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What changes about Norway’s Covid-19 travel rules on November 26th?

New rules on testing, entry registration and who can enter Norway will be introduced this week. These are the changes travellers should be aware of. 

An airport gate.
Read about changes to Norway's travel rules which affect testing, entry registration and who can enter. Pictured is an airport gate. Photo by Jacques Le Gall on Unsplash

The Norwegian government last week announced a few significant changes to its travel rules which come into effect on Friday, November 26th. 

Among the changes are rules on travel from certain countries, stricter testing for certain travellers and an updated entry registration system. 

New testing rules

Travellers who are not fully vaccinated, or have recovered from the coronavirus within the previous six months and do not have an approved health pass will need to provide a negative Covid-19 test to enter Norway. 

Norway currently only recognises health passes that are compatible with the EU scheme and digital certificates from the United Kingdom and a handful of other non-EEA countries as proof of vaccination or having recovered from the disease. Furthermore, you will only be considered fully vaccinated one week after your final jab. 

The test will need to be taken within 24 hours of travel. However, the government has yet to update any information on the specifics of the rules on pre-departure testing. 

When pre-departure tests were previously required to enter Norway, at an earlier stage of the pandemic, both PCR and rapid antigen tests were permitted. Test certificates could be presented in several languages, including English. It is unclear at the time of writing whether these rules will be exactly replicated. Travellers under 18 will not have to test before travel. 

People required to test before departure will also have to take a test at the border after arriving. Previously, this only applied to arrivals from countries that triggered a quarantine requirement.  

Not all land borders have testing stations. People entering Norway at these borders are obliged to get tested within 24 hours. The municipality in which the border crossing is located is responsible for ensuring arrivals are tested. 

Rules on who is allowed to enter Norway will be lifted

Travel rules which restrict entry depending on country of origin will be lifted on November 26th.

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 all countries will now be treated equally.

The rule change 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. Essentially this means that the rules on who can enter will be as they were before the pandemic. 

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

Border rules such as testing, quarantine and entry registration will remain in one form or another for all arrivals. Additionally, 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 the cost of 500 kroner per night for adults and 250 kroner for children aged between 10-17. 

Tighter entry registration 

All travellers will need to register their journey into Norway from November 26th. Previously, fully vaccinated travellers could skip entry registration. This will no longer be the case. Travellers have an obligation to provide confirmation that they have carried out the registration and present other documentation to the police at the border when requested. 

Children under 16 are not required to register their entry.

As well as the tighter entry registration rules, the National Centre for Control of Travellers to Norway will see increased staffing to monitor travel into Norway. The centre is responsible for passing information on travellers to municipalities. This means travellers can expect more calls from municipalities checking in on them to ensure they are fulfilling their quarantine duty.

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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.