Norway announces stricter Covid-19 testing rules

Norway's Covid-19 travel rules for entry registration and testing will be tightened, the government announced on Friday.

A plane at an airport.
Norway has announced that it will tighten measures. Pictured is a plan at an airport. Photo by Iwan Shimko on Unsplash

Norway will tighten its entry registration and testing rules following weeks of rising Covid-19 cases in the country, justice minister Emilie Enger Mehl announced at a press conference. 

From November 26th, next Friday, everyone will be required to register their entry to Norway, regardless of residence, nationality or vaccination status. Previously, fully vaccinated travellers had been exempt from entry registration. Children under 16 won’t need to register.

“You can do this when there are less than three days left until you travel. When you register, you will receive a confirmation, and you may be asked to show it to the police at the checkpoint. You will also be obliged to show a coronavirus passport,” Mehl said in a statement

In addition, all travellers who are not fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 and can prove so with a recognised health pass will need to test at the border. In certain cases where there isn’t a testing station, such as land border crossings, they will need to get tested within 24 hours. 

People who are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will also be required to provide a negative Covid-19 test to enter Norway.

This means anyone that isn’t fully vaccinated or has recovered from Covid-19 in the previous six months, or somebody whose Covid-19 health pass isn’t recognised by Norway will need a test before travel.

The test must be taken within 24 hours of travelling to Norway. This won’t apply to travellers under 18. 

The justice minister also announced that all foreigners who have a right to enter Norway under the Immigration Act would be allowed to enter the country.

“Everyone who meets the Immigration Act’s requirements for entry will have the opportunity to do so. But there is still a basis for expelling foreigners who do not comply with the requirements, and Norwegians can also be fined or reported if they do not meet the requirements,” Mehl said.

The current quarantine rules will remain the same, and quarantine hotels would remain available to travellers without a suitable place to carry out the isolation period. 

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Norwegian police urge travellers not to book holidays without a valid passport 

The public has been warned by the Norwegian Police Directorate, which issues travel documents, to not book any foreign holidays without a valid passport due to long waiting times for travel documents.

Norwegian police urge travellers not to book holidays without a valid passport 

Due to long waiting times, the public has been cautioned against making holiday plans without a valid Norwegian passport as travel documents may not arrive in time for the trip. 

“We would strongly encourage people to wait to book a holiday abroad before they know that they have their travel documents in order,” Bjørn Vandvik from the Norwegian Police Directorate said in a statement on Wednesday

Previously the police said that those travelling within the EEA this summer should instead order a national ID card which allows for travel within the Schengen area because that form of travel documentation was subject to shorter waiting times. 

Those wishing to travel during fellesferie, the collective holiday period in Norway, have been advised to order new travel documents by the end of May or the beginning of June at the latest. 

Despite the measures put in place by the police to try and ensure that supply meets demand, waiting lists are growing longer, and the authorities don’t expect the backlog to be cleared until the autumn.

The current waiting time for passports is around seven weeks. However, the police have said they expect this to increase to 10 weeks by July. 

READ MORE: How do Norway’s slow passport processing times compare to Denmark and Sweden?

So far this year, the police have received 560,40 passport applications. In contrast, the police registered 270,000 applications in 2019. 

A mixture of the pandemic and war in Ukraine has made getting the materials used to produce national ID cards and passports more difficult.