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COVID-19 RULES

Norwegian police fine passengers who refuse to go into Covid-19 quarantine hotels

Western Police District have dished out 11 fines, of 20,000 kroner each, to passengers who refused to go into quarantine hotels in Norway in the past two months, or left before they were allowed to.

Norwegian police fine passengers who refuse to go into Covid-19 quarantine hotels
A plane at Oslo airport. Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

The fines were handed out to arrivals who absconded from the hotels or refused to go into them in May and June. 

Nine of those who were fined arrived at Bergen airport and the other two arrived by boat from Denmark. 

“The travellers have different reasons for not going into quarantine hotels. Some believe that they are not safe in hotels, while others believe that there is no risk of infection if they quarantine at home instead,” police attorney, Laila Skeide, told local paper Bergenavisen.

The 20,000 kroner fines were handed out to nine men and two women. So far, one of the travellers slapped with a fine has informed the police that they will refuse to pay the fine. 

Police have said the case will go to court if the person in question refuses to pay the penalty. 

Skeide added that while she could understand that it may be challenging to keep track of the rules, travellers should check the quarantine hotel rules properly before travelling. 

“Even though they may think that infection control can be maintained by quarantining at home, people should still follow the rules and enter the hotels if they need to,” she said.

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In May, Western Police District dished out two 20,000 kroner fines to a couple in their sixties who refused to enter a quarantine hotel after a trip to Spain. 

Over in East Norway, eight people have been fined, and two people have been prosecuted for skipping hotel quarantine at Oslo Gardermoen, Norway’s busiest airport, according to Eastern Police District

Currently, only arrivals from the UK and passengers arriving from outside the EU and EEA must enter quarantine hotels

The subsidy for the quarantine hotel is 500 kroner per day for adults and 250 kroner a day for children aged between 10 and 17. 

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TRAVEL NEWS

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

The UK is set to scrap all Covid-19 travel restrictions in what the government described as a "landmark moment".

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

Testing is no longer required for vaccinated travellers, but the UK government has announced that it will scrap all Covid-19 travel rules on Friday, March 18th.

“As one of the first major economies to remove all its remaining Covid-19 travel restrictions, this is a landmark moment for passengers and the travel and aviation sector,” said the Government in a press release. 

From 4am on March 18th:

  • Passengers going to the UK will no longer be required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form before travel;
  • Passengers who are not vaccinated will not be required to take a pre-departure Covid test, or a Day 2 test following arrival. Fully vaccinated travellers are already exempt from having to do this;
  • Hotel quarantine for travellers coming from ‘red list’ countries, of which there are currently none, will also be scrapped by the end of the month. 

“We will continue monitoring and tracking potential new variants, and keep a reserve of measures which can be rapidly deployed if needed to keep us safe,” said UK Health Minister Sajid Javid. 

The UK has lifted all Covid-related rules including mask rules and mandatory self-isolation if you test positive for Covid.

Some European countries still have Covid restrictions in place for unvaccinated people coming from the UK. 

Until March 18th

Until the new rules come into effect, all travellers are required to fill out a passenger locator form. 

Unvaccinated travellers are also required to take pre-departure test and a test on or before Day 2 following their arrival. 

The UK border officers will recognise proof of vaccination provided with an EU Covid Certificate.

For the UK “fully vaccinated” means 14 days after your final dose of a EMA/FDA or Swiss approved vaccine (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson). 

After a period of confusion, the UK government says that it will accept mixed doses administered in the EU (eg one dose of AstraZeneca and one of Pfizer).

However people who have only had a single dose after previously recovering from Covid – which is standard practice in some European countries – are not accepted as vaccinated by the UK.

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