Travel advice

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against all international travel that is not strictly necessary. This is the strictest travel advice that can be given. The general advice on limiting leisure travels in Norway is now eased.

Foto: Mostphotos/Chad McDermott

The infection situation is constantly evolving, both in Norway and globally. The travel advice is therefore being updated as new information becomes available. It is important that you familiarize yourself with the current infection control advice for the area you want to travel to.

The updated advice presented here are valid from 15th May 2020 until further notice.

 

Domestic leisure travel

Based on the improved infection situation, leisure travels in Norway can now be done, provided that you travel in a way that will prevent you from spreading the infection. This means that the advice on limiting leisure travels in Norway is now eased.

To travel in a way that will prevent you from spreading the infection means that you:

  • Do not travel if you are ill, nor to a holiday property
  • Maintain good hand and cough hygiene
  • Keep at least 1 metre distance to those you do not live with

The advice will help prevent and limit the transmission and spread of covid-19.

The key measure for infection control is that you stay at home if you are ill. Good cough etiquette and social distancing is crucial in order to limit droplet transmission. Reduced contact between people, by keeping distance and avoiding larger crowds, reduces the risk of transmission - also prior to symptoms developing. Good hand hygiene, and in particular avoiding touching your face with hands that might carry infection, is important to avoid indirect contact transmission.

Planning trips with a view to avoid transmission between places is a good advice, e.g by limiting travel that involve close contact with many people, perhaps at several locations. Travels where you are mostly with your own family members or others who you would already have been in contact with at home pose less risk of transmission.

It is important to follow the general advice for leisure travel:

  • If you are ill with symptoms of respiratory infection or fever you should not travel for leisure, nor to a holiday property. Stay at home if you are ill.
  • Make sure you keep at least one metre distance to others as recommended by the health authorities. As far as possible, you should only spend time with those you usually are with and are travelling with.
  • Avoid crowded stores that are designed to accommodate fewer people.
  • Avoid public transport if you can (see recommendations for public transport in general.)
  • You should not travel or go to a holiday property if you are in quarantine. Exceptions apply if you show no symptoms and overnight stay at the holiday property is the only way to avoid close contact with a member of your household who is infected with covid-19.
  • Should you turn ill while travelling or while at a holiday property you should go home, if your state of health permits you to do so.

The reason why the authorities are now easing the advice on leisure travels in Norway is that the current level of covid-19 infection in society after several weeks of comprehensive measures is low. A range of measures have been implemented in all parts of society, measures that together limit the spread of infection. With the increased freedom of movement, it is especially important to remember that everyone has an individual responsibility to contribute to good infection control and follow the advice given.

Advice on sound infection control for businesses that offer accommodation, dining, activities and equipment rental etc have been prepared (in Norwegian).

Svalbard

Entry quarantine for residents of Svalbard and those with an established work attachment or research assignment in Svalbard is lifted from May 15th 2020.

From June 1st the Government will open for tourists to travel from mainland Norway to Svalbard. Up until now there has been a general entry quarantine for travellers from mainland Norway.

Guidelines for the travel and leisure sector have been prepared on how to operate responsibly in line with infection control measures. A gradual reopening is planned.

International leisure travel

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintains the current travel advice and advises against all international travel that is not strictly necessary until August 20th. In this situation, the advice from the ministry is closely linked to quarantine regulations and entry restrictions.

The travel advice is intended to reduce the risk of Norwegian citizens being infected abroad and of infected persons coming to Norway.

At the same time, the authorities are trying to ease the restriction:

  • Within June 15th, exemptions from the travel advice for the Nordic countries will be considered.
  • Within July 20th, exemptions from the travel advice for some nearby European countries will be considered. This will be assessed in consultation between the foreign, health and justice authorities.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs provide travel advice related to the coronavirus.

If tourists arrive in Norway, they may be turned away at the border and returned to their home country.

Some EEA-citizens can now visit Norway

On May 12th, the rules for EU/EEA citizens traveling to Norway were changed.

As a consequence, family members of EEA-citizens and EEA-citizens who are family members of Norwegian citizens can travel to Norway.  This means that EU/EEA citizens can now travel to Norway to visit their spouse, cohabitant or children under the age of 18. Children under the age of 18 can also visit their parents in Norway.

Furthermore, EEA-citizens who own property in Norway, including holiday properties, can now visit.

Please note that everyone entering Norway must adhere to the at any given time applicable quarantine rules.

Quarantine for persons arriving in Norway from abroad

Anyone returning from an international travel must stay in home quarantine for 10 days after the date of their return to Norway.

If you are in quarantine and develop symptoms such as cough, fever or breathing difficulties, you should stay at home and not go out for at least 24 hours after full recovery. Contact the healthcare services if you need medical attention.
 

How should tourists relate to the recommendation to stay at home for 10 days upon arrival in Norway?

Anyone who arrives in Norway must familiarize themselves with the situation.

If tourists come to Norway, they may be turned away at the border and returned to their home country.

Exceptions to the quarantine rules

The quarantine rules do not apply to persons who cross the border between Norway, Sweden and Finland during the time they are travelling between home and their place of work, and the time they are at work. They must simultaneously relate to current rules in Sweden or Finland.

Persons who cross the border between Sweden and Norway or Finland and Norway to perform maintenance that is strictly necessary and supervision to avert major material damage to holiday properties in Sweden or Finland are exempt from quarantine upon returning to Norway. Exceptions do not apply if the person stays overnight at the holiday property or somewhere else in Sweden or Finland prior to returning to Norway. Nor do the exceptions apply if the person has visited stores or malls etc. in Sweden or Finland or has been in close contact with anyone who is not part of their own household.

Persons who cross the border in order to be with children as part of access and contact arrangements between parents and children or children living in two homes are exempt from quarantine.

The entity's management can make exceptions from the quarantine rules for persons who are essential to maintain the proper operation of critical public functions related to matters of life and health.

Functions related to matters of life and health refers to:

  • duty shifts performed in the health and care services
  • safety work (police, fire and rescue preparedness)
  • the senior management of critical public functions

Exceptions do not apply during leisure time, only while at work or during the time you are travelling between home and your place of work by other means than public transport.  Avoid close contact with other persons as far as possible.

Advice before travel (if you must travel)

As part of the preparations, you should check what is covered by your travel insurance, including what applies if you become ill during your journey.

Each country may introduce measures and restrictions to prevent further transmission, e.g. transport restrictions, quarantine or other measures that can have consequences for travellers. Several countries and airports have introduced control measures and with borders closed to people who are not resident in the country. Travellers should be prepared to answer questions about their health and might be denied entry or be placed in quarantine.

Consider the following before travel:

  • Risk of being infected while travelling (destination, duration, contact with other people).
  • Risk of travel restrictions, curfews, quarantine or other measures in the country you are travelling to.
  • Risk of capacity problems in the healthcare service at the destination if you become ill.
  • Risk of lack of possibilities of return travel or medical repatriation.
  • Risk of home quarantine in Norway on your return.
  • Risk of not being able to work during the first 10 days after travel (applies to healthcare personnel in particular, but other employees may also have rules about this).

Travellers belonging to risk groups should be vaccinated against seasonal influenza within 14 days before departure.

It is also important to familiarize yourself with the general travel advice related to vaccines for other infectious diseases as well as other preventative measures.

Advice during travel (if you must travel)

  • Thorough hand washing with soap and water is an important preventative measure to limit further transmission. Alcohol-based hand disinfection may be an alternative if hand-washing facilities are not available.
  • Avoid contact with persons who are ill, especially those with symptoms of a respiratory tract infection.
  • Avoid coughing onto others, wash your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid travelling if you are ill.

Students and other people who are staying in areas with widespread transmission over a longer period should follow the advice from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, local health authorities and the educational institution/employer.

Why are restrictions on entry imposed, including air traffic and shipping?

Comprehensive measures have been implemented in order to reduce the risk of infection, including measures to prevent entry. People will either be turned away or quarantined. This also applies to aircrafts, cruise ships and other vessels.

Exempted from the entry ban are:

  • Those that are returning and have a residence permit in Norway.
  • Seasonal workers from within the EEA who will be working in agriculture, horticulture, forestry and the food industry. Seasonal workers must provide documentation that they will be working in Norway.

People who arrive in Norway must stay in quarantine for 10 days from the date of arrival, also if they are exempt from the entry ban.

What if I arrive at a Norwegian airport and have a connecting domestic flight?

Healthy persons without any symptoms can travel onwards to their final destination and then stay in quarantine in their own home.

Persons with symptoms can be transported – e.g. by private car – to their place of residence based on guidance from the municipal health officer. An alternative emergency measure would be to keep the person in quarantine in the municipality where the airport is located.

What about Norwegians who will be returning from abroad?

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urges all Norwegian citizens on abroad travels to consider going home as soon as possible - in a safe and calm manner - in consultation with their travel agency or airline.

Travel advice for persons in risk groups and their relatives

​Advice for persons in risk groups is given in in a separate article on risk groups. An explanation of who has a slight increase of risk and who has a higher risk is also given in that article.

When the level of infection in society is low and you have only a slightly increased risk, you can basically travel like others do while taking extra care to follow the general advice on infection control. As an example, this may imply that grandparents can spend their vacation with their family.

For persons with a definite elevated risk but only a low level of infection in society such as at present, you need to make an individual assessment on whether you should travel or not, and with whom you can travel.

Conditions to be considered:

  • Travel duration
  • Proximity to those you travel with and with whom you are not normally in close contact, the number of persons you travel with and whether it will be possible also during the journey to have separate bedrooms and toilets
  • Whether it will be easy to return home if someone should turn ill
  • Access to health services during the journey

Persons in risk groups will in many situations be able to plan for trips with children, grandchildren or others they are close to but do not usually spend time with, in a way where the risk of transmission can be reduced. If the level of infection in society increases, those with only a slightly increased risk should also consider whether or not to travel, while those at a higher risk of a more severe disease progression are discouraged from travelling under such circumstances. For more on this, refer to the article on risk groups.

Recommendations for public transport

When travelling by public transport, people often gather in crowds and it can be difficult to keep sufficient distance to others. It is therefore recommended to limit the use of public transport.
Transmission can occur prior to (waiting area, bus-stop, boarding), during or after (disembarking, baggage claim) travelling by public transport.

Public transport

Recommendations for public transport journeys:

  • Do not travel if you are ill.
  • Keep a minimum distance of one metre to your fellow passengers. If crowded, consider postponing your trip.
  • No more than half of the available seats should be in use. Thus, there should only be passengers in every other seat at the most. You can sit next to those who live in your own household.
  • Avoid coughing or sneezing in the direction of your fellow passengers. If you need to cough or sneeze you should use a paper tissue that you then dispose of, or the crook of your elbow.
  • Keep a good hand hygiene prior to, during and after travelling.
    Avoid unnecessary touching of surfaces.
  • Be considerate of your fellow passengers and other who travel, in particular elderly people.
  • If you take a taxi you should sit in the back seat.

Persons who are in quarantine or home isolation should not travel by public transport.

Read the full Infection control guidelines for public transport (bus, train, tram, etc) (in Norwegian).

Flights

Keeping one seat empty between each passenger in the cabin is recommended. Travelers living in the same household can sit next to each other.

Persons with an acute respiratory tract infection should stay at home, even if the symptoms are only mild. Persons who are in quarantine or home isolation should not be at the airport or travel by air. This applies both to passengers and employees.

Read the guideline for infection control in aviation connected to the covid-19 outbreak (in Norwegian).

​Swimming, beach life and outdoor activities

Water parks and swimming pools are presently closed. The aim is to open water parks and swimming pools to the general audience from June 15th, provided that the health authorities have established sound measures for infection control in collaboration with the industry.

There is no risk of covid-19 transmission via the water during swimming in fresh- or sea water. Yet it is important to remember the general advice on hygiene and social distancing. Try to find beaches or swimming areas without too many others.

For outdoors activities such as camping, hiking, biking, horseback riding etc, the general advice for infection control applies. Furthermore, we should adhere to the standard good manners and etiquette in nature and the outfield. If possible, avoid going to the toilet in nature. Do not litter and be extra cautious if you light a fire.

Camping, farm holidays and other types of adventure holidays can be carried out as long as you follow the general measures for infection control.

​Can healthcare personnel travel?

The ban on international travels for healthcare personnel professionals was lifted May 7th. The ban is no longer seen as proportionate relative to the present burden on the health and care services.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs still advises against all international travel that is not strictly necessary. This is the strictest travel advice that can be given. The travel advice is currently valid until August 20th.

Quarantine rules (10 days) are imposed to anyone arriving from abroad travels.

​Will I receive sickness benefits if I must stay at home?

You are entitled to sick leave if a doctor recommends you stay at home because you are infected, might be infected or in quarantine. Self-notification must always be considered before sick leave.

The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) can approve sick leave without personal examination in the case of an infectious disease of significance to public health. More information is available on NAV's webpages (in Norwegian).