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Norway to scrap Covid-19 entry quarantine for all travellers

The Norwegian government will scrap its Covid-19 entry quarantine rules for all arrivals on Wednesday.

A plane at Oslo Gardermoen.
The governemnt will scrap its quarantine rules for all travellers, regardless of their vaccination status. Pictured is a plane at Gardermoen airport. Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

From Wednesday, January 26th, travellers arriving in Norway will no longer be required to quarantine, regardless of their vaccination status or whether they have a valid Covid-19 certificate.

Under the current rules, only travellers who are fully vaccinated and in possession of a recognised Covid-19 certificate, such as the common EU solution or NHS Covid Pass app, are able to skip quarantine upon entry into Norway.

This has meant that fully vaccinated travellers without a pass recognised by Norwegian authorities have had to undergo a 10-day quarantine period, which can be shortened after testing on day three of isolation, when arriving from an area that triggers a quarantine obligation. Unvaccinated travellers are also able to skip quarantine under the new rules. 

The rule will come as a boost to travellers from outside the European Economic Area or EEA (EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway), as arriving from a non-EEA country, excluding the UK, automatically triggered a quarantine obligation unless you met the Covid-19 certificate and vaccination requirements.

The rule change was announced on the government’s website, and the decision comes following a recommendation from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH). The NIPH said that travellers without a valid Covid-19 certificate accounted for 7 percent of all arrivals and only 4 percent of total infection cases, meaning the quarantine period was “of little significance” to the development of the pandemic in Norway.

“I agree with the NIPH that the proportion of infected among arrivals without a Covid certificate is so small related to the infection situation in Norway, that the time has come to change the requirement for entry quarantine,” Health Minister Ingvild Kjerkol said in a statement.

Travellers who aren’t fully vaccinated or possess a valid Covid certificate will still be required to test 24 hours before departure. All travellers, regardless of vaccination status, must test at the border after arriving and register their entry into Norway.

If the testing station is busy upon arrival, travellers will be asked to take a rapid test at home or where they will be staying while in Norway. If this test returns positive, they will need to take a PCR test. If this test returns positive, they will be required to isolate.  

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NORWEGIAN CITIZENSHIP

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.

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