its Covid-19 hotel quarantine requirements and announced that certain travellers would be able to take Covid tests to leave quarantine earlier.

Travel: Norway increases number of countries exempt from hotel quarantine rule
A plane at Oslo airport. Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

The government announced it was lifting the quarantine hotel obligation for more countries at a press conference on Friday. 

In total, the UK and a list of countries from the EEA/Schengen area are now exempt from the hotel quarantine requirement. Travellers will still be obliged to carry out the 10-day quarantine period at home or another suitable location

As of Friday all passengers from Bulgaria, San Marino, Poland, Portugal, Luxembourg, Romania, the Vatican, Austria, Liechtenstein, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Switzerland, Hungary, the Faroe Islands, Ireland, Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany and Monaco, will no longer be forced into quarantine hotels. 

Travellers from southern Denmark and several regions in Finland are also exempt from hotel quarantine.

READ MORE: ‘My arguments didn’t matter’: How I ended up in a quarantine hotel in Norway 

Those arriving from Malta and Iceland, with no stopovers, have become exempt from quarantine completely. 

“It is gratifying to see that infection rates in Europe are falling. This means that more people can spend the entry quarantine in their own home,” Justice Minister Monica Mæland said in a statement.

The changes came into effect on Friday afternoon. 

The government also announced that those who are either fully vaccinated, have received a vaccine at least three weeks ago, and those who have had Covid-19 in the last six months will be able to take a PCR test to leave quarantine entirely after three days. 

“There is still a risk that the protected will become infected and spread the infection further, but the risk is far less than for the unprotected. We therefore believe it is justifiable to make the quarantine period shorter for this group,” Health Minister Bent Høie said at the press conference. 

However, this new rule only applies to those who have tested positive for Coronavirus or received their first jab in Norway. 

Travellers who have met these requirements will need to document this through the preliminary Covid-19 certificate via

Travellers vaccinated abroad will not be able to test out of quarantine hotels until the EU’s vaccine passport launches in July.

Children under 12 will also be able to test themselves out of quarantine. 

“According to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, children spread less infection than adults, and children under the age of 12 are believed to have a 50 percent lower risk of becoming infected with coronavirus,” Høie said

The government’s advice to avoid international travel would remain in place. 

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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


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. 


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. 


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


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.