Norway has imposed stricter entry restrictions on travelers arriving from all EU countries. The move comes as a result of the Covid-19 situation worsening both in Norway and in several different European countries, with the Scandinavian nation enforcing the new measures in the hope that it keeps its people safer from Covid-19. A popular destination from travelers during winter, the news is bound to come as a shock for travelers the world over – but travel is still possible.
Whilst the measures taken by Norway might appear strong to some, other countries on the continent – such as the Netherlands and Austria – have taken a much stronger approach in the past week by enforcing strict lockdowns for the first time in Europe since summer. Here’s a look at Norway’s new border restrictions, who they will affect, plus a recap of other Covid-19 related measures taken in Europe this week.
Norway’s Stricter Requirements – What Travelers Should Know
The number of cases of Covid-19 has risen significantly in Norway over the past month. In the past week alone, Norway recorded its highest Covid-19 figures of the pandemic alone, with the daily average over the past 7 days sitting above 2,000. With the Norwegian government keen to remedy the situation as quickly as possible, they announced on Friday that they would be changing the country’s entry restrictions in what could be the first of several potential moves to halt the spread of the virus.
The news was announced in a press conference by Norway’s justice minister Emilie Enger Mehl. Starting from next Friday, November 26th, all travelers entering Norway must register their arrival into the country, regardless of vaccination status, residency status and nationality. Until now, only those who arrived and were unvaccinated needed to register their arrival. Children under the age of 16 are exempt from the requirement.
For unvaccinated travelers, there are even more requirements they will need to fulfil to enter the country. Both unvaccinated travelers and those who can prove their recovery from the virus with a health pass must be tested at the border. In the event of a traveler crossing a border without a place to test – such as a land border – they must submit a test result within 24 hours of arriving in Norway.
In addition to testing at the border, unvaccinated and recently recovered travelers will need to provide a negative test result taken within 24 hours of traveling to Norway. For those who test positive at any stage, the country’s existing quarantine rules will remain the same; they will be able to complete 10 days of quarantine in their home or other suitable location, or in a quarantine hotel.
Fortunately, travel to Norway is still possible for many travelers – but those who don’t follow the Covid-19 requirements could find themselves in trouble. Speaking about the matter, Mehl said:
“Everyone who meets the Immigration Act’s requirements for entry will have the opportunity to do so. But there is still a basis for expelling foreigners who do not comply with the requirements, and Norwegians can also be fined or reported if they do not meet the requirements.”
Elsewhere on the continent, two countries have gone into lockdown for the first time since the summer. The Netherlands has went into a partial lockdown for three weeks, whilst Austria has been placed under a stricter form of lockdown until mid-December as the situation continues to deteriorate.