Norway opens up to travellers using EU’s Covid-19 health pass 

Norway, on Thursday, eased its tight Covid-19 border restrictions, including testing and quarantine requirements, for arrivals from some countries using the EU's vaccine passport. 

Norway opens up to travellers using EU's Covid-19 health pass 
Norway has reopened its borders to travellers with the EU's vaccine passport. Photo by Erik Odiin on Unsplash.

Norway has relaxed its travel rules to allow arrivals from the EU to enter the country provided they have access to the EU’s vaccine passport and are fully vaccinated or have had Covid-19 in the past six month’s. 

“Thanks to fast, efficient and good European cooperation, we already have a corona certificate solution ready on Thursday that will make travel significantly easier for people who have been fully vaccinated or have had Covid-19. It will mean a lot both for individuals and for important jobs in the tourist industry in Norway,” Health Minister Bent Høie said in a statement

READ MORE: IN DETAIL: What you need to know about Norway’s new Covid-19 rules for travel 

Travellers using the vaccine pass will be exempt from entry registration, testing before arrival, testing at the border and having to undergo a ten-day quarantine period. 

Norway has said that it will only accept EU vaccine passes from Austria, Bulgaria, Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Croatia, Iceland, Poland, and Latvia for the time being. 

Other countries signed up to the EU’s vaccine pass scheme will be able to enter Norway using the pass on July 1st when the EU’s vaccine passport scheme officially launches. 

In Norway, you are considered fully vaccinated one week after your final jab. 

Last week Norway began to re-open its borders after almost six months of harsh entry restrictions. 

Norway will not permit entry to travellers hoping to use vaccine passports from countries not on the government’s list. 

Until last week only residents and citizens, bar a few exceptions, were able to enter Norway. Entry is now also open to family members and partners visiting Norway from the EEA, EU and UK, in addition to vaccine pass workers from different countries

READ MORE: Reader question: When will Americans be able to travel to Norway again? 

Arrivals not using a vaccine passport will need to undergo a ten-day quarantine period, and arrivals from the UK will need to enter a quarantine hotel for a minimum of three days. 

You can take a look at Norway’s entry requirements here

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Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”