Chaos and queues at Oslo Gardermoen airport after Covid travel rules shakeup

Chaos and queues at Oslo Gardermoen airport after Covid travel rules shakeup
Oslo Airport. Photo: Hiritomo T Flickr
Changes to Norway’s rigid Covid-19 border restrictions that came into effect on Monday have led to hour-long queues and some travellers missing their flights at the country's busiest airport.

On Monday, Norway finished harmonising its travel advice and Covid-19 country classification system with the EU’s thresholds.

This has lead to a surge of travellers at Oslo Gardermoen, Norway’s busiest airport, as now more and more people can enter or return to the country after a trip abroad without having to quarantine.

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Avinor, the state-owned company responsible for running Norway’s airports, has said that passengers should arrive earlier than usual due to long queues that have caused some passengers to miss their flights.

“Travellers to and from abroad must expect queues and waiting times due to strict entry rules and documentation requirements,” the airport operator wrote on its website.

The airport operator said that travellers could expect queues of up to an hour and a half during peak hours.

Guri Ulverud, head of communications at Oslo Gardermoen, told public broadcaster NRK that the airport is expecting to reach 45,000 passengers per day in the coming days. On Monday, around 30,000 travellers passed through the airport.

READ ALSO: Norway postpones full easing of Covid-19 measures

Insurers have said they have heard from many customers who have missed flights due to the long waiting times at the airport.

“What we have experienced so far is that we have had very many people call in concerning long queues at airports and that they will not have enough time to make their plane,” Andreas Handeland, communications director at European Travel Insurance, told NRK.

He also added that insurers are unlikely to pay out if somebody misses their flight due to long queues as they have been warned of potential holdups at the airport.

“People have been warned about queues, so it isn’t covered by insurance as it isn’t an acute and unexpected event,” Handeland said.

He advised travellers to get to the airport earlier than they usually would and take the queues into account when planning their journeys.

“Arrive with plenty of time to spare. Then you can have a much more relaxed experience at the airport and not end with the bill for new plane tickets,” Handeland said.

The director of Oslo Gardermoen, Stine Ramstad Westby, also issued a reminder to passengers that they need to follow infection control measures such as wearing facemasks in all indoor areas at the airport and social distancing while in the queues.

“We must all be good at keeping our distance in the queue,” she told NRK.


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