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EXPLAINED: What are Norway’s new travel rules? 

Norway has rejigged its travel restrictions with new rules for testing, quarantine hotels and who can enter. Here’s what you need to know about the latest set of measures. 

EXPLAINED: What are Norway’s new travel rules? 
Here's everything you need to know about Norway's new travel rules. Photo by Maeva Vigier on Unsplash

Norway on Saturday initiated the first phase of its strategy to ease restrictions and reopen the country for restriction-free travel. 

Among the changes is the full easing of entry restrictions for residents and citizens from the EU, EEA (EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway), purple list countries and the UK. This means anyone from these countries can now enter rather than Covid certificate holders and close family, for example. 

Quarantine hotels are also no longer mandatory, and the isolation period when coming from a red, dark red, purple, or grey country has been reduced significantly. 

READ MORE: Norway to ease Covid-19 travel rules in phased plan

Below we’ll go into more detail about what the changes mean for you. 

Who can come to Norway? 

As mentioned before, restrictions on who can come to Norway have been lifted for residents and citizens residing in the EEA/Schengen area. United Kingdom, Switzerland and purple countries. Therefore, people living in all these areas can now enter Norway. 

Entry was previously restricted to a mix of vaccine pass holders and the close family and partners of those living in Norway. This is in addition to those living in Norway.

Family and partners from outside the EEA can travel to Norway; partners will need to complete a free application that will need to be approved by the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) before travelling to Norway. 

Entry for family is restricted to adult children and stepchildren, parents and stepparents of adult children/stepchildren and grandparents, great-grandparents, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

Nobody outside of these groups can travel to Norway outside of a few exceptions, which you can read about here

What are the rules for testing? 

The rules on testing have also seen several significant changes. Norway’s rules for the pre-departure test have been dropped altogether. 

Previously, travellers would need to have taken a PCR or rapid antigen test within 24 hours of their departure to Norway. This will help to make travel to Norway cheaper and more straightforward for travellers. 

Furthermore, arrivals into Norway from green and orange countries will no longer be required to take a test at the border after arrival into Norway. However, travellers from areas that still require a quarantine period (red, dark red, purple, and grey countries) will still need to get swabbed at the border. This will apply to kids too. You can read about Norway’s colour coding system here.

Fully vaccinated travellers with an EU or UK digital Covid-19 certificate are exempt from all entry restrictions and quarantine and testing rules. 

What are the new quarantine rules? 

The headline changes are that quarantine hotels are no longer mandatory, meaning travellers will not be forced into the hotels no matter where they arrive from. 

However, they will remain in place for those who do not have somewhere suitable to quarantine, which is somewhere with a private bedroom, bathroom and area to prepare food. In some respects, the hotels will then offer a cheaper alternative to solutions such as Airbnb for those on a tighter budget. 

Quarantine hotels in Norway cost 500 kroner per night for adults and 250 kroner per night for kids aged between 10-17.  

Travellers will still need to quarantine for a minimum of three days, though. They will be released from quarantine after a negative PCR test taken no earlier than three days after their arrival is returned. The obligation to take a second PCR test on day seven has been axed. 

Kids under 18 are now exempt from having to isolate. This will come as a boost to vaccine pass holders travelling with their unvaccinated children, as their kids were still required to quarantine. 

Arrivals from orange countries will no longer be required to isolate. Below is a map of the quarantine rules for Norway. 

This map will show you whether you need to quarantine or not when travelling from within Europe. Source: NIPH

What else should I know about? 

Passengers that aren’t fully vaccinated and have an approved vaccine pass will still need to fill out Norway’s entry registration form. You can take a look at the form here

For those that drive to Sweden, Finland or Russia regularly, there’s also good news. Norway will be reopening currently-close border crossings once they have sufficient test capacity.

More changes are on the way, and while specifics such as dates and the exact rules are unconfirmed, Norway has said that in the future, it will begin easing entry restrictions for those from outside the EEA. You can read more about Norway’s provisional roadmap for lifting entry restrictions here

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SAS pilots in Norway, Sweden and Denmark to strike after talks break down

Some 900 pilots from airline SAS in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, are set to hold strike action after the company and the pilots' unions failed to reach an agreement before Monday afternoon's deadline. Some 30,000 passengers could be affected daily.

SAS pilots in Norway, Sweden and Denmark to strike after talks break down

Scandinavian airline SAS and pilots’ unions in Norway, Denmark and Sweden have failed to reach an agreement to prevent a strike, meaning 900 pilots will go on strike this week.

“How on earth is a strike in the busiest week of the last two-and-a-half years going to help us find and attract investors,” SAS chief executive Anko van der Werff told reporters, criticising what he called a “strike culture” among pilots.

SAS and unions had set a deadline of midday Monday to strike a deal. The strike comes after the two parties agreed to extend the deadline for talks several times in the hopes of coming to an agreement.

The pilots are employed by SAS’s parent company, SAS Scandinavia, and announced strike action because they are unsatisfied with their salary and working conditions.

“We deeply regret that our customers are affected by this strike, leading to delays and cancelled flights,” van der Werff said in a statement.

In addition, the pilots are dissatisfied that instead of re-employing old SAS pilots, priority is given to hiring new pilots on cheaper agreements in the two subsidiaries, SAS Link and SAS Connect.

The airline says that 30,000 passengers a day could be affected and 50 percent of all flights could be affected. It is unclear how long the strike will last. 

Travellers can check the status of their flight and the likelihood of it being cancelled here. An information centre for affected passengers has been set up at Oslo Gardermoen Airport by SAS and Avinor, which operates Norwegian airports. 

READ MORE: What can SAS passengers do if their flight is affected by pilots’ strike?