Norway is relaxing entry and quarantine restrictions for travelers from European countries where the risk of COVID-19 infection is low.
The Norwegian government said it is removing the distinction between necessary and unnecessary travel so that travelers from countries in the United Kingdom, European Economic Area (EEA) or Schengen countries with a good epidemiological situation do not have to enter hotel quarantine upon arrival. People who are traveling to Norway from areas with high infection rates, or from outside Europe, must complete a 10-day hotel quarantine, though the can leave after seven days if they present a negative test result.
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"We are now changing the rules for quarantine hotels," Monica Mæland, Norway's Minister of Justice, said in a statement. "We remove the distinction between necessary and unnecessary travel when entering Norway, and rather look at the infection pressure in individual countries."
This means travelers from European countries that have fewer than 150 new infections per 100,000 people in the last 14 days, and where a maximum of 4% of those tested are positive, do not have to stay in quarantine hotels. They must carry out the quarantine at home or in another suitable quarantine place.
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"The strict measures at our borders have had an effect. The import infection has decreased, but the infection situation in the world around us is still complex and serious in many places. We must continue with strict restrictions on foreigners' access to Norway," added Mæland.
The amended rules will come into force on Thursday, May 27 as Norway enters the second phase of its journey out of lockdown with the return of domestic travel. Cultural attractions across have already begun welcoming back visitors, and new attractions are preparing to open down the line, including the new Munch Museum this autumn in Oslo, and the National Museum in 2022.
The government is advising against non-essential international travel until July and is encouraging Norwegians to holiday at home. As it is not part of the EU, Norway will not be participating in EU green certificate scheme in July but will instead launch its own digital certificate to allow anyone vaccinated or immune from the virus, or who has tested negative, to travel to Norway.
This article was first published on July 13, 2020 and updated on May 24, 2021.