Article | Last updated: 07/05/2021 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
As a result of the coronavirus situation, the Norwegian Government has adopted laws and regulations on various related matters, including border control, entry restrictions for foreign nationals, requirements on documentation of negative test result, pre-arrival registration, mandatory testing and quarantine upon entry to Norway. The coronavirus regulations change frequently and often on short notice, and Missions are recommended to keep up to date by regularly visiting the relevant webpages.
Some frequently asked questions regarding laws and regulations applicable to Diplomatic and Consular Missions, important links and circular notes related to the coronavirus situation, will be published on this page.
How can Missions keep updated on the coronavirus situation in Norway and current national measures?
Useful webpages with official information:
The Directorate of Health information hotline (several languages): 815 55 015.
Oslo Municipality corona hotline (several languages): 21 80 21 82.
Where can missions access resources and information in different languages to communicate advice and regulations to their nationals and communities in Norway?
The efforts Missions accredited to Oslo are making in reaching out to their nationals and communities with information on Covid-19 regulations in Norway are highly appreciated. Below are links to some of the most important webpages in various languages that Missions might find useful for their communication platforms.
Included for download are also posters with national measures in different languages.
Please also note that the Norwegian Directorate of Health has established an information hotline on 815 55 015, where coronavirus related questions can be answered in Arabic, Polish, Somali and Urdu, as well as Norwegian and English. The Oslo Municipality’s corona hotline on 21 80 21 82 can also answer the public in several languages.
- Government.no: Press conferences, news and information from the Government in English, Polish, Lithuanian, Somali, Urdu, Arabic, Estonian, Latvian, Turkish, Romanian, Spanish, German, French, Russian, Dari and Tigrinya
- Oslo Municipality – Coronavirus information in different languages, including posters for download
- The Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDi) in Norway collected web resources from public authorities and nation centers in several different languages. Please find more information here.
- Directorate of Health – Quarantine and testing in Norway – these rules apply to you in English, French, German, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Somali and Spanish.
- Helsenorge.no: Entry to Norway – information in several languages - rules on quarantine and testing in Amharic, Arabic, Estonian, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Lithuanian, Pashto, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Somali, Sorani, Spanish, Tigrinya, Turkish and Urdu
- Information letters and videos about coronavirus from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) in Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Burmese, Chin, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Dari, English, Filipino, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Kinyarwanda, Kurdish – Kurmanji, Kurdish - Sorani, Latvian, Lithuanian, Nepali, Pashto, Persian – Farsi, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Sami, Serbian, Somali, Sorani, Spanish, Swahili, Tamil, Thai, Tigrinya, Turkish, Urdu, Uzbek and Vietnamese
- Information from The Norwegian Directorate of Public Health – also films and posters – in the following languages: Amharic, Arabic, Dari, English, Filipino - Tagalog, French, German, Italian, Kurdish – Kurmanji, Kurdish – Sorani, Lithuanian, Pashto, Persian – Farsi, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Somali, Spanish, Tamil, Thai, Tigrinya, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uzbek and Vietnamese
Which entry regulations apply and how are diplomats resident in Norway affected by the measures enforced at the borders?
The measures introduced to control infection include rules on
- entry restrictions,
- documentation of a negative Sars-CoV-2 (Covid-19) test when entering the country,
- pre-arrival registration,
- mandatory testing for Covid-19 at the border,
- entry quarantine and
- quarantine hotels
The rules are updated continuously and can change on short notice.
Members of diplomatic missions resident in Norway and notified to the MFA, including family members forming part of their household, are exempt from the following:
- entry restrictions ( the Entry Regulations Section 3, letter f),
- the duty to register before arrival ( the Covid-19-Regulations Section 5b second paragraph, letter d),
- the requirement of presenting a negative Covid-19 test upon arrival ( the Covid-19-Regulations Section 4a third paragraph, letter i),
- mandatory testing for Covid-19 upon arrival in Norway ( the Covid-19-Regulations Section 4d third paragraph, letter g), and
- quarantine in a quarantine hotel ( the Covid-19-Regulations Section 5 second paragraph, letter h).
As of 29 April 2021, any individual who has been in Bangladesh, India, Iraq, Nepal or Pakistan during the last 10 days before arriving in Norway, must take an antigen rapid test upon arrival in Norway (cf. the Covid-19 Regulations Section 4d fourth paragraph). This also applies to accredited diplomats to Norway and their family members residing with them in Norway, non-resident diplomats and diplomatic couriers.
Any individual arriving from abroad must be in quarantine in their residence or in other suitable place of accommodation for 10 days from the day of arrival in Norway (cf. the Covid-19-Regulations Section 4 first paragraph, letter a).
Entry quarantine is not legally binding for diplomatic personnel accredited to Norway, although such personnel is strongly urged and expected to comply with the quarantine regulations, and also with all other Covid-19 regulations, on a voluntary basis, in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, art. 41. and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, art. 55.
People arriving with or developing symptoms of cold or flu, such as coughing, fever or shortness of breath, must isolate until three (3) days after symptoms have ceased.
Please find more general information on entry regulations here:
- Government.no: Travel to Norway. An overview of measures related to travelling to Norway, including entry registration forms and in several languages Travel to Norway - regjeringen.no
- Rules on entry restrictions are set out in the Interim Act relating to entry restrictions for foreign nationals out of concern for public health and Regulations relating to entry restrictions for foreign nationals out of concern for public health
- Regulations on infection control measures are set out in the Regulations relating to infection control measures etc. in connection with the coronavirus outbreak (“Covid-19 Regulations” – in Norwegian)
- Information from the Norwegian Directorate of Health on travel, entry, quarantine
- Rules and requirements when entering Norway from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health
- Information from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) on entry
Information on the testing at Gardermoen airport from Ullensaker council:
Can essential personnel at foreign missions be exempted from entry quarantine?
Foreign mission staff resident in Norway is strongly urged and expected to comply with the quarantine regulations on a voluntary basis. According to the Covid-19 Regulations Section 6e, personnel considered essential to the functioning of the mission may be exempted from the rule of entry quarantine during working hours when they have received a negative test result from a PCR-test taken at the earliest three days after arriving in Norway. In acute situations where there is no time to wait for a PCR response, the person may go to work after have received a negative test result from an antigen rapid test on the same day as the work is to be carried out. In their spare time they have to self-quarantine. It is emphasized that missions may only exempt personnel that is strictly necessary. The mission should therefore plan ahead in order to, if possible, avoid using this exemption. It is the head of mission who decides what personnel that may invoke this exemption, and if in doubt, the Ministry may be consulted. Before deciding on this exemption, the mission should consider the possibility to reallocate personnel from elsewhere in the mission and to downscale activity. This exemption also applies to diplomatic couriers.
Please note that persons who have been infected with Covid-19 are to be in isolation and cannot be exempted from quarantine in order to be at work. Persons who are developing Covid-19 symptoms during the quarantine period may no longer invoke the exemption and must contact the health services for testing. Even if the test result is negative, the quarantine period is ten days.
Persons who are exempt from quarantine must as far as possible avoid close contact with persons other than those with whom they live. “Close contact” is defined as contact in closer proximity than two meters from other persons for 15 minutes or more, or direct physical contact with the person or his secretion. Public transport shall not be used. Persons who are exempt from quarantine only during work must meet the requirements for entry quarantine in their free time.
Those who are in entry quarantine may leave Norway before the quarantine period has been completed. In this case public transport may be used for traveling to the airport if a face mask is worn.
Will new foreign Mission personnel taking up their posts at foreign missions in Norway need any documentation to enter the country?
New members of diplomatic missions are excempt from entry restrictions and will be able to enter the country. To smoothen the process at the border, missions are advised to send a verbal note to the Section for Diplomatic Relations in advance, informing about the arrival of the diplomat. The verbal note should include full name of the person and his/her diplomatic title, passport number, date of arrival, and flight number if possible. The Ministry will reply with a verbal note, and the person(s) arriving should bring copies of the two notes upon arrival in Norway. This also applies to dependent family members joining the household of foreign mission personnel who are already posted to Norway.
New foreign mission personnel are strongly urged and expected to comply with the entry regulations, including testing and quarantine, on a voluntary basis.
How can foreign mission personnel get medical help in the case of a suspected Covid-19 infection?
In Oslo: Contact a GP/family doctor who treat patients who are without their own family doctor (fastlege) in Oslo.
In Bærum: Patients without their own GP/family doctor (fastlege) may contact Bærum helse og friskliv, tel. 67 50 87 50. You may also contact a private doctor or medical center. Contact information may be found online. In the case of acute illness and need of urgent medical attention, please call the Out-Of-Hours Medical Service (legevakt), tel. 116 117.
If life or health are at risk, please call tel. 113.
If you are from another EU/EEA country or Switzerland, and have a European Health Insurance Card or have registered a S1 form with Helfo, you are entitled to medically necessary healthcare, at public health institutions in Norway, under the same conditions as Norwegian resident nationals. This includes the right to pay the same standard consultation fee as Norwegians.
More information about healthcare for foreigners in Norway may be found at Foreigners in Norway (helsenorge.no).
According the Norwegian health authorities, the ongoing work with consultation paper on access to the Regular General Practitioner (RGP) scheme for diplomatic and administrative staff, will according to their time-line at the earliest take effect in April this year.
How can foreign mission personnel get tested for Covid-19?
City of Oslo: For information about testing for Covid-19 from the City of Oslo, please see Corona testing and test results.
Persons who are unable to book a test online can call the Corona hotline for Oslo inhabitants, tel. 21 80 21 82 (Workdays 08:30-15:00, Saturdays and Sundays 09:00-15:00) to arrange a test. Persons will be referred to one of several test locations in Oslo. Some drop in test locations are open for people without a Norwegian personal ID number, as Adamstuen teststasjon in Armauer Hansens gate 10, although it is recommended to call the Corona hotline to check availability before meeting up at a drop in test centre.
Bærum Municipality: For information about testing for Covid-19 in Bærum Municipality, please see Koronainformasjon på Engelsk/ Corona information in English | Bærum kommune (baerum.kommune.no). Call the Bærum Corona hotline, tel. 67 50 59 99 (Monday - Friday 08:15-21:00, Saturdays and Sundays 09:00-21:00), or send an e-mail with name and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a test.
Asker Municipality: For information about testing for Covid-19 in Asker Municipality, please see https://www.asker.kommune.no/korona/information-on-coronavirus/#testing
Covid-19 tests administrated by the municipalities are free of charge. It is also possible to contact one of the many private doctors or medical centers in Oslo, Bærum and Asker to get tested against a fee. Contact information can be found online.
How will foreign mission personnell receive the test result after testing for covid-19 at one of the municipal test centres?
In general, to obtain a corona test result for foreign citizens, it is important to inform the test station when making the appointment, about lack of access to helsenorge.no, please see the following link: https://www.helsenorge.no/provesvar/.
Individuals who have been tested for Covid-19 at one of the Oslo municipal test locations will be contacted by phone if tested positive. If the test result is negative, persons without access to helsenorge.no, will get this result by calling the corona hotline. The privacy protection law requires that information about the test result, must be given to the person who was tested.
It is now possible, when calling the corona hotline for the test result, to request a written confirmation of the negative test result. This document will be sent by postal mail to the address in Norway. It is also possible to receive this document at Helsfyr (where the corona hotline office is located). This confirmation document will however, not be valid for travel (when a certificate is required). The General Practitioner might in some cases issue a certificate valid for travel.
If the test is taken in Bærum, please consult the following webpage: https://www.baerum.kommune.no/korona/testing/ (Fornebu test station will call up the tested person and inform about both a negative and a positive result).
There are also several commercial test options available giving written confirmation valid for travel of test results, among others are:
Will members of diplomatic missions in Norway be included in the Coronavirus immunisation programme?
Yes. The Covid-19 vaccination process (“Coronavirus immunisation programme”) started in January 2021, and the available vaccines are being distributed to the highest prioritised groups according to recommendations from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH – Folkehelseinstituttet/FHI).
The current order of priority can be found on the NIPH webpages: Who will get the coronavirus vaccine? - NIPH (fhi.no)
The order might change in accordance with the development of the epidemiological situation, the capacity of the health care services, availability of vaccines, increased knowledge of the effect of vaccines in different age and risk groups and how vaccines prevent transmission in society.
Vaccines can be made available to a larger part of the population based on increased knowledge of immunisation and the development of the pandemic.
The municipalities have a duty to provide vaccination to people in prioritised groups who live or stay in the municipality. The municipalities are also responsible for people who are temporarily residing in the municipality, including diplomatic personnel (please see Vaksinasjon mot korona i kommunene - FHI – in Norwegian).
Foreign missions have been requested (in circular note dated 11 January 2021) to submit general information about the number of persons at the mission who wish to receive the vaccine and also the number of persons in different risk groups, as defined by the NIPH. Due to the the privacy protection law, Oslo Municipality does not ask for electronically submitted lists with names of people identified as being in a medical risk group. Instead, the municipality has asked for a contact point at each embassy. Oslo municipality is coordinating vaccination of foreign mission personnel living in Oslo, Bærum and Asker, and will in due time contact each and every mission through the contact point given according to the vaccination plan and prioritized medical risk groups. As for the general population in Norway, it is unfortunately not possible to indicate more precisely at what time the vaccine (and which vaccine) will be offered to foreign mission personnel. Foreign missions will be kept updated on the further development of vaccination of the diplomatic community.
All vaccination in Norway is voluntary. Both the vaccine itself and vaccination in the Coronavirus immunisation programme is free for those who are recommended vaccination.
Europol has issued a warning about the increase in counterfeit Coronavirus vaccines. All use of approved Coronavirus vaccines in Norway will be organized by municipalities and health trusts.
For more information in English on the immunisation programme, please see the NIPH’s web page: Coronavirus immunisation programme - NIPH (fhi.no).
For status and more detailed information about the vaccine in Oslo, please see Oslo Municipality – Corona Vaccine
What measures should Missions implement to protect staff and ensure good infection control at the premises?
Employers are responsible for implementing measures at the workplace to protect staff, clients and visitors as well as limiting the spread of the corona virus in society. Missions are highly urged and expected to follow national workplace guidelines, which involves hygiene measures, distancing and working from home when possible. The Norwegian Directorate for Public Health provides an overview of measures to prevent infection:
Following the measures implemented in Oslo and surrounding areas from 25 January, working from home is mandatory when possible. Missions are strongly encouraged to facilitate this and carefully consider which employees need to be physically present at the office, including local employees.
Can Norwegian authorities disclose information on nationality of infected individuals to foreign embassies?
Nationality of infected persons is currently not registered in the Norwegian reporting system for infectious diseases. Furthermore, Norwegian health authorities cannot disclose personal data of patients infected with the Covid-19 virus due to privacy protection laws.
Can diplomats in Norway receive family and other visitors travelling from other countries?
The Regulations relating to entry restrictions for foreign nationals out of concern for public health is subject to periodic changes. Missions should always consult Lovdata.no to make sure they keep abreast with the latest amendments.
Further information on entry restrictions may also be found on the website of the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI): About the corona situation - UDI
Missions should note that
Interim Act relating to entry restrictions for foreign nationals out of concern for public health of 19 June 2020 No. 83 (the Entry Act) and Regulation relating to entry restrictions for foreign nationals out of concern for public health of 29 June 2020 No. 1423 are in force, and a foreigner is only entitled to enter the country if covered by one of the exceptions in the Entry Act or the Entry Regulations.
From 29 January, stricter entry restrictions have been imposed that highly will affect the possibility to visit to Norway from abroad. See more about this on the Government webpag: Travel to Norway. The main rule is that only Norwegian citizens and foreigners residing in Norway can enter Norway.
Visitors who are not notified to the MFA as dependent family members of foreign mission personnel are not exempt from documenting a negative test for Sars-CoV-2 upon arrival, pre-arrival registration, testing upon arrival, or entry quarantine. If visitors cannot document a suitable place to carry out their entry quarantine, they will have to quarantine at a designated quarantine hotel.
Please note that visiting family members and other visitors are not exempt from documenting a negative test for Sars-CoV-2, pre-arrival registration, testing upon arrival, or entry quarantine, even if they are carriers of diplomatic passports. Only foreign diplomats who are accredited to Norway are exempt from the entry regulations, and diplomats not accredited to Norway must adhere to the rules applicable for any visitor.
Which rules apply for non-resident diplomats accredited to Norway and diplomatic couriers?
Non-resident diplomats accredited to Norway and diplomatic couriers are exempt from the entry restrictions in the Entry Regulations, cf. section 3, letter f.
Non-resident diplomats accredited to Norway and diplomatic couriers are also exempt from the requirement to bring a certificate showing a negative test for Sars-Co V-2, cf. section 4a, second paragraph, litra i. of the Covid-19 regulations.
Exemptions from the obligation to quarantine for 10 days upon entry, have to be considered on a case to case basis. The exemption in the Covid-19-regulation Section 6e may be applicable when travelling to Norway, so that one may travel to the Mission and attend work there, but quarantine in the spare time. One must, however, as far as possible, avoid close contact at all times; that is physical contact or less than two (2) meters distance to another person for more than 15 minutes. Public transport may not be used, with the exception of travelling from and to the airport, in which case a face mask must be worn. Those who are in entry quarantine may leave Norway before the quarantine period has been completed.
Which regulations apply for short term personnel not accredited to Norway?
Persons entering Norway to perform short-term critical duties for Diplomatic missions without being accredited to the mission in Norway or diplomatic couriers, will only be allowed entry into Norway if it can be documented that they are essential to maintain the proper operation of the mission, ref. Interim Act relating to entry restrictions for foreign nationals out of concern for public health , Section 2 first paragraph, letter c.
Such persons are exempt from having to present a certificate of a negative Covid-19 test upon entry to Norway, but must comply with the requirements of pre-arrival registration. They are also exempt from mandatory testing upon entry to Norway if it is not practically possible to do the test (and have not been in Bangladesh, India, Iraq, Nepal or Pakistan during the last 10 days before arriving in Norway). According to the Covid-19 Regulations Section 6e, personnel considered essential to the functioning of the mission may be exempted from the rule of entry quarantine during working hours when they have received a negative test result from a PCR-test taken at the earliest three days after arriving in Norway. In acute situations where there is no time to wait for a PCR response, the person may go to work after have received a negative test result from an antigen rapid test on the same day as the work is to be carried out. In their spare time they have to self-quarantine. It is emphasized that missions may only exempt personnel who is strictly necessary. The mission should therefore plan ahead in order to, if possible, avoid using this exemption. It is the head of mission who decides what personnel that may invoke this exemption.
Exemption from carrying out the quarantine period in a quarantine hotel include i.a. foreign nationals who arrive in Norway to perform work or an assignment, and who, upon entry, can document that the employer or client provides a suitable place of residence approved by the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority according to the Covid-19 Regulations Chapter 2A, (cf. the Covid-19 Regulations Section 5 second paragraph, letter d)
Accomodation which is to be used for the carrying-out of the quarantine period must be approved in advance by the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority (cf. the the Covid-19 Regulations Section 8a).
The employer or client shall send an application for approval on a prescribed form to the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority. In the application, documentation must be submitted that the premises have a separate room with TV and Internet, a separate bathroom and a separate kitchen or food service, and make it possible to avoid being in close contact with others., i. e. physical contact or less than two (2) meters distance to another person for more than 15 minutes. Which documentation and other information otherwise required is determined by the the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority in the application form.
It is only possible to apply electronically through “Altinn” via the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority webpage (Godkjenning av innkvartering for arbeidstakere i innreisekarantene (arbeidstilsynet.no) – only in Norwegian). If it is not possible to submit all of the required documentation, approval in advance is not possible, and the personnel must carry out the quarantine period of 10 days in a designated quarantine hotel upon arrival in Norway.
It is unfortunately not possible to pre-book accommodation at a quarantine hotel – arriving personnel will be referred to the appropriate hotel by the border control authorities.Those who are in entry quarantine may leave Norway before the quarantine period has been completed. If public transport is used for travelling to the airport, a face mask must be worn.