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Reader question: When will Norway relax its Covid border rules for partners outside the EEA? 

Reader question: When will Norway relax its Covid border rules for partners outside the EEA? 
When will non-EEA citizens be able to visit Norway again? Photo by Iwan Shimko on Unsplash
Norway relaxed its notoriously tight Covid-19 border restrictions so partners from the UK, the European Economic Area including the EU, can be reunited as a couple. Still, many readers are asking when rules stopping those outside the EEA from seeing their partners in Norway will be lifted?

Question: When will Norway open its borders to partners outside the EEA?

That’s a fair question, given that couples from within the European Economic Area (EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) separated by coronavirus travel restrictions have been able to reunite for weeks now. 

What makes this incredibly frustrating for those outside the EEA is that the Norwegian government hasn’t addressed or spoken about when travel restrictions limiting travel to Norway from outside the EEA, with a few exceptions, which you can read about here, will end.

So when will Norway open its borders to non-EEA citizens wanting to reunite with their partner? 

Luckily, some non-EEA citizens can already travel to visit their partners. But, unfortunately, this only applies to travellers from the 12 countries on the Norwegian government’s list of “purple countries”. 

Purple countries are a select few countries from the EU’s third country list. Purple countries were introduced when the government finished harmonising its Covid country classification system with the EU’s thresholds for safe travel on July 5th. 

IN DETAIL: Norway announces major Covid-19 travel rules shakeup

However, it is worth noting that not all countries on the EU’s third country list are classified as purple countries. Instead, the final decision on purple countries is made by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, which updates its travel advice weekly. 

Currently, Australia, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand, Northern Macedonia, Serbia, South Korea, Taiwan, the USA and Singapore are all purple countries. 

Be sure to stay up to date with the NIPH’s travel latest travel assessments and advice, which you can see here

Those travelling from purple countries to see their partner will need to take a test before arriving in Norway, test at the border once they have landed, fill out an entry registration form before they travel and then quarantine for a minimum of seven days at home or anywhere else with a private bedroom and bathroom. You can read more about the travel rules for purple countries here.

The couple will also need to have been together for at least nine months, met in person and fill out a free application with the Directorate of Immigration (UDI). You can take a look at the application here

What about those not from countries on the purple list 

This is a trickier question to answer, but our best guess would be that any travel restrictions for those outside the EEA will not be relaxed for at least a month, probably longer. 

This is for two reasons. Firstly, Norway has postponed the final phase of its four-step exit strategy to lift coronavirus restrictions until late July or early August due to fears that the Delta Covid variant, first identified in India, could spark another wave of infection in Norway. 

Therefore, it is unlikely the government would announce any significant easing of travel restrictions outside of its four-step strategy.

Secondly, the government has made a number of big changes to its travel rules recently, so it may want to wait and see how the recent changes to travel restrictions affect infection rates before easing the rules further.


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