Travelers from the UK and some EEA/Schengen countries to be exempt from quarantine hotels

Quarantine hotelPhoto: Torstein Bøe / NTB
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The distinction between necessary and unnecessary travel is being removed on entry to Norway for travelers from the UK and EEA/Schengen countries with low infection rates – these travelers will not have to go to quarantine hotels from May 27.

> Solberg: The next step in the reopening of Norway will take place on May 27

People who have been in areas with high corona infection rates must go to quarantine hotels, regardless of the purpose of the trip. Exceptions from the entry restrictions are introduced for foreigners residing in areas that are not subject to quarantine obligations in Norway.

“We are now changing the rules for quarantine hotels. We are removing the distinction between necessary and unnecessary travel upon entry to Norway. We will look at the infection pressure in individual countries. 

“This means that travelers from the United Kingdom and EEA/Schengen countries with low infection rates will avoid quarantine hotels. People who have been in areas with high infection rates must, in the future, be quarantined in hotels. 

“This applies even if the trip was a necessary business trip. As soon as we have in place documentation that is digital, secure, and verifiable, protected persons, including those who have received the first dose of the vaccine more than three weeks ago, will no longer have to go to quarantine hotels,” Minister of Justice and Emergency Management Monica Mæland (H) said.

The following groups will be affected by the new quarantine hotel rules from Thursday, May 27:

  • Travelers outside Europe must, in principle, got to quarantine hotels throughout the quarantine period until a negative test at the earliest after seven days.
  • Travelers from European countries with fewer than 150 new infection cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days, and 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.
  • Travelers from the United Kingdom and EEA/Schengen countries who have more than 150 infected per 100,000 must go to quarantine hotels until they have had a negative test taken after three days at the earliest. They must complete the quarantine at home or at another suitable quarantine location and can test themselves to get out of the quarantine at the earliest after seven days.
  • Travelers from European countries with particularly high infection rates must be in quarantine hotels until a negative test is taken at the earliest after seven days. More information about this group will be announced later.

Exceptions

Exceptions out of strong welfare considerations will be continued. Exceptions will also be made for seafarers who have stayed in countries outside the EEA/Schengen and the United Kingdom and who must enlist in Norway.

Seafarers must still be quarantined at hotels after returning home but can complete the quarantine before enlisting on board the ship. These changes take effect from today, May 21.

Top athletes eligible for the Olympics or Paralympic Games and necessary support staff also qualify for changes in entry quarantine and exemptions from the requirement to stay in quarantine hotels after being abroad to compete as part of preparations and qualification for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. They must be quarantined until a negative test is taken on day three at the earliest after their return.

Restricting access to Norway for foreigners

“The strict measures at our borders have had an effect. The imported 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. Still, we now give exceptions for those who live in countries where the infection is so low,” Minister of Justice and Emergency Management Monica Mæland said.

Entry is open to foreigners residing in countries/areas that are not subject to quarantine obligations (“yellow countries”) in Norway. Today, this applies to Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and parts of Finland, but this will change as more countries vaccinate the population, and the infection rates fall. This exception will be introduced shortly.

The United Kingdom will be included in this scheme and thus be assessed according to the same criteria as the EEA/Schengen countries.

A reassessment of the restrictions on entry restrictions will be made in connection with step 3 of the reopening plan. Then, among other things, further relief will be considered for business travelers, family, girlfriends and boyfriends, and international students and pupils.

The Norwegian Directorate of Health and the FHI have recently made comprehensive recommendations on which entry rules should apply until everyone over the age of 18 in Norway has been offered a vaccine.

Among the advice, there is also a three-day entry quarantine for vaccinated people during this period, so Norway will extend its global travel advice until the end of July. The government has not yet taken a position on these proposals, as it believes there is reason to question whether the recommendations are too strict. The government has asked health experts to make a new assessment.

“When we have received new professional advice, we will consider removing the entry quarantine completely for those who are protected with a vaccine or have immunity as a result of having had corona. However, this will require that we have a verifiable corona certificate in place first,” Minister of Health and Care Services Bent Høie said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is extending its global travel advice against travel until July 1, as there is still a significant risk that travel abroad could lead to more infection, and the import of new virus variants could make it more difficult to reopen Norway.

“The government’s gradual reopening plan is underway, but the health authorities recommend avoiding travel abroad until a larger proportion of Norwegians have been vaccinated. That is why we are extending the global travel advice until July 1. We do not want to have the travel council longer than necessary,” Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide said.

Source: The Norwegian government / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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