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Norway rolls out new rules on Covid-19 entry quarantine

From Friday afternoon, rules for travellers who have been fully vaccinated in Norway, or have had Covid in the last six months in the country, will be eased.

Norway rolls out new rules on Covid-19 entry quarantine
Oslo Gardermoen Airport. Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

From 3 pm, Friday, June 11th, arrivals who have been fully vaccinated in Norway and can prove it through the country’s Covid-19 health certificate will be able to skip the entry quarantine period, provided they test negative for coronavirus within two days of their return. 

The same will apply to those who have tested positive for Covid-19 in Norway within the last six months. 

The Covid-19 certificate is available via helsenorge.no.  

In addition to this, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health announced on Friday that travellers exempt from quarantine upon entry under the new rule would also no longer need to present a negative Covid-19 test at the border. 

The Ministry of Health also confirmed the news. 

“Fully vaccinated and people who have had Covid-19 in the last six months also do not need to present a certificate showing a negative test taken 24 hours before departing for Norway, but must still be tested at the border,” The Ministry wrote on its website

Those no longer required to present a negative test or enter quarantine will still need to get tested at the border and register their arrival 72 hours prior. 

 In Norway, fully vaccinated is defined as:

  • People who have received both vaccine jabs, and at least one week has passed since the second shot 
  • Those who have tested positive for Covid and then received a vaccine dose at least three weeks afterwards 
  • Have received the first vaccine dose and then tested positive three weeks after vaccination.

Traveller’s with only vaccine dose will be able to quarantine at home and test themselves out of the isolation period after three days, provided they received the vaccine at least three weeks prior. 

READ ALSO: Latest: Who has to enter quarantine hotels when travelling to Norway? 

Those vaccinated abroad will still need to enter a quarantine hotel or quarantine at home, depending on where you arrive from.  

However, the government plans on letting fully vaccinated travellers using the EU’s vaccine passport skip quarantine when the scheme launches in July. 

The government are still advising against all non-essential international travel. Current entry restrictions also remain in place. 

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TRAVEL

Could Oslo-Copenhagen overnight train be set for return?

A direct overnight rail service between the Norwegian and Danish capitals has not operated since 2001, but authorities in Oslo are considering its return.

Norway’s transport minister Knut Arild Hareide has asked the country’s railway authority Jernbanedirektoratet to investigate the options for opening a night rail connection between Oslo and Copenhagen.

An answer is expected by November 1st, after which the Norwegian government will decide whether to go forward with the proposal to directly link the two Nordic capitals by rail.

Jernbanedirektoratet is expected to assess a timeline for introducing the service along with costs, market and potential conflicts with other commercial services covering the route.

“I hope we’ll secure a deal. Cross-border trains are exciting, including taking a train to Malmö, Copenhagen and onwards to Europe,” Hareide told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

The minister said he envisaged either a state-funded project or a competition awarding a contract for the route’s operation to the best bidder.

A future Oslo-Copenhagen night train rests on the forthcoming Jernbanedirektoratet report and its chances of becoming a reality are therefore unclear. But the Norwegian rail authority earlier this year published a separate report on ways in which passenger train service options from Norway to Denmark via Sweden can be improved.

“We see an increasing interest in travelling out of Norway by train,” Jernbanedirektoratet project manager  Hanne Juul said in a statement when the report was published in January.

“A customer study confirmed this impression and we therefore wish to make it simpler to take the train to destinations abroad,” Juul added.

Participants in the study said that lower prices, fewer connections and better information were among the factors that would encourage them to choose the train for a journey abroad.

Norway’s rail authority also concluded that better international cooperation would optimise cross-border rail journeys, for example by making journey and departure times fit together more efficiently.

The Femahrn connection between Denmark and Germany, currently under construction, was cited as a factor which could also boost the potential for an overland rail connection from Norway to mainland Europe.

Night trains connected Oslo to Europe via Copenhagen with several departures daily as recently as the late 1990s, but the last such night train between the two cities ran in 2001 amid dwindling demand.

That trend has begun to reverse in recent years due in part to an increasing desire among travellers to select a greener option for their journey than flying.

Earlier this summer, a new overnight train from Stockholm to Berlin began operating. That service can be boarded by Danish passengers at Høje Taastrup near Copenhagen.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about the new night train from Copenhagen to Germany

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