Two mandatory tests: Norway is introducing stricter corona measures for travelers from South Africa

GardermoenPhoto: Terje Pedersen / NTB

Both the Norwegian Directorate of Health and the National Institute of Public Health (FHI) recommend stricter measures for travelers from South Africa in order to prevent the spread of a new virus variant in Norway. The government is now following their advice.

From January 15, new requirements for testing will also be introduced for travelers from South Africa, the government announced on Friday night.

Everyone who arrives from South Africa after January 15 will have to take two tests. 

The first as soon as possible and no later than one day after arrival, and they can only test themselves with a PCR test. 

The second test has to be taken no earlier than seven days after arrival. The result must be available before the quarantine ends – not earlier than ten days after arrival.

The first test should, as far as it’s possible, take place at the airport or other border station. Otherwise, travelers must contact the municipality or another test station to book a corona test.

Requirement details

The new test requirement applies to everyone who has stayed in South Africa during the last 14 days before arrival. 

The test requirement does not apply to children under the age of twelve.

At the same time, several of the exceptions from the quarantine requirements for persons who have resided in South Africa for the past two weeks before arriving in Norway have been removed or tightened. 

Among other things, exceptions for international sports competitions are being revoked.

High risk of imported infection

The stricter measures come after a recommendation from the FHI and the Norwegian Directorate of Health that travelers from South Africa must be treated on an equal footing with travelers from the United Kingdom. 

The measure is proposed to reduce the spread of virus mutations from the two countries. The mutation in the United Kingdom has spread rapidly in Denmark and Ireland, among other places. 

According to the Norwegian Directorate of Health, the Danish authorities believe that this virus variant will become dominant in mid-February.

The FHI considers that the risk is high for the import of both virus variants and that the consequences of that could be moderate to large.

Up to Thursday, 23 cases of the British virus variant and one case of the South African virus have been discovered in Norway. 

For the time being, there is no basis for tightening the entry rules for other countries, the recommendation stated.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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