How can visitors in Norway get a Covid-19 test?

How can visitors in Norway get a Covid-19 test?
A picture taken on June 4, 2021 shows a self-testing kit for the coronavirus causing Covid-19 at the UBO University of Western Brittany in Brest, western France. (Photo by Fred TANNEAU / AFP)
Norway has slowly begun opening its borders to the outside world, and more and more people can now visit. The chances are though that you may need to take a Covid test to return home; here's how non-residents can get a Covid test in Norway. 

Norway has loosened its tight border restrictions to allow more people travel to the country.

Before you arrive you will probably need to take a coronavirus test within 24 hours of your flight landing in Norway, unless you have a Norwegian or EU vaccine pass or arriving from a “green country”, country with low enough levels of Covid-19 infections to allow for safe entry.

You can read more on the testing and entry requirements here

Additionally, depending on the country you are returning to, you may also need to take a test to return home. Here you can find the entry rules for every country in the EU to see whether you’ll need to take a test to get home. 

Unfortunately, getting tested for travel in Norway can be confusing, especially if you don’t live here, since each municipality handles testing individually.

This means whether a municipality will offer a test is entirely down to their own policy. Some, such as Oslo municipality, make it clear that they will not provide testing for travel. 

Essentially that makes it a bit of a postcode lottery for residents to get a travel test, let alone tourists and those visiting friends and family.

Here’s how you can get a test in Norway 

There are two commonly available tests in Norway. 

  • PCR Test- a nasal swab test performed in a testing centre with the swab sent off to a lab to be processed and the results emailed out to you (typically 48 hours). 
  • Antigen test (hurtigtest)- Also a swab, but they can return results much quicker than a PCR test. Results can be returned within 15 minutes or so in some cases. These tests are also called lateral flow tests. 

Countries will have different policies on which tests they are willing to accept as proof and when they need to be taken. All countries accept PCR tests, but only some will take antigen tests, for example, so it’s worth checking before you book a test. 

How to get a test 

As mentioned, most testing in Norway is handled by the individual municipalities, who all have a different policy on how testing is done. 

You can use this link to find the website of every municipality for information on how testing is organised. However, not all municipalities will offer testing for travel to residents as a general rule of thumb. Even less will provide testing to non-residents wishing to travel. 

Therefore this makes it highly unlikely you’ll be able to book a free municipal test unless you begin to develop symptoms of Covid-19. Instead, you will need to fork out for a private test if you need one to get home. 

Private tests in Norway are offered by several providers, such as Kry, Dr. Dropin, Volvat and Klinik Spero. 

Private tests will typically cost between 1,000 to 2,500 kroner depending on the test and how quickly you need the results. 

For example, a PCR or rapid test with the result delivered within two days will cost between 1,000 and 1,500 kroner. However, a PCR test that provides the results within 24 hours and comes with a fit to fly certificate printed in several languages will cost upwards of 2,000 kroner. 

Testing is available in all of the large cities in Norway, such as Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and Oslo, and most of the bigger towns. 

If you are spending your time in Norway off the beaten path, it’s also possible to book a Covid test at all of Norway’s major airports before heading home. 

Here are the testing services available at each of Norway’s major airports.

Oslo airport: Dr. Dropin offers different tests at departure. You are advised to book an appointment in advance. Read more and book an appointment here.

Trondheim airport: Information about the test centre at Trondheim AirportKRY offers rapid tests at departure.

Stavanger airport: Klinikk Spero offers quick tests in the arrival hall. It is recommended to book an appointment in advance.

Bergen airport: Volvat offers rapid tests in the check-in area. The test station is open for drop-in on Monday-Saturday from 5 am – 6 pm and Sunday from 9 am to 6 pm.

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