From 15 July, the Government is lifting restrictions on entry into Norway for people resident in countries in the Schengen area/EEA that have an acceptable level of infection. From the same date, quarantine will no longer be required on entry from these countries and regions. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will no longer advise against travel to countries and regions that are excepted from the rules on quarantine on entry.
‘We have a low rate of infection in Norway thanks to our joint efforts this spring and summer. That means we can open up a little more for travel to and from other countries with a similar infection situation. At the same time, this makes us more vulnerable to infection imported from abroad, and everyone should consider all the potential ramifications before they travel,’ said Minister of Justice and Public Security Monica Mæland.
The criteria for assessing the level of infection include the incidence of COVID-19 relative to population size and the proportion of positive tests. Also considered are developments in the number of new cases, infection control measures and number of people recently admitted to intensive care. An overall assessment is made after reviewing this information.
Based on the criteria, the countries will be defined as ‘red’ or ‘green’. The criteria can be adjusted as necessary in light of how the infection situation evolves.
Quarantine can be reintroduced
Since March, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has advised against non-essential travel in all countries, but exceptions were introduced for Nordic countries with an acceptable infection situation from 15 June. From 15 July, exceptions will be made for countries in the Schengen area/EEA that have a sufficiently low level of infection. In Sweden, the current level of infection indicates that the counties of Kronoberg, Blekinge and Skåne will no longer be subject to quarantine rules.
‘Those planning to travel abroad must make sure they know what restrictions, infection control rules and recommendations apply in the country they are visiting. They must also be ready to deal with the fact that things can change very quickly. The situation has in no way normalised, and the exceptions to the travel advice are not to be taken as encouragement to travel,’ emphasised Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.
Those who nonetheless choose to travel abroad should have a valid passport and travel insurance. As always, the Ministry encourages all Norwegian citizens travelling abroad to register their trips using the travel information portal reiseregistrering.no (in Norwegian only). More information is available on the government website .
If there is an increase in the spread of infection so that a country or region no longer meets the criteria, the requirement to go into quarantine after entering Norway may be reintroduced.
‘This means that you risk being quarantined when you come home, even though the country you visited was defined as green when you left,’ said Minister of Health and Care Services Bent Høie.
The Institute of Public Health has been asked to draw up a list of countries and regions where the infection level is acceptable and which can be defined as being ‘green’. This list will in principle be updated every two weeks.
The rules relating to quarantine on entry to Norway will continue to apply after 15 July for people who are resident in countries or regions within the Schengen area/EEA where the level of infection is too high, or in countries that cannot provide sufficient documentation of the infection situation.
The decisive factor in this context will be the country in which an individual is resident, not the individual’s citizenship. For example, a US national who resides in Italy will now be able to travel to Norway, whereas an Italian national residing in the US will not be allowed to enter unless he or she satisfies other entry rules, such as the new rules pertaining to romantic partners.
See the updated map and criteria here (Institute of Public Health).