Norway Lifted Coronavirus Restrictions, Removal of Entry Restrictions
- Özgür Töre
The Norwegian government on Saturday, Sept. 25 announced the end of all national coronavirus measures including social distancing rules, capacity limits on businesses and restrictions on opening hours for bars and restaurants.
“It is 561 days since we introduced the toughest measures in Norway in peacetime,” said Erna Solberg, the country’s prime minister at a press conference held on Friday.
Local municipalities can still introduce mandates and recommendations, such as the use of face masks on public transit.
Some 76% of all Norwegians have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 67% of the population is fully vaccinated, according to the Institute of Public Health.
The Norwegian Government will remove entry restrictions in three phases. Phase 1 began on Saturday 25 September at 4 pm.
From then, all EEA nationals, including people from other countries who reside in the EEA, may enter Norway. The same applies to people who live in the UK and Switzerland.
Norway will also allow all foreign nationals who live in purple countries to enter Norway. These are countries outside the EEA/Schengen area which the Norwegian Institute of Public Health has determined can have slightly lighter restrictions. At present, the purple countries are New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Taiwan.
Entry will provisionally be permitted from the 35 approved border crossing points for people who do not have special exemptions. Border crossing points that have been shut will be reopened once the municipality at the border has established testing, and good information has been devised for travelers.
The police will prioritise border control of travellers from areas with a high infection rate. Controls of travellers from areas with a low infection rate will be given lower priority, while spot checks will be conducted.
Quarantine and testing
Travel quarantine will no longer be required for travelers from orange areas. Travel quarantine will now only be required for travellers arriving from red, dark red, purple, and grey countries (other third countries).
Travel quarantine will no longer be required for children under the age of 18. The duty to take a test at the border will be kept for children who arrive from an area that triggers a duty to quarantine. They are also advised to take a test after three days.
Adult travellers from areas that trigger a duty to quarantine may leave travel quarantine if they can present a negative result from a PCR test taken no sooner than 3 days after arrival. The duty to take a PCR test 7 days after arrival will cease to apply.
The duty to stay at a quarantine hotel will cease to apply, but travellers may stay at a quarantine hotel if they have no other suitable accommodation. People who are already staying at a quarantine hotel when the new rules enter into effect may complete the rest of their quarantine period at the hotel if they so wish.
The requirement to take a COVID-19 test before arrival in Norway will be lifted.
The requirement to take a test when crossing the border/upon arrival will be lifted for travellers from green and orange countries/areas. The test requirement will be kept for travellers arriving from areas that trigger a duty to quarantine.
All people who are fully vaccinated and have valid documentation will be exempt from quarantine and testing.
Changes in Phase 2
In Phase 2, the Norwegian Government plans to also lift the restrictions on who may enter the country from a country on the EU's list of third countries. The duty to quarantine will cease to apply, first for countries in the EEA/Schengen area and purple countries, next for all countries on the EU's list of third countries. The requirement to take a test at the border and the requirement to complete entry registration will be lifted correspondingly.
Changes in Phase 3
In Phase 3, a detailed assessment will be made of what restrictions to keep for entry into Norway, as well as of the associated quarantine rules. The powers will be kept. The duty to take a test upon arrival and to take a PCR test will cease to apply in Phase 3, but may be reintroduced as needed. Preparedness will be maintained for border control along the interior Schengen border.