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COVID-19

These are the new rules for Norway’s domestic Covid-19 certificate

The Norwegian government on Friday revealed more about how local authorities would use the Covid certificate and who will be eligible to use it.

Crowds of people on Torgata in Oslo.
The Norwegian government has unveiled more details on how the Covid certificate will work. Pictured are crowds of people in Oslo. Photo by Nick Night on Unsplash

Norway’s domestic Covid-19 certificates could be ready for use by local authorities as early as next Friday, the government announced.

“Municipalities can now use corona certificates to provide relief to the fully vaccinated, those who have tested negative or have (recovered from) Covid-19,” health minister Ingvild Kjerkol said.

The return of the health pass was announced last week in a bid to help reduce rising Covid infections and avoid more, potentially stricter, measures being introduced.

“We hope the regulations will make it easier for municipalities with locals outbreaks to make local decisions,” Kjerkol explained.

The government also announced details on how the certificate would work. Those who have been fully vaccinated, recovered from Covid in the previous 12 months and tested negative for the virus in the last 48 hours will be able to use the pass. Previously the the certificate was also available to those who had one jab.  

READ ALSO: Norway announces stricter Covid-19 border rules

The pass has been recommended for large events and use in hospitality and leisure settings such as restaurants and swimming pools.

Once regulation that permits the municipalities to use the Covid certificate is passed at some point on Friday, local authorities will have the power to implement the requirements.

The certifcate will not be adopted nationally, instead local authorities can choose to use the certificate as a means of controlling infections.

Tromsø Municipality, which is in the midst of a spike in Covid cases, has been eager to use the certificate since it was announced last week.

“We are very happy that the government has introduced the coronavirus certificates. It is important for us,” Gunna Wilhelmsen, Tromsø’s mayor, said to newspaper VG.

The health minister also offered an update on Norway’s booster vaccine program and said that she hoped that everyone aged over 65 would be offered a third dose by Christmas. The government advised local authorities to provide 16-17 year olds with the second dose as soon as possible.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Tourists: What to do if you catch Covid-19 in Norway 

All Covid travel rules for Norway have been completely lifted for a while now- but what happens if you test positive or start to develop Covid symptoms while you are here?

Tourists: What to do if you catch Covid-19 in Norway 

Covid travel rules in Norway have been lifted for a while, and all but a few recommendations remain domestically. This is a far cry from a similar time last year when Norway had very strict travel rules in place. 

Testing

Close contacts of Covid infected are not required to get a test, meaning if you have been in contact with somebody with Covid-19, you will not be required to get tested under the official rules. 

However, if you wish to take a test, you can buy self-tests at supermarkets and pharmacies. You can also order Covid-19 tests from Norwegian municipalities if you want a PCR test. You can find the contact information for every municipality in Norway here. Facemasks are also widely available in shops and pharmacies. 

Several private providers, such as Volvat and Dr Dropin, offer antigen and PCR tests with results within 24 hours. However, municipality tests can take longer to deliver results. If you need a test to travel home, you will not be able to get one from a local authority. These tests are only for those with symptoms of Covid-19.  

Home tests will not cost more than 60 kroner from supermarkets, while a municipality test will be free. However, private providers’ tests are pricier, costing between 1,000 and 1,500 kroner at most private clinics.

Isolation

There are also no specific rules in regards to isolation. 

“If you have respiratory symptoms, you should stay at home until you feel well. If you feel well, you can live as normal,” Helsenorge advises on its websiteMeaning that if you are asymptomatic, you aren’t advised to isolate. 

Other symptoms which you may need to isolate with include headache and blocked nose and influenza-like symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat and feeling unwell. 

The isolation information means you will need to liaise with the hotel or accommodation you are staying at. 

Travellers are advised to check what their insurance covers before taking out a policy to avoid being left out of pocket if they have to pay for new flights or an extended stay because they are isolating. 

If you test positive, you are also advised to steer clear of those in risk groups. 

Self-isolation advice applies regardless of vaccination status or previous infection. 

What else should I know? 

If your symptoms get worse, the best course of practice would be to contact a standard GP.

You can also contact the out-of-hours urgent care number on 116 117. This will put you through to the nearest urgent care centre to you. Visitors can also call for an ambulance on 113, but this is only advisable in life-threatening situations, such as a stroke or cardiac arrest.

In addition to checking your insurance policy, you also will need to check the rules of the country you are returning to or travelling through in case you may need a test to enter. 

If you have an EHIC card and receive medical care after testing positive for Covid-19, you will only be required to pay the same subsidised fees Norwegians do for healthcare. Despite this, European citizens are also advised to take out travel insurance. 

Non-European visitors are entitled to urgent medical care but will need to pay the full cost with no prospect of reimbursement if they don’t have health insurance. 

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