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WHAT CHANGES IN NORWAY

What changes about life in Norway in July 2021 

From EU vaccine passports, new laws coming into effect, price cuts and the easing of Covid-19 measures, here’s what’s happening in Norway in July 2021. 

What changes about life in Norway in July 2021 
Here's a breakdown of everything happening in July .Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

EU vaccine passports 

The EU’s vaccine pass will launch on July 1st and will reopen travel into Norway for fully vaccinated travellers and those that have had Covid-19 in the last six months. 

Norway will be participating in the scheme and has already begun to accept health passes from some countries, which you can read more about here

People travelling into Norway with an EU vaccine pass will be exempt from quarantine and entry requirements such as testing at the border and before arriving in Norway.

Step four of the governments reopening plan 

Norway will take the final step in its plan to reopen the country and lift coronavirus restrictions if infections continue to stay low. 

The government took step three in mid-June and has so far taken a step roughly every three weeks. 

If infections rise, however, then the government will delay taking the next step as part of their data over dates approach to reopening. 

READ MORE: What does the Delta Covid-19 variant mean for Norway’s reopening plan

Step four would see everything return to ‘almost normal’ but working from home may still be required, and there may still be some travel restrictions in place. 

Citizenship applications get more expensive 

The Norwegian government has decided to raise the price for citizenship applications from July 1st. 

The application fee will rise from 3,700 to 5,5000 kroner. 

The reason for the price hike is to cover the cost of processing the applications. 

Applications for children under 18 will still be free.

10th anniversary of July 22nd terror attacks 

July will mark the 10th anniversary of the July 22nd terror attacks in Norway, in which 77 people were killed. 

Far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik set off a bomb in Oslo and killed 69 people at a youth camp on Utøya island while disguised as a policeman. 

Ferry prices get cheaper

Ferry prices will be sliced by 25 percent from July 1st. 

The plan was initially only to cut prices ten percent. However, FRP increased the cut to 25 percent in the negotiations on the revised budget. 

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: What Norway’s revised budget means for you 

Parliament has set the long-term goal of cutting prices for ferries in half. 

This price cut will come just in time for anyone planning a long road trip or staycation in Norway. 

Soft drinks get cheaper

Ferries aren’t the only thing getting a price cut either. The tax on non-alcoholic beverages, or sugar tax, will be abolished. 

The average price per litre of soft drinks will be reduced by around 2 kroner when VAT is taken into account.

READ MORE: These are the hidden costs of living in Norway

New laws and rules

From July 1st, there will be several new laws, restrictions and regulations in place. 

Firstly, the punishment for sharing private or offensive photos, videos and audio recordings will be increased to a maximum of two years in prison. This law will be passed through parliament on July 1st and will come into effect shortly after. 

Secondly, new rules will mean no parking signs and speed limits can apply to electric scooter users. 

Scooter users will be fined for breaking the rules. 

Lastly, new requirements will mean that electric charging must be available in the car parks attached to all new builds in Norway will come into effect. 

Travel changes 

Norway will finish harmonising its Covid traffic light classification system with the EU’s and will repeal its advice against all global travel on July 5th. 

The harmonisation will see Norway loosen its requirements for “green countries”, countries deemed to have low enough infection levels to allow safe entry without quarantine. 

The requirement for a country to have less than 25 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 in the last 14 days will be double to allow countries with less than 50 cases per 100,000 to become green. 

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

The harmonizing of the rules may also open up entry to Norway for countries on the EU’s third country list or white list.

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

Fellesferie 

Last but certainly not least, we have fellesferie. 

Fellesferie is the collective holiday period during the last three weeks of July. This is when a large number of Norwegian residents book time off, some shops will close for three weeks, and cities like Oslo will feel eerily quiet. 

You can read more about fellesferie and how holiday pay in Norway works here

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For members

WHAT CHANGES IN NORWAY

Everything that changes about life in Norway in July 2022

Free ferries, a potential pilot strike, more expensive food and a change in the voting rules are among the biggest changes happening in Norway during July.

Everything that changes about life in Norway in July 2022

Potential pilot strike

This one isn’t fully set in stone but could spell travel chaos if it goes ahead. Up to 900 pilots from SAS could be taken out on strike from July 2nd if an agreement isn’t reached between the airline and pilots’ representatives. 

After weeks of intensive negotiations over a new agreement between SAS leadership and 1,000 of the airline’s pilots, both sides were willing to continue discussions, pushing back the original deadline. 

Pilots are unhappy that SAS is hiring new pilots on cheaper contracts in their two subsidiaries, SAS Link and SAS Connect. If the two parties cannot agree, up to 30,000 SAS passengers could be affected per day, the airline said on June 27th.

You can check the likelihood of your flight being affected here

Food prices are likely to go up

July will also see the cost of grocery shopping in Norway go up significantly. This is because the price farmers will be able to charge for milk, grain, potatoes, vegetables and fruit in Norway will rise. 

Food prices in Norway are adjusted twice a year by supermarkets. The next change is set to happen in July, with prices expected to go up due to increasing costs from suppliers and producers. 

Ferries to become free

Ferry connections with less than 100,000 annual passengers will be completely free from the beginning of July. 

The government pledged to make all ferry connections with less than 100,000 passengers free of charge when it was formed last October to try and make transport easier for rural and coastal communities and boost tourism. 

Free tickets will apply to both residents, tourists and commercial passengers. 

READ MORE: Norwegian islands lose quarter of voters as foreigners frozen out of local elections

Fellesferie begins

Fellesferie is the collective leave period or general staff holiday period that many Norwegian companies have adopted, which takes place during July. 

The origins of fellesferie date back to the interwar years, when employers and employees in the Norwegian metal smelting industry agreed on a collective holiday period of three weeks. 

If you’ve not experienced the holiday period in Norway yet, it’ll feel like everything is coming to a grinding halt.

Many companies will shut down entirely or operate vastly reduced opening hours. As a result, big cities such as Oslo can feel practically deserted as everyone flocks to the beaches, fjords and mountains – often staying in their country retreats or hyttes If they aren’t travelling abroad.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about Norway’s collective holiday period

Air passenger tax returns

Air travel will become slightly more expensive at the beginning of July as the passenger tax for travellers will be reintroduced. 

The low rate of 80 kroner per passenger will be applied to journeys where the final destination is within Europe. 

Those travelling outside of Europe will have to pay a tax of 214 kroner. 

Rates apply to Europe as a whole, rather than the EU, so passengers heading to the UK will pay the lower rate. 

A new grid rent model implemented 

The beginning of July also sees a new grid rent system introduced. 

Grid rent is the charge consumers pay for receiving electricity into their homes. Under the current model, grid rent is typically anywhere between 20 to 50 øre per kilowatt-hour. Those in rural areas usually pay more, while those in cities pay less.

The new model will have a lower fixed proportion of the fee with a higher part of the charge linked to total consumption, meaning homes that use more power will pay higher grid rent, while those that consume less will have lower bills. 

READ MORE: What Norway’s new grid rent model means for you

A transition period of two years will be introduced, and the new consumption charge will only be allowed to account for 50 percent of grid companies’ revenues. The energy ministry will then assess the new model at the end of the transition period. 

Svalbard residents lose their voting rights

The Arctic archipelago of Svalbard is to lose over a quarter of its voting base for local elections under new rules preventing foreign nationals from participating.

Under new rules, non-Norwegian citizens will be required to have lived in a Norwegian municipality for three years in order to be eligible to vote in local elections and run for office on the remote Arctic archipelago.

Over 700 of the 2,500 people who live on Svalbard could be affected by the decision, broadcaster NRK reports.

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