Coronavirus information for Diplomatic and Consular Missions

As a result of the coronavirus situation, the Norwegian Government has adopted laws and regulations to control infection. The coronavirus regulations and infection control measures change frequently and often on short notice, and Missions are recommended to keep up to date by regularly visiting the relevant webpages.

Please find below:

  • frequently asked questions regarding laws and regulations applicable to Diplomatic and Consular Missions, and
  • important links and circular notes related to the coronavirus situation.

Latest news

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.

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

  1. pre-arrival registration,documentation of a negative Sars-CoV-2 (Covid-19) test when entering the country
  2. mandatory testing for Covid-19 at the border
  3. entry quarantine
  4. 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:

  • the duty to register before arrival (cf. the Covid-19-Regulations, Section 5b second subsection, paragraph d)
  • the requirement of presenting a negative Covid-19 test upon arrival (cf. the Covid-19-Regulations, Section 4a, third subsection, paragraph g)
  • mandatory testing for Covid-19 upon arrival in Norway (cf. the Covid-19-Regulations, Section 4d,  fourth subsection, paragraph g)

As of 27 November 2021, strict measures apply for any individual travelling from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho, Eswatini and Malawi (cf. the Covid-19-Regulations Section 4b). Travellers from these countries must get tested before arrival, upon arrival, and 7 days after arrival. They must also complete 10 days of travel quarantine, even if they can present documentation that they are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19.This also applies to accredited foreign mission personnel to Norway and their family members residing with them in Norway, non-resident accredited diplomats and diplomatic couriers These are, however, exempt from spending the first three days of the entry quarantine at a qurantine hotel (cf. the Covid-19-Regulations, Section 5b, fifth subsection), and may quarantine at a suitable place (where it is possible to keep a distance from others, with a separate bathroom and kitchen) until they have received a negative result from a PCR test taken at the earliest 7 days after arrival.

Foreign mission personnel is strongly urged and expected to comply with the quarantine regulations, and also with all other Covid-19 regulations, 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:

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. The 10 day entry quarantine can be ended after a negative PCR test taken at the earliest three days after arrival.

In acute situations,personnel essential to the functioning of the mission may go to work after having 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 tested positive for 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 when entering the country?
Missions should check which entry regulations apply for arrivals as these change frequently. Verifiable Covid-19 certificates may also in some cases be taken into consideration. New foreign mission staff are recommended to bring documentation of their status for the exemptions that apply to foreign mission personnel to be effective.

Missions should note that the final interpretation of the entry regulations lies with the border control authorities.

Foreign mission personnel are strongly urged and expected to comply with the entry regulations, including testing and quarantine.

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).

As of 1 July 2021 foreign mission personnel and their dependent family members resident in Norway, who are notified to and accepted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, have the possibility to be part of the General Practioner (GP) Scheme – “fastlegeordningen” –  during their tour of duty in Norway.

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 koronalegevakt@baerum.kommune.no 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 Covid-19 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 the number of persons at the mission who wish to receive the vaccine and as well as the number of persons in different risk groups, as defined by the NIPH and (in circular note dated 22 October 2021) how many at the mission are eligble for a booster dose 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 requested a contact point at each embassy. Oslo municipality is coordinating vaccination of foreign mission personnel resident in Oslo, Bærum and Asker.

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

Will foreign mission personnel resident and vaccinated in Norway have access to a Norwegian Covid-19 certificate?

The Norwegian Government seeks to use Covid-19 certificates to gradually open up society and keep it more open until the end of the pandemic. A Covid-19 certificate will allow secure documentation of a person’s name and date of birth, as well as vaccination status, recent negative Covid-19 tests and immunity after a registered undergone Covid-19 infection. The Covid-19 certificate is accessible in the Helsenorge app and at Helsenorge.no, from which you can also print a PDF certificate.

Access to Helsenorge requires an electronic ID with security level 4 (as BankID, Buypass ID or Commfides e-ID). Buypass ID and Commfides e-ID are commercially available for individuals with a D-number. For non-digital users and users without access to Helsenorge, a print of the verifiable Covid-19 certificate can be requested from Helfo. For foreign mission personnel who are not registered in the National Population Register with their actual address of residence (most foreign mission personnel will be registered at the Chancery postal address), this must be done by sending a signed letter with a passport copy to Helfo. This is due to security and in compliance with privacy protection laws. Please see circular note dated 2 July for details.

For foreign mission personnel who don’t have a D-number, the Mission may send a verbal note to the Ministry, with the person’s original passport, requesting a D-number.

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?
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. The same rules on quarantine and quarantine hotels apply to these visitors as for other visitors. Verifiable Covid-19 certificates will increasingly take effect.  

Please note that visiting family members and other visitors are not exempt from entry restrictions, 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. Exemptions apply only to foreign diplomats who are accredited to Norway. Diplomats not accredited to Norway must adhere to the rules applicable for any visitor.

Kindly note that the Section for Diplomatic Relations unfortunately does not have the capacity to answer questions on entry regulations for private visits.

Which regulations apply for short term personnel not accredited to Norway?
Entry regulations and entry quarantine apply for short term critical personnel as for any visitor. Missions are advised to check the current regulations in each separate case..

Please see the webpage of the NIPH:
https://www.fhi.no/en/op/novel-coronavirus-facts-advice/facts-and-general-advice/entry-quarantine-travel-covid19/

and UDI:
https://www.udi.no/en/about-the-corona-situation/

as well as the Government’s Travel to Norway: https://www.regjeringen.no/en/topics/koronavirus-covid-19/travel-to-norway/id2791503/

Persons entering Norway to perform short-term critical duties for diplomatic missions can be exempted from having to present a certificate of a negative Covid-19 test upon entry to Norway (cf. Covid-19 regulations, section 4a, third paragraph, litra a) and from getting tested upon arrival (cf. Covid-19 regulations, section 4d, forth paragraph, litra f), but must comply with the requirements of pre-arrival registration (cf. Covid-19 regulations, section 6b). It is emphasized that for the above mentioned exemptions to be applicable, it must be documented that the personnel is critical to the function of the mission, and it is up to the border authorities to interpret this documentation and make the final decision.

According to the Covid-19 Regulations Section 6e, such personnel may be exempted from the rule of entry quarantine during working hours when they have received a negative 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, until they have received a negative result from a PCR test taken at the earliest three days after arrival. 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.

 

Notes - 2021  

2020