UPDATE: What the UK’s new rules mean for travel from Norway

The UK will be changing its Covid travel rules soon and the Norwegian Ministry of Health have provided an update on the rules for travellers who have received mixed Covid-19 vaccines in Norway.

UPDATE: What the UK's new rules mean for travel from Norway
Brits arriving from Norway could find themselves in quarantine if they received mixed jabs. Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas / AFP

Last Friday the UK government announced that fully vaccinated travellers from most of Europe will no longer have to take pre-departure Covid-19 tests when heading to England. They can also take a cheaper lateral flow (antigen) test on day 2 rather than a PCR test as is currently the rule.

Furthermore, this will apply to those who have received Covid vaccine jabs from different manufacturers, Norway’s health minister, Bent Høie, announced on Tuesday.  

Arrivals into England will be put into two categories: those from red list countries and those from the rest of the world. 

Fully vaccinated travellers from the rest of the world list will not have to take pre-departure Covid-19 tests or expensive day two PCR tests when heading to England. From the end of October they will be able to instead take a cheaper rapid antigen (lateral flow) test on day 2. Although little details about how the new day tests will work in practice have been revealed.

At the moment, these rules will only apply to England. However, the rest of the UK will probably follow suit as it has done with other travel rule changes. The new rules for England will come into effect on Monday, October 4th. 

Travellers will still need to fill out the passenger locator form. You can read in full about the announcement here

How does this affect travel from Norway?

Norway will be placed in the rest of the world category. This means that travel to England should become cheaper and easier.

This means that fully vaccinated travellers won’t need the pre-departure test and can opt for a cheaper antigen test on day 2. The UK only classes people as fully vaccinated two weeks after their final jab. 

It is currently unclear whether those who have recovered from Covid-19 and only received one jab in Norway are also considered fully vaccinated, currently they are classed as unvaccinated under the current rules.

Unvaccinated travellers from Norway to the UK have to quarantine for 10 days and a take pre-departure test as well tests as on day 2 and day 8 after arrival. They can opt to end isolation early via the test and release scheme. 

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SAS strike affected 380,000 passengers in July

More than 3,700 flights where cancelled and 380,000 passengers where affected by the 15-day strike which hit Scandinavia's SAS airline last month, the company has revealed.

SAS strike affected 380,000 passengers in July

“We sincerely apologize to our customers who were affected by the July strike,” Anko van der Werff, the company’s chief executive, said in a press release. “We are happy operations returned to normality again allowing us to start regaining our customers’ trust.”

According to the release, 1.3 million passengers travelled with the airline in July, which was still a 23 percent increase on the same month last year, when Covid-19 restrictions were still reducing tourism levels.

“In comparison with last month, the total number of passengers decreased with 32 percent and capacity was decreased by 23 percent, which was a result from the 15-day pilot strike,” the release read. 

Pilot unions in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, went on strike for 15 days last month over pay, conditions, and the company’s refusal to rehire pilots laid off during the Covid-19 pandemic on the same terms as before. 

The strike, which cost the airline between €9m and €12m a day, was ended on July 19th, after which it took several days to get flights back to normal

Van der Werff said company said it would now continue putting in place its restructuring plan, SAS FORWARD, and push ahead with restructuring in the US, where the company has filed for Chapter 11. 

He said these would both “accelerate the transformation process that will lead to a financially stable airline, that will be able to deliver the service our customers are expecting”.