Historical archive

NOK 825 million for mandatory border testing

Historical archive

Published under: Solberg's Government

Publisher: Ministry of Health and Care Services

From 18 January, all travellers to Norway from countries on the travel quarantine list are obliged to get tested before entering the country. Capacity at existing testing centres has been expanded and more testing centres have been established.

Mandatory testing was introduced with effect from 2 January 2012. Travellers were then required to get tested as soon as possible and no later than 24 hours after arriving in Norway. From 18 January, the requirement for testing within 24 hours has been replaced by mandatory testing at the border.

‘The establishment and running of testing centres at the border is a very important measure for combating imported infection. I’m therefore pleased that the capacity has now been expanded so that everyone crossing the border will be tested before continuing their journey,’ says Minister of Health and Care Services Bent Høie.

Testing centres have been established at 33 border crossings, and the Government is now proposing to allocate NOK 825 million to border testing centres. This means a proposed increase in allocations for testing centres and testing in quarantine hotels of NOK 203 million compared with the balanced budget for 2021, in which NOK 650 million were allocated for these two purposes.

Border testing was made mandatory to delay the spread of the more contagious variants of the coronavirus. Rapid tests are also used so that those infected by the virus can be identified already at the border and be isolated immediately.

National phone centre for follow-up of entry quarantine

NOK 75 million is being allocated to the establishment of a national phone centre that will relieve the municipalities in their work to follow up and check travellers arriving in Norway. The phone centre’s staff will contact and provide guidance to incoming travellers so that they understand and comply with the quarantine regulations. The overriding goal is to prevent imported infection.

The phone centre will also help to check whether incoming travellers comply with the quarantine regulations. If they suspect that someone is violating the quarantine provisions, the phone centre will inform the municipality and the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority so that local measures can be implemented.

The phone centre is initially intended to be in operation until the end of June 2021. Whether operations should be extended must be seen in view of the risk of imported infection and the municipalities’ need for assistance in following up incoming travellers.