Norway to force unvaccinated UK arrivals into Covid quarantine hotels

Travellers from the UK, who haven't received a vaccine dose or recovered from coronavirus in the past six months, will be forced into quarantine hotels from next week after Norway updated its Covid travel rules on Friday. 

Norway to force unvaccinated UK arrivals into Covid quarantine hotels
Some travellers from the UK will be put into quarantine hotels from Monday. Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

From July 19th Norway will reclassify the UK as a “dark red” country, meaning travellers who haven’t received a single vaccine dose or recovered from Covid-19 and cannot prove so with either the EU or Norwegian Covid certificate will be required to enter a quarantine hotel. 

Those who have had both their coronavirus jabs or have had Covid in the past six months and have a valid vaccine pass will not have to undergo any quarantine.

Additionally, those who have only received only their first vaccine dose will be able to quarantine at home for three days before taking a PCR test. 

The UK was moved from the red country list to the dark red list because it passed the threshold of having more than 500 coronavirus infections per 100,000 in the previous 14 days.

As of July 15th, the ECDC reports that the UK has an incidence rate of 571 per 100,000 for the week beginning July 12th.

Arrivals from the UK who haven’t received a vaccine or had Covid will need to enter the hotels, which cost 500 kroner per day for adults and 250 kroner per day for children aged between 10-17, for a minimum of three days.

They will be released from the hotels after returning a negative PCR test taken on day three and will carry out the rest of the quarantine period at home before taking another PCR test on day seven. 

They are also obliged to test before their arrival, register their entry into the country and take a test at the border.

Fully vaccinated travellers or those who have recovered from coronavirus in the past six months will not be subject to these entry requirements. However, those with just one dose will be required to register

The UK will not be moved back to the red list until the Covid incidence rate returns below 500. 

The entry rules for the UK will remain the same, meaning residents, citizens, and the close family and partners of those still in Norway will be able to visit.

Reader Question: Will Norway allow vaccinated Americans to travel to Norway?

Quarantine free entry for travellers without a vaccine pass from mainland France and Greece will also end on Monday. Belgium, the Faroe Islands and Malta will also be moved from the green list. 

Entry will now be restricted to vaccine pass holders, residents, citizens and the partners and close family of people who live in Norway. This is because they surpassed the threshold for green countries. You can read more about the thresholds for Norway’s travel rules here.

Those without a vaccine pass will be required to register their entry, test before arrival, test at the border and quarantine for seven days. Quarantine can take place either at home or somewhere with a private bedroom or bathroom. 

Latvia will turn green, meaning entry is open to all travellers. Quarantine won’t be required either, but arrivals will need to test before and once they arrive as well as register. You can read about the entry requirements for green, orange/red, dark red and purple countries here

You can read the complete list of changes to Norway’s travel rules here.

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Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”