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

Vaccinated travellers using the EU vaccine pass can enter Norway, but will Americans vaccinated against Covid-19 be allowed to enter? 

Reader Question: Will Norway allow vaccinated Americans to travel to Norway?
A Boeing 737 landing at Oslo Gardermoen airport. Alan Wilson Flickr

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

This is a question on the minds of many of our readers from across the Atlantic; given the role, vaccines have played in opening travel across Europe, it’s a fair one.

Norway has already opened its borders to travellers using the EU health pass that allows travellers who have either been fully vaccinated or have had Covid-19 in the past six months quarantine free entry into the country. 

The US’s vaccination program has been working at express speed throughout the spring and summer, and over 150 million Americans are now fully vaccinated, according to Our World in Data. So, will Norway open up its doors to jabbed up travellers from the USA?

What are the current rules? 

Travel to Norway from the US is currently restricted to residents and citizens, with a few exceptions, which you can read about here. It’s also worth noting that the US currently ranks Norway as a level 3 for its Travel Health Notice. Level 3 indicates high levels of Covid-19 infections.

This basically means Americans “should reconsider travel to Norway”. In addition to this, the travel notice advises that unvaccinated travellers do not travel to Norway. 

READ ALSO: Norway issues travel deadline for partners from the US

Will vaccinated travellers from America be able to travel to Norway? 

This looks unlikely at the time of writing because of the rules Norway has adopted in relation to accepting vaccine passports. 

The lack of a universal vaccine passport in the US will prove a stumbling block that could be difficult to overcome. 

This is because Norway would need to set up a system for verifying the various vaccine passports for all the different states using one. The possibility of this happening is relatively low. 

Norway has only accepted vaccine passports from countries whose health passes were designed in line with the common European framework. 

Furthermore, if Norway began accepting vaccine passes from some US states, it would create an inequality between travellers from parts of the United States that use vaccine passes and states that don’t. 

Are there any other ways that Norway could open to travellers to the US? 

Things don’t look particularly rosy in this regard either. 

Previously the US spent a week on Norway’s purple list before being removed from it.

Being on the purple list meant that close family and partners of residents of Norway could travel to the country from the US. You can read more about the purple list here.

The US could once again be added to the purple list, but there has been radio silence from the government on this matter. 

The only possibility of entry rules for travellers from the US being similar to those with vaccine passes would be if Norway added the USA back to its purple list and relaxed the rules for purple countries to be more in line with green countries. 

While this is certainly possible, the likelihood of this happening soon appears to be remote due to concerns over the Delta Covid variant, which was first identified in India, which delayed the final step of Norway’s strategy to lift Covid restrictions in the country. 

In addition to this, the government may be looking to see how recent shakeups to its travel rules affect infection levels before another overhaul of the rules.

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ANALYSIS: Why are SAS pilots on strike?

SAS pilots are causing travel misery for thousands but how do they justify their strike action?

ANALYSIS: Why are SAS pilots on strike?

As many as 900 pilots in Denmark, Norway and Sweden are participating in a strike which SAS has warned will affect 30,000 passengers each day the strike continues

Unions announced that strikes would go ahead after the deadline for the two parties to find an agreement was pushed back several times

When strike action was confirmed, union reps said that the gap between what pilots wanted and what was offered was too far to be bridged with negotiations. 

“We have not succeeded in agreeing with SAS. We have been in long, long negotiations. We have come a long way. We have tried to reach an agreement but experienced that no matter how far we go, it will never be enough,” Martin Lindgren from the Swedish Pilot Association and leader of the SAS Pilot Group told business and financial site E24

The gap between the parties stems from two issues. Firstly, pilots are unhappy with the wages and working conditions offered by SAS. Unions have said that pilots were willing to take a five percent pay cut and work longer hours to strike a deal. 

READ ALSO: How long could the SAS pilot strike last?

However, the bigger issue for SAS pilots is that instead of re-employing those SAS pilots who were laid off during cutbacks caused by the pandemic, priority is instead being given to hiring new pilots on cheaper deals in two subsidiaries, SAS Link and SAS Connect.

The creation of the two subsidiaries came at a similar time as when 560 pilots lost their jobs due to the airline slashing costs across the board. 

Meanwhile, the airline has argued that hiring new pilots to the subsidiaries is an essential part of cost-cutting practices to ensure the airline’s survival. The airline has said that the subsidiaries are a vital step in attempting to cut costs by 7.5 billion kroner annually as part of the firm’s SAS Forward plan. 

In contrast, pilots’ representatives argue that using subsidiaries was a form of union-busting and goes against the Scandinavian working model. 

Last week, Roger Klokset, head of the Norwegian SAS pilots’ association, told newspaper VG said they were willing to see the company go under if needs be. 

“Yes. Undoubtedly if the company fails to relate to the Scandinavian model, we believe that is an actor that doesn’t have the right to life,” Klokset told VG.