The Norwegian government is introducing an obligation to test for COVID-19 for people traveling to Norway from January 2, 2021.
The test must be performed as soon as possible and no later than one day after arrival.
The travelers must come into Norway through border stations with testing, possibly with police control.
Several smaller border stations will be closed, a press release from the government notes.
“We are now twice as worried about imported infection. We are concerned about outbreaks of new mutated virus variants that may be more contagious, and that many people will return to Norway after Christmas from countries with far higher levels of infection than the one we have here,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg (H) said.
“We must do what we can”
It is estimated that the British coronavirus variant increases infectivity by 55-70%.
“If this mutation were to spread in Norway, it would probably require a full shutdown of society.
“We must do what we can to prevent the new virus variant from gaining a foothold in Norway. Testing is the only way to determine if travelers from ‘red’ countries carry this virus (variant),” Solberg said.
New assessment in four weeks
Children under the age of twelve do not need to be tested. Some exceptions are also made for, among others, people in critical social functions, border commuters, long-distance transport drivers, and diplomats.
The obligation to test for travelers from “red” countries is based on assessments from the National Institute of Public Health (FHI) and the Norwegian Directorate of Health.
The measure will be reconsidered after four weeks. Violation of the test obligation can result in fines, the government stated.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today