Press release | Date: 15/03/2020 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs| No: 26 - 2020
The Government will close the border to foreign nationals who lack a residence permit in Norway. They will be turned away at the border under provisions of a Norwegian law relating to the control of communicable diseases. Temporary entry and exit controls will also be introduced at the internal Schengen border.
‘In the current situation, we must concentrate on stopping the spread of infection in Norway. It is essential that we do not import additional infection risk from other countries. The Government will ensure, however, that Norwegians who are now abroad and people who live or work in Norway can still enter the country,’ said Minister of Justice and Public Security Monica Mæland (Conservative Party).
In order to execute this, new regulations are being prepared pursuant to section 7-12 of Norway’s Act relating to control of communicable diseases, including rules on turning away foreign nationals who do not have a residence permit in Norway. Exemptions will be provided for EEA citizens and their family members who reside in Norway. Exemptions are also being prepared for EEA citizens who work in Norway.
‘In addition, a package of border control measures is on the way for which implementation authority already exists, including the reintroduction of internal border controls and a request for assistance from the health service to the police,’ Ms Mæland said.
Norwegian airports not closing
The Government will be closing the border to foreign nationals who lack a residence permit in Norway. They will be turned away at the border under provisions of a Norwegian law relating to the control of communicable diseases.
However, Norwegian airports are not closing. All Norwegian citizens and persons who live or work in Norway will continue to be let into the country. Exemptions will be provided for European Economic Area (EEA) citizens and their family members who reside in Norway. Exemptions are also being prepared for EEA citizens who work in Norway.
Aircraft from abroad will be landing at Norwegian airports in the coming week, allowing Norwegians to get home. We will also be contacting the authorities in other countries to help ensure that the airlines are permitted to fly Norwegians home to Norway. But in this situation we are unable to provide guarantees. The airports will be open for international flights enabling tourists/foreign nationals to travel out.
Temporary border controls
The police are instituting temporary entry and exit controls at the inner and outer Schengen border, but no border crossing points are being closed.
To limit the spread of infection by people arriving in Norway from other countries, extensive border controls are being introduced with effect from Monday 16 March at 8 a.m.
‘This will not impair domestic air traffic. Nor is there any reason to hoard goods. Transport and the provision of goods, including crucial products like medicines, will continue,’ said the Minister of Justice and Public Security.