Travel starts to open up

Norway scraps quarantine hotels for travelers from some countries

a man walking towards passport control at an airport

Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB
Travelers entering Norway from the European Economic Area will face eased restrictions.

FRAZER NORWELL
The Local

Norway is scrapping quarantine hotels and easing entry restrictions for travelers from the United Kingdom and European Economic Area (EEA) or Schengen countries where infections are low enough, the government confirmed on May 21. 

The government also said it is scrapping the distinction between “necessary” and “unnecessary” trips, which means that travelers arriving from the United Kingdom and EEA and Schengen countries will no longer need to enter quarantine hotels and can quarantine at home or another suitable location. 

“We are now changing the rules for quarantine hotels. We are removing the distinction between necessary and unnecessary travel when entering Norway,” Justice Minister Monica Mæland said in a statement.

Previously, those returning from unnecessary trips would have to enter quarantine hotels for a minimum of seven of Norway’s 10-day quarantine period. 

Those returning from essential trips were exempt. Essential trips included those taken to visit your children, go to a funeral, or to see a relative or close relation with a severe or terminal illness, as well as strictly necessary maintenance on a holiday home in Sweden or Finland. 

Now, Norway is assessing whether arrivals will enter quarantine hotels based on the infection situation in the country they are arriving from.

Travelers from European countries that have fewer than 150 new infections per 100,000 people in the previous 14 days will no longer be required to enter a quarantine hotel.

“This means that travelers from the United Kingdom and EEA or Schengen countries with low infection also avoid quarantine hotels,” Mæland said. 

Those coming from areas outside the EEA, Schengen, and the United Kingdom will still have to enter the quarantine hotel. 

People will still be able to test themselves out of quarantine hotels after seven days. 

The new rules on quarantine hotels were put into place on May 27. 

Easing entry requirements 

Entry into Norway will also open to foreigners from “yellow countries.” Yellow countries are deemed to have low enough levels of infection to allow entry into Norway. Arrivals from yellow countries also do not need to quarantine, according to helsenorge.no.

Currently, this only applies to Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and parts of Finland. The list of yellow countries is expected to  grow in the future.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH), along with the Norwegian Directorate of Health, will make a weekly assessment of the infection situation in the European Union/EEA/Schengen areas, as well as the United Kingdom, and update it once a week, according to the NIPH website.

Entry into Norway will still be limited to a very small group of people outside of residents, citizens, those from yellow countries, and those considered exempt. 

Travelers will still need to complete the registration form before their departure, present a negative rapid antigen or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and undergo testing when they arrive in Norway.

The government has extended its travel advice until July 1, meaning advice against all non-essential foreign travel remains in place. 

This article originally appeared in the June 4, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

The Local

This article first appeared in The Local, a independent source for Norway's news in English. Visit www.thelocal.no.

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