Entry restrictions and coronavirus measures in the municipalities to continue

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The Norwegian Government has decided to keep downscaled TISK (test-isolate-trace-and-quarantine), as well as the current entry restrictions.

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‘We want to monitor the situation and will therefore keep measures that we had originally planned to consider removing now. Infection and hospitalisation rates are on the rise in many countries. We see that the infection rate is also increasing slightly in Norway, and therefore do not want to ease any further measures now, but will assess the situation on an ongoing basis. We are particularly monitoring the hospitalisation rate, as well as the situation in the health and care services’, says Minister of Health and Care Services Ingvild Kjerkol.

The Norwegian Directorate of Health and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health recommend that the requirement for people with a positive test result for COVID-19 to go into isolation be kept until the end of the year. The same applies to downscaled TISK.

‘The Norwegian Government agrees with this. This will provide more predictable conditions under which to plan the work going ahead. We can all help minimise transmission through good hand hygiene, staying home, and getting tested if we have any symptoms, as well as going into isolation if we receive a positive COVID-19 test result. People who have not gotten vaccinated yet, should definitely do so now,’ stresses Ms Kjerkol.

Local measures
Both the Norwegian Directorate of Health and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health are in continuous dialogue with the hospitals and the municipalities where there are outbreaks.

‘The municipalities must continue to introduce local measures during outbreaks when necessary and proportionate. National measures are not required now, but we are closely monitoring the national and international situation. The Norwegian Directorate of Health and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health believe that the current situation does not call for national measures’, says Ms Kjerkol.

‘It is important to me that I stay in close contact with the municipalities. This is essential for successful pandemic management. I will therefore make sure that the municipalities are informed when changes are made.’

The Ministry has revised the circular on municipal infection control measures and has sent it to all the municipalities. It provides guidance on the local infection control measures that may be necessary in the event of a local outbreak.

Entry restrictions
The Norwegian Government has also decided to keep the current entry restrictions for the moment. Norway has had strict restrictions on the right of foreign nationals to enter the country since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In general, foreign nationals may not enter Norway, and they are turned away at the border, with a number of exemptions.

For example, the regulations regarding refusal of entry do not apply to EEA nationals, people from third countries who live in the EEA/Schengen area, and people who live in purple countries (countries with an acceptable infection rate). Nor do they apply to asylum seekers, foreign nationals who reside in Norway, or family members of people who reside in Norway.

‘We will not proceed to phase 2 of the lifting of entry restrictions, but will keep the measures currently in place for the time being’, states Ms Kjerkol.

Current entry restrictions

  • All people who are fully vaccinated and have valid verifiable documentation are exempt from quarantine and testing. This applies regardless of which country they have visited.

  • All EEA nationals, including people from other countries who reside in the EEA, may enter Norway. The same applies to people who live in the UK and Switzerland. All foreign nationals who live in purple countries may also enter Norway now – these are countries outside the EEA/Schengen area that the Norwegian Institute of Public Health considers qualify for slightly lighter restrictions.

  • All border crossing-points have reopened. The police are prioritising border control of travellers from areas with a high infection rate and border control on the basis of spot checks.

  • Travel quarantine has been removed for travellers from orange areas. Travel quarantine will now only apply to people arriving from red, dark red, purple, and grey countries (other third countries).

  • Adult travellers arriving from countries and areas that trigger a duty to quarantine may end travel quarantine if they present a negative result from a PCR test taken no sooner than 3 days after arrival (previously 7 days).

  • Travel quarantine has been removed for children under the age of 18 (regardless of what country the child has arrived from). The duty to take a test at the border has been kept for children arriving from areas that trigger a duty to quarantine. They are also advised to take a test after 3 days.

  • Travellers arriving from areas that trigger a duty to quarantine must complete entry registration and take a test upon arrival.

A map of the countries/areas in Europe that shows the duty to quarantine, complete entry registration, and take a test upon entry into Norway (Norwegian Institute of Public Health)

Entry quarantine and rules upon arrival in Norway (Norwegian Institute of Public Health)

Emergency preparedness plan
The Norwegian Government has decided to keep the current strategy and emergency preparedness plan for managing COVID-19. The management must protect the health of population, minimise disruption to society, and safeguard the economy.

‘In normal everyday life with increased emergency preparedness, the strategy is to prevent COVID-19 from resulting in a considerable disease burden and strain on the capacity in the municipal health service and the hospitals. At the same time, people should be able to live as normally as possible’, Ms Kjerkol points out.

Current national rules and recommendations

  • Requirement to go into isolation if you receive a positive COVID-19 test result (a breach is a finable offence).

  • Wash your hands often.

  • Cough or sneeze into a paper tissue or the crook of your elbow. Dispose of the tissue and wash your hands afterwards.

  • Stay home and take a test if you develop new respiratory symptoms.

  • Unvaccinated household members and other close contacts of an infected person should get tested. They should also refrain from social contact until they receive a negative test result.

Advice for close contacts and people in isolation (Norwegian Institute of Public Health)

What is downscaled TISK?

  • Less contact tracing by the municipal authorities.

  • Quarantine advised for people at greatest risk of COVID-19: people within the same household, or corresponding close relations, who are unvaccinated/not fully vaccinated.

  • Other close contacts are no longer advised to quarantine.

  • Routine contact tracing is limited to close contacts who are household members and corresponding close relations.