New statutory authority relating to requirements for a negative Covid-19 test result prior to entry into Norway and deportations in the event of violations of quarantine regulations

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The Ministry of Justice and Public Security has today proposed a new statutory authority governing the requirement for a negative Covid-19 test in order to be admitted to Norway. This will also make it easier to deport foreign citizens in the event that they commit serious violations of the quarantine regulations applicable to those arriving in Norway.

Norway has seen an increasing rate of infections this autumn. The health authorities have identified infections imported from abroad as a significant risk factor in relation to the spread of infection domestically in Norway, and there are grounds to believe that imported infections have to date already caused significant number of secondary infections.

‘Due to the risk posed by infections imported from abroad, it is necessary to implement strict measures. We want to prevent infected individuals from travelling into Norway and ensure that those who are admitted comply with their quarantine obligations,’ says Monica Mæland (Conservative), Minister of Justice and Public Security.

The requirement for a negative Covid-19 test result in order to be admitted to Norway is currently governed by the Act relating to control of communicable diseases. The ministry is now proposing that this requirement be instead governed by the ‘Temporary act relating to restrictions on entry to Norway applicable to foreign citizens on grounds of public health’. Foreign citizens who are unable to provide documentation proving a negative Covid-19 test result may be refused entry.

‘The health authorities emphasise that the requirement for a negative test upon arrival contributes to reducing the rate of infection. This is why I believe we require statutory authority in order to continue this requirement pertaining to entry to Norway. Naturally, we will assess the continued application of these entry restrictions on an ongoing basis as infection rates change. This will also apply to the testing requirement as a whole,’ adds the minister.

‘We are also proposing rules that will make it easier to deport foreign citizens for clear and serious violations of the rules relating to quarantine for arrivals in Norway, such as the obligation to stay in a quarantine hotel when directed to do so,’ says Mæland.

In certain circumstances at present, breaches of the rules may result in refusal of entry or deportation, but this is governed by the standard procedural rules of the Immigration Act. The proposed provision will enable deportation to take place following a streamlined case work administrative process in the same way as is the case when attempts are made to enter Norway in contravention of the restrictions in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.