Official update: Norway extends travel ban for direct flights from the UK until Christmas

Bent HøiePhoto: Berit Roald / NTB
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Norway decided to extend its travel ban for direct flights from the UK until and including Christmas Day. The travel ban could be continued after that, the government states.

The ban on direct flights is maintained to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus variant that has been discovered in the UK, the government wrote in a press release on Wednesday morning.

“We want more time to acquire more knowledge about the virus variant and prevent its spread in Norway. 

“If this variant of the virus does not exist in the country, there will be major health benefits by shutting it out,” Minister of Health and Care Services Bent Høie (H) said.

New extensions

On Monday, the Norwegian government introduced a 48-hour ban on direct flights from the UK to Norway, after a new coronavirus variant estimated to be 70% more contagious than the original variant has spread in London and parts of England recently.

Høie says that it is important to assess the situation on an ongoing basis in order to implement the right measures. 

On Tuesday, the European Commission recommended that EU Member States lift the travel restrictions against the United Kingdom.

Future assessments

The Norwegian Directorate of Health has been commissioned to assess whether the ban of direct flights should be continued until January 2. 

The Directorate is also tasked with considering the Commission’s recommendations.

“Norway is among the countries with the strictest entry restrictions in Europe. 

“We are now working to put in place a system for electronic registration of all travelers, in addition to requirements for a negative test and the ten-day quarantine,” Høie said.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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