Timeline: News from Norwegian Ministries about the Coronavirus disease Covid-19

Timeline for news and press releases in English from Norwegian Ministries about the Coronavirus disease COVID-19.

  • 2021

    • More travellers need to stay at a quarantine hotel (07 May 2021)

      The government has decided that travelers who have stayed in countries outside the EEA / Schengen will go to quarantine hotels on arrival in Norway. This applies regardless of whether the trip has been necessary or not.

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    • Travel to Norway (07 May 2021)

      In order to limit import infection, foreigners' access to Norway has been tightened sharply. Only those non-Norwegian citizens who are residents of Norway are permitted to enter the country. This also applies to citizens of the EEA.

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    • The Government’s plan for a gradual reopening: Out of the crisis together (10 April 2021)

      The reopening plan of Norway is not scheduled on specific dates, but it clarifies the conditions that must be met for the reopening to happen. The plan also sets out the order in which the various parts of society will reopen. Data, not dates, decide the pace of the reopening process. Children and young people will be prioritised; next, jobs and the business sector.

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    • These are the recommendations for the Easter holidays (24 March 2021)

      These are the government recommendations on how to enjoy the holidays in a Covid-safe manner.

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    • The Government is implementing stricter national measures (24 March 2021)

      In order to prevent the spread of infection to the areas with low infection rates the Government, following the recommendations of the Norwegian Directorate of Health and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, is implementing stricter national measures. These measures are in effect from 00:01 Thursday, March 25, and will remain in force until further notice. A new assessment will be made before April 12.

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    • Limited expansion of exemption scheme to include specialist personnel who are involved in the construction, operation or maintenance of infrastructure (22 March 2021)

      In order to avoid the border closure having an excessive impact on infrastructure projects, the application-based exemption scheme is to be expanded to include specialist personnel who are required for the construction, operation or maintenance of infrastructure.

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    • Strict regional measures to be introduced throughout Viken county municipality (16 March 2021)

      Viken county municipality is experiencing heightened rates of infection involving the English strain of the virus, and is unable to contact trace a significant proportion of these infections. Following the recommendations of the county governor, the Norwegian Directorate of Health and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, the government is implementing Level A measures (a very high level of measures) across Viken county municipality, as well as in the municipality of Gran in Innlandet county municipality, effective 00:01 on Tuesday 16 March. These measures will remain in force until the end of Sunday 11 April.

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    • The government’s recommendations for Easter (12 March 2021)

      The Easter holidays are in just a few weeks’ time, which is why the government has today announced a series of recommendations on how to enjoy the holidays in a Covid-safe manner.

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    • More people must go into hotel quarantine and entry restrictions to be extended (12 March 2021)

      Anyone undertaking unnecessary leisure travel abroad must stay at a quarantine hotel when they return to Norway. In addition, the current strict entry restrictions are being extended, which generally means that only foreigners residing in Norway will be allowed to enter the country, initially up until 7 April.

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    • Changes to the vaccine strategy (10 March 2021)

      The government will follow the Norwegian Institute of Public Health’s recommendation to offer the AstraZeneca vaccine to people over the age of 65 based on new knowledge around the vaccine’s effectiveness on this demographic group. Following scientific advice from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, the government has resolved that the interval between the first and second dose may be extended from three to six weeks. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health will shortly reach a scientific conclusion. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health will also evaluate whether the interval may be extended beyond a period of six weeks.

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    • Income protection for locked out EEA citizens (10 March 2021)

      The government is to introduce a new compensation scheme for non-Norwegian employees who are unable to work in Norway due to the current tight border restrictions. This proposal will see all affected employees compensated for the period from 29 January onwards.

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    • Infections must fall (10 March 2021)

      The new strain of the virus is spreading quickly and infection rates are on the rise. Municipalities suffering from outbreaks have introduced strict measures. If infections do not fall, the government will be obliged to quickly introduce new nationwide measures.

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    • Solution for daily commuters from Sweden and Finland with a strict testing and control regime (26 February 2021)

      Daily commuters from Sweden and Finland have been in a particularly difficult situation since Norway’s border was, in effect, closed. Starting Monday 1 March, daily commuters from Sweden and Finland will again be able to come to work in Norway under a strict testing and control regime.

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    • The Government simplifies the scheme for regional coronavirus measures (24 February 2021)

      The Government has decided to simplify the regional measures implemented to combat local coronavirus outbreaks set out in the COVID-19 Regulations. The number of levels of measures has been reduced from four to three, and the terms ‘Ring 1’ and ‘Ring 2’ will no longer be used.

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    • National infection prevention measures: Easing of measures applicable to children, young people and students (19 February 2021)

      The government is largely extending the national infection prevention measures that are in place. There will be some easing of the measures applicable to children, young people and students.

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    • Stricter rules upon arrival in Norway (19 February 2021)

      The government is announcing new measures to limit the spread of Covid-19. The government will also increase its checks while enforcing stricter rules in relation to the use of quarantine hotels. The government is also establishing a limited, application-based scheme to facilitate exemptions from the entry restrictions in place. This will apply to technical personnel and will take effect on 20 February.

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    • Deportation of foreigners who do not register prior to arrival or submit to testing at the border (15 February 2021)

      The government has today introduced the statutory authority to deport foreign citizens who violate the testing and registration requirements stipulated in the Covid-19 regulations.

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    • How to spend your winter break in Norway (12 February 2021)

      It is almost the winter break, and in light of this the Norwegian Directorate of Health and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health have prepared national guidelines on how to plan and take holidays in a Covid-safe manner.

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    • Future scenarios for the pandemic (01 February 2021)

      The Government is now presenting three potential pathways for the pandemic and infection control measures going forward: An optimistic scenario, a middle-ground scenario and a pessimistic scenario.

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    • NOK 825 million for mandatory border testing (31 January 2021)

      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.

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    • Infection control measures are continued – but restrictions eased for children and young people (30 January 2021)

      The Government is continuing measures to reduce the rate of infection and prevent the contagious variant of the virus from spreading, but is relaxing restrictions for children and young people and workplaces.

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    • New financial measures to tackle the pandemic (29 January 2021)

      Today, the Government is presenting proposals for new, extended financial measures in the total amount of NOK 16 billion. The measures are aimed at young people, students and furloughed workers, among others.

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    • Norway introduces its strictest entry rules since March 2020 (27 January 2021)

      To limit the risk of transmitting the significantly more contagious variant of the coronavirus, the Government is imposing far stricter rules on foreign nationals who seek entry to Norway. In general, only foreign nationals who reside in Norway will be permitted to enter.

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    • Stricter rules for testing and quarantine upon arrival to stop coronavirus mutation (23 January 2021)

      The requirement to present a negative SARS-CoV-2 test prior to arrival when travelling to Norway is being amended to require a test taken 24 hours prior to departure instead of 72 hours. Furthermore, all persons who have been to the UK, South Africa, Ireland, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Brazil must undergo a PCR test at the Norwegian border. The quarantine rules are being tightened and will now apply to arrivals from all countries, with fewer exemptions in place and increased requirements in terms of testing.

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    • Strict measures in ten municipalities following UK COVID-19 mutation outbreak (23 January 2021)

      In order to halt the outbreak of the UK mutation in Nordre Follo, the Government has decided to impose very strict measures from 12.00 on Saturday 23 January in ten municipalities in Eastern Norway. The municipalities support the Government’s decision to adopt these measures.

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    • Continuation of most national measures but easing of measures for children and young people (18 January 2021)

      The Norwegian Government is generally continuing the strict infection control measures to prevent a new wave of infections but is easing some measures for children and young people. The national level of measures for schools is downgraded to yellow, and local sports and leisure activities for children and young people are no longer discouraged. The recommendation to avoid home visits remains in effect but everyone should limit social contact.

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    • Stricter measures to reduce import infection (13 January 2021)

      Norway has one of the strictest systems for entry and testing in Europe. The Norwegian Government is now further tightening the control system to limit import infection.

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    • Global travel advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be extended (12 January 2021)

      The global travel advice will be extended to apply until 1 March 2021.

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    • Introduction of further national infection prevention measures (04 January 2021)

      In order to maintain control of the spread of infection and to limit new increases in infection rates, strengthened national infection prevention measures are being implemented on a temporary basis for two weeks effective 4 January.

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    • Norway lifts ban on flights from United Kingdom from January 2nd 2021 (01 January 2021)

      The hold on direct flights from the United Kingdom will be repealed from Saturday January 2nd 2021.

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  • 2020

    • Mandatory testing for travellers to Norway (31 December 2020)

      From January 2nd 2021, the government has imposed mandatory testing for Covid-19 for all travellers to Norway. The test must be done as soon as possible and within 24 hours after arrival at the latest. Travellers must enter Norway through border stations with testing facilities or through border stations with police control. Several smaller border stations will be closed.

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    • New quarantine rules will contribute to more travellers being tested (29 December 2020)

      The Norwegian Government is introducing new quarantine rules to contribute to more people being tested and to improve compliance with the quarantine rules. Travellers arriving in Norway from abroad may, at the earliest, end quarantine on day seven if they test negative for Covid-19 twice after arrival. The first test must be taken within three days of arrival, and the second, at the earliest, seven days after arrival.

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    • Government introduced registration requirement for all people entering Norway (21 December 2020)

      Today the Norwegian Government approved an amendment to the COVID-19 regulations that requires all people entering into Norway to register themselves as a step in improving infection control. The amendment enters into force at 12 noon today, Monday 21 December.

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    • Norway to ban direct flights from the United Kingdom (21 December 2020)

      Norway is banning all direct flights from the United Kingdom with immediate effect. This measure will initially apply for a period of 48 hours, but it may be extended. Additionally, a series of restrictions applicable to travellers arriving from the United Kingdom will be tightened.

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    • Changes to quarantine hotel regulations (14 December 2020)

      Government amends Covid-19 regulations relating to quarantine hotels. The most recent change sees the removal of the requirements to stay in a quarantine hotel for persons whose stay is for purposes other than work or an assignment and who can document that they have access to another suitable location for their quarantine stay.

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    • Measures for Winter Fishing in Northern Norway (14 December 2020)

      The Government has established several measures to ensure that next year’s winter fishing will be carried out in a safe and orderly fashion.

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    • New statutory authority relating to requirements for a negative Covid-19 test result prior to entry into Norway and deportations in the event of violations of quarantine regulations (12 December 2020)

      The Ministry of Justice and Public Security has today proposed a new statutory authority governing the requirement for a negative Covid-19 test in order to be admitted to Norway. This will also make it easier to deport foreign citizens in the event that they commit serious violations of the quarantine regulations applicable to those arriving in Norway.

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    • Introduction of a digital travel registration system (10 December 2020)

      The government has decided to introduce a travel registration system, in which anyone wanting to cross Norwegian borders must register information including their name, contact details, quarantine location and employer if applicable.

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    • Infection prevention measures necessary during Christmas holidays (02 December 2020)

      Infection prevention measures will remain necessary during the Christmas holidays, but the government is introducing a number measures to allow people to celebrate Christmas and New Year in a way that is more similar to what they are used to.

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    • Continuation of controls at the internal borders (10 November 2020)

      On 16 March, Norway reintroduced controls at the internal borders as a measure to limit the spread of Covid-19. The Government has decided to continue these measures and will, in line with our obligations, notify the EU of this.

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    • Requirement of negative Covid-19 test to enter Norway (07 November 2020)

      The Government has today announced the introduction of the requirement of a negative Covid-19 test when entering Norway. Foreign nations who cannot present documentation of such a test can be refused entry.

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    • The Corona situation: Requirement to stay at quarantine hotel (07 November 2020)

      The Government is introducing a requirement that people in entry quarantine must stay at a quarantine hotel during the 10-day quarantine period. This requirement will not apply to people who reside in Norway or own a home or holiday home in Norway.

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    • National measures that apply to everyone from 5th November (07 November 2020)

      Key recommendations and advice that currently apply. Check your local municipal website for local rules.

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    • Stay at home, have as little social contact as possible (05 November 2020)

      Norway stands at the beginning of the second wave of infection. The virus is spreading rapidly and all counties now have outbreaks of infection. The Government is therefore introducing new national infection control measures.

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    • New national restrictions (26 October 2020)

      The Government is introducing new targeted measures for a time-limited period in order to safeguard life and health and to prevent Norway from ending up in the same situation as many other European countries.

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    • More family members may come to Norway (23 October 2020)

      The Government has decided to allow more family members from outside the EU/EEA to visit relatives in Norway. Grandparents are among those who will now be able to visit. The rules on entry quarantine remain unchanged.

    • Global travel advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be extended. Changes in the travel advice for the Nordic countries and Europe (24 September 2020)

      The global travel advice will be extended to apply until 15 January 2021. With regard to countries in the Schengen area/EEA, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is maintaining its advice against non-essential travel to all countries apart from those for which an exception has been made.

    • Norway to take on leading role in effort to beat the pandemic (07 September 2020)

      Norway is to lead the effort to ensure that the global activities to fight the Covid-19 pandemic are as effective as possible. Together with South Africa, Norway has been chosen to co-chair the Facilitation Council for the Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, which has been set up to promote equitable access to Covid-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.

    • Changes in the travel advice for Germany and Liechtenstein (26 August 2020)

      The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is now advising against non-essential travel to Germany and Liechtenstein, as well as to the regions of Kalmar and Västerbotten in Sweden.

    • Changes in the travel advice for Austria, Greece, Ireland, the UK and certain regions in Sweden and Denmark (19 August 2020)

      The Ministry of Foreign Affairs changes the advice for some countries in the EEA/Schengen area and is now advising against non-essential travel to Austria, Greece, Ireland, the UK and certain regions in Sweden and Denmark.

    • Norway extends global travel advice and makes changes for the Nordic region and Europe (12 August 2020)

      The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ global advice against non-essential travel to all countries has been extended and will now apply until 1 October.

    • Changes in the travel advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 15 July (10 July 2020)

      The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is introducing new exceptions to the travel advice against non-essential travel to all countries. The new exceptions apply to individual countries in the Schengen area/EEA from 15 July.

    • Economic measures in Norway in response to Covid-19 (20 May 2020)

      The Covid-19 outbreak is a serious threat to life and health. The worldwide outbreak has led to severe economic slowdown and huge uncertainty regarding future developments. The Norwegian Government has introduced significant measures to secure jobs, help businesses and people, and strengthen health services.

    • Norway contributes to IAEA test-kits against Covid-19 (18 April 2020)

      Norway contributes NOK 22,5 million to Covid-19 test-kits provided by The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).


    • New measures to curb the financial impacts of the coronavirus outbreak (28 March 2020)

      Friday 27 March, the Government put forward additional financial measures to address the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak.

    • Norway’s health-related measures during the COVID-19 pandemic (27 March 2020)

      The Government will allocate more than NOK 2 billion to the development of vaccines to protect us against pandemics. New digital solutions are being developed to make COVID-19 contact tracing easier.

    • Norway to increase support for vaccine development by NOK 2.2 billion (27 March 2020)

      Norway is to increase its support for the work to develop vaccines against the virus that has caused the current Covid-19 pandemic and against future epidemics by NOK 2.2 billion.

    • Norway to contribute more than NOK 13 million to Malawi’s response to Covid-19 (26 March 2020)

      Minister of International Development Dag-Inge Ulstein spoke on the phone today with Malawi’s Minister of Health and Population, Jappie Mhango. Norway is to contribute NOK 13.4 million for the procurement of urgently needed equipment, including personal protective equipment for health workers, in the country.

    • Coronavirus measures to continue (24 March 2020)

      The Government is continuing all the measures implemented to combat the coronavirus outbreak in Norway until over the Easter holiday, through 13 April.

    • Guarantee and loan programmes improving liquidity for Norwegian companies (20 March 2020)

      The government has proposed to establish a loan programme where lenders receive a guarantee on 90 percent of the value of new loans issued to small and medium-sized enterprises hit by the coronavirus outbreak. The government has also proposed to reinstate the Government Bond Fund as a measure to support larger companies. The two programmes combined will cover up to NOK 100 billion in loans and will contribute to improved liquidity access for Norwegian companies, and thus help secure jobs.

    • Changes to the rules for temporary layoffs and unemployment benefits (20 March 2020)

      The number of people being laid off temporarily has shot up since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. Both people who are laid off or lose their jobs and employers will receive more compensation under new rules.

    • Norway mobilises international support for vaccine development effort (18 March 2020)

      Several countries are now supporting Norway’s appeal for funding for the development of a vaccine against the Covid-19 virus. Germany, Sweden, Finland and Denmark are among the countries that are now pledging millions.

    • Large compensation scheme for culture, voluntary sector and sport (18 March 2020)

      ‘It is a very demanding time for the culture, voluntary and sport sectors, with businesses, organisations, clubs, associations and individuals seeing their income completely or partially disappear almost overnight. The Government will do what we can to help remedy the situation, and I am pleased to present a set of robust measures,’ said Minister of Culture and Equality Abid Q. Raja.

    • Foreign nationals with no symptoms of coronavirus infection may leave Norway (17 March 2020)

      People who are in quarantine, but who are symptom-free, may now leave Norway on condition that sound infection control measures are practiced during transport from the place of quarantine to the place of departure.

    • Government cooperating with airlines to assist Norwegians in travelling home (17 March 2020)

      ‘We are in a serious and unpredictable situation. It is becoming harder for many Norwegian citizens to return home because more and more countries are closing their borders and airspace and introducing states of emergency. The Government wants very much to help travelling Norwegians get safely home to Norway. We are therefore working closely with SAS, Norwegian and Widerøe airlines to help Norwegian citizens who are now on trips abroad to return to Norway,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.

    • Joint statement by the Nordic and Baltic Foreign Ministers (17 March 2020)

      On 16 March, the Nordic and Baltic countries' Foreign Ministers and Norway's State Secretary decided to help their citizens in their return home.

    • Voluntary sector retains state support (17 March 2020)

      ‘I am pleased, as the Minister of Culture and Equality, to assure voluntary organisations on behalf of the Government that they will keep state grants which they have already received or for which an administrative decision has been taken that they are to receive. This concerns activities that cannot be carried out due to rules issued by the health authorities,’ said Minister of Culture and Gender Equality Abid Q. Raja (Liberal Party).

    • NOK 100 billion worth of guarantees and loans in crisis support for businesses (16 March 2020)

      The government has proposed two new loan measures, providing support of a total of NOK 100 billion. The package will improve Norwegian businesses’ access to the necessary liquidity in the challenging situation they are now facing.

    • All goods traffic to proceed as normal (15 March 2020)

      All transport of goods, both import and export, which does not involve the carriage of passengers is to carry on as normal by road, trains, ships and aircraft. Airports, ports and border crossings are being kept open for such traffic.

    • Stricter border controls being introduced – Norwegian airports not closing (15 March 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.

      Norwegian airports are not closing. All Norwegian citizens and persons who live or work in Norway will continue to be let into the country.

    • New regulations on quarantine etc. after travelling outside the Nordic region (14 March 2020)

      Regulations on quarantine etc. after travelling outside the Nordic region were approved in the Council of State on 13 March 2020. In addition, the King’s special authority pursuant to section 7-12 of the Act relating to control of communicable diseases was delegated to the Ministry of Health and Care Services. The Regulations repeal the Regulations relating to a Decision under to the Act relating to control of communicable diseases, section 4-1, second paragraph, on quarantine (isolation) after travelling outside the Nordic region, which was adopted by the Directorate of Health on 12 March 2020.

    • Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against non-essential travel to all countries (14 March 2020)

      The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against all international travel that is not strictly necessary. The reason is the increasing spread of coronavirus internationally and the unpredictable and difficult situation faced by many travellers. For now, this advice will remain in effect until 14 April.

    • Travel advice for the United States and France (13 March 2020)

      The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against trips to the United States and France that are not strictly necessary.

    • The Government acts to mitigate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy (13 March 2020)

      The fundamentals of the Norwegian economy are strong, with a dynamic business sector, a well-functioning labour market and resilient banks. A robust economic policy framework provides flexibility, and strong public finances make the government well positioned to support the economy when needed. Furthermore, over the last years the Norwegian economy has become much less dependent on the oil and gas industry than before the drop in oil-prices in 2014.

    • Reduction of the countercyclical buffer (13 March 2020)

      Today, the Ministry of Finance has decided to follow Norges Bank’s advice to reduce the countercyclical capital buffer requirement from 2.5 to 1 percent with immediate effect. Norges Bank says that there is a risk of a pronounced economic downturn as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The buffer requirement is reduced to prevent tighter lending standards from amplifying a downturn.

    • Norwegian citizens may face new measures when entering other countries (11 March 2020)

      The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to make Norwegian citizens aware of the fact that certain countries are introducing measures and/or restrictions for people entering their countries. This will affect Norwegian citizens or others travelling to these countries from Norway. Norwegian citizens who are currently travelling, or who are considering travelling, are therefore urged to familiarise themselves with the rules for entry into the country or countries concerned.

    • Coronavirus: Norwegian authorities are closely monitoring the situation (27 February 2020)

      The first cases of the coronavirus has been confirmed in Norway. The Norwegian health authorities are monitoring the situation closely and are prepared for more cases.