Norway confirms end to Covid-19 rules banning arrivals from certain countries

Norway is to lift Covid-19 travel rules which restrict entry depending on country of origin. Other Covid-19 travel rules including testing and quarantine will still apply.

Pictured is an airport check-in.
Norway's rules on who can enter the country will be relaxed on this week. Pictured is an airport check-in. Photo by Phil Mosley on Unsplash

From Friday November 26th the government will lift the final restrictions on travel to Norway from specified countries. 

Previously, travellers from certain countries outside the EEA may have found themselves banned from entering Norway under the Scandinavian country’s Covid-19 travel restrictions.

But a rule change on November 26th means all foreigners who have a right to enter Norway under the Immigration Act will now be allowed to enter the country, provided they fulfil general Covid-19 entry restrictions.

Norway’s justice ministry confirmed to The Local that this means rules on who is allowed to travel to Norway will be “the same as before the pandemic”. 

The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) also confirmed the news and has updated its Covid-19 information page. 

“The Government has announced that from November 26th, the entry rules for Norway will change back to how they were before the coronavirus situation,” the UDI has written on its website

“This means that everyone who has a valid residence permit, has a visitors visa, or can travel to the country without a visa will be able to do so,” the immigration authority explained on its website. 

The rule change will mainly impact travellers from non-European Economic Area (EEA, EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) countries as all restrictions on who could enter from the EEA had previously been lifted. 

Despite lifting restrictions on who can enter, border rules such as testing, quarantine and entry registration will remain in one form or another for all arrivals.  

Regardless of vaccination status or nationality, all travellers into Norway would have to register their entry into the country from the 26th. However, children under 16 won’t need to register. 

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 take a Covid-19 test at the border. Norway only recognises health passes that are a part of the EU’s scheme and those from the UK. 

Those who aren’t fully vaccinated or do not have a valid health pass will also need to test for the virus before travelling to Norway. 

The test must be taken within 24 hours of departure. Testing rules do not apply to travellers under 18 years old.

READ MORE: Norway announces stricter Covid-19 testing rules

Furthermore, a quarantine period will also apply to travellers without a valid and approved health pass. 

A ten-day quarantine period applies to travellers outside the EEA and UK or from a red or purple country. However, this can be shortened after taking a PCR test after day three. Arrivals who do not have a suitable place to quarantine can stay in a quarantine hotel at a cost of 500 kroner per night. 

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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.