Travel advice

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against all international travel that is not strictly necessary. Exceptions apply from June 15th for areas in the Nordic countries with a low level of infection and from July 15th for countries within Schengen and EEA with a low level of infection. You can travel freely in Norway.

Foto: Mostphotos/Chad McDermott

Prior to travelling it is important that you familiarize yourself with the current infection situation, both for the area where you live and for the area that you want to travel to. Pay attention to the advice for infection control. Keep in mind that the infection situation and the advice for infection control may change rapidly.

This article is updated regularly with the latest travel advice.

See a map of the areas within the Nordic region that are exempt from quarantine duty (fhi.no).

From July 15th, 2020 exceptions to the travel quarantine rules apply for travels to countries within Schengen and EEA provided that the country meets the criteria for level of infection as decided by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH). The NIPH will be updating the information presented on their webpages every 14 days at a minimum as to which countries this applies to.

For more information related to the new travel advice valid from July 15th, see press release from the government.

Domestic leisure travel

You can travel freely in Norway if you can avoid spreading the infection. We all share the responsibility to follow the advice for infection control.

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 one metre distance to those you do not live with

The above-mentioned 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.

Plan your trip

Planning trips with a view to avoid transmission between places is advisable. Limit travels 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. Stay at home if you are ill. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health recommends that all persons with symptoms of covid-19 are tested, read more about testing.
  • 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 ill 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. Avoid using public transport if you can.
  • Companies providing public transport should prepare their own routines for longer journeys on how to handle a passenger who falls ill during the journey. If a passenger is suspected to have covid-19, the passenger should be separated from the other passengers by a minimum of one metre and preferably two metres. Persons who are ill should cover their mouth and nose by using a paper tissue or by wearing a non-medical face mask to reduce the risk of transmitting the disease onto others. When the use of a toilet is required, this should then not be used by others without first being cleaned.

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

Svalbard

From June 1st the Government opened for tourists to travel from mainland Norway to Svalbard and the general entry quarantine for travellers from mainland Norway was lifted. Foreign nationals residing in Svalbard can now travel to mainland Norway on the same terms as prior to the corona-crisis. For more information, see the governor of Svalbard.

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. This applies to all countries except areas of the Nordic countries with an acceptably low level of infection. When travelling to these areas you will not be required to enter travel quarantine upon your return to Norway. No areas in Finland, Iceland or Denmark will trigger quarantine duty, while all areas of Sweden will trigger quarantine duty. See a map of the areas that are exempt from quarantine duty (fhi.no)

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

Anyone returning from an international travel, except for leisure travels in the Nordic countries with a low level of infection, must stay in quarantine for 10 days after the date of their return to Norway. This is referred to as travel quarantine.

Adjustments for travels to Europe outside of the Nordic region from July 15th, 2020

From July 15th you can also travel to European countries in which the level of infection is acceptable without having to enter travel quarantine upon your return to Norway. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health has defined the criteria and will be updating the information as to which countries this applies to.

This means that it will be possible to travel to several European countries from July 15th onwards. This is due to exceptions to the international travel advice being made for individual countries. Which countries this applies to will depend on the level of infection.

The travel advice provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are tightly linked to the criteria for level of infection provided by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will make an exception from the international travel advice for individual countries when the level of infection in a given country meets the requirement set by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. During the corona pandemic the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will assess the travel advice given relative to the level of infection, travel restrictions and degree of mutual reopening

Persons travelling from Norway other countries must familiarize themselves with the rules that apply at any given time in the country they are travelling to and relate to these.

Should the level of infection change while you are abroad with country specific travel restrictions re-introduced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and quarantine duty imposed upon return from the area that you are travelling to, the advice is to return home. You will then be required to stay in travel quarantine for 10 days after the date of your return to Norway.

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

Travel through Sweden

You can drive your own vehicle through an area in the Nordic countries with a higher level of infection (presently Sweden) on your way to or from Norway without having to enter travel quarantine upon your return to Norway. Conditions are that you do not stay overnight in this area, that you keep a distance to others if you must stop and that you take the shortest route.

Websites with information on restrictions and covid-19 within the Nordic countries


her advice from the Norwegian authoritites

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

Advice before travelling to countries despite recommendations

Should you need to travel to certain areas in spite of the recommendations, several things should be considered.

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.

Preventive advice during 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.

Entry restrictions and exceptions

Comprehensive measures have been implemented in order to reduce the risk of infection, including measures to prevent entry. This also applies to aircrafts, cruise ships and other vessels.

Exempted from the entry ban are:

There are several exceptions to the entry ban. For information on and questions related to these exceptions, pleases refer to the webpages of the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI).

We must all adhere to the current travel quarantine rules. People who now arrive in Norway must stay in quarantine for 10 days from the date of arrival, also if they are exempt from the entry ban. Exceptions apply to areas within the Nordic countries where the level of infection is acceptable.

If you are in travel quarantine while in Norway, you can leave Norway prior to completing the 10 days quarantine period. You cannot travel by public transport when leaving Norway and should also travel in a way where you avoid close contact with others.

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.

Travel quarantine

Anyone returning from an international travel must stay in quarantine for 10 days after the date of their return to Norway. This is referred to as travel quarantine. This does not apply to those entering Norway from leisure travels to areas in the Nordic countries with a low level of infection. From July 15th, it will also not apply to those arriving from countries within Schengen and the EEA with an acceptable level of infection. See NIPH for an overview of the relevant countries (available from July 10th).

If you are in travel quarantine, you should:

  • Stay at home or in another suitable place of residence.
  • You can only go outside your home or place of residence if you can avoid close contact with anyone other than those you normally live with. 

Close contact refers to being two metres or closer to others for 15 minutes or more, being in direct physical contact or in direct contact with secretes such as saliva, sweat, snot, mucus and tears from other persons. You should not go to work while in travel quarantine, but you can work from home.

If you are in quarantine and develop symptoms of a cold such as cough, fever or breathing difficulties, you should stay at home and not go out until you have fully recovered (with no symptoms). You should also be tested. Contact your doctor or the healthcare services if you need medical attention. If you are tested for covid-19 you should stay at home until the test result has come back negative and you are free of symptoms.

See also information on quarantine (travel or transmission quarantine) at helsenorge.no.

See also questions and answers on travel quarantine at regjeringen.no (in Norwegian).

Exceptions to the quarantine rules

Crossing borders between a Nordic country and Norway in connection with work

You are exempt from quarantine duty if you cross the border between areas in another Nordic country with a high level of infection (currently Sweden) and Norway when you travel between home and your workplace, or while at work. This applies to those resident in Norway who work in or are on a business trip to an area in a Nordic country with a high level of infection. It also applies to those from an area in a Nordic country with a high level of infection who are in Norway for work.

A Nordic country refers to Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and the Åland Islands.

  • The exception applies only during the time you are travelling between your home and place of work and while at work.
  • Avoid close contact with other persons as far as possible, both at work and when travelling to and from work.
  • If you have time off in Norway - either between work sessions or prior to leaving – you must stay in travel quarantine during this time off. 
  • You must be in travel quarantine when not working for 10 days from when you last crossed the border entering Norway.

You do not need to apply to be exempt. The exception is valid independent of for how long you are in Norway for work. In other words, the exception is valid both for daily commute, longer working periods and for individual assignments.

Neither do you need any special type of documentation, but you must be able to prove that the exception applies to you. For example, your employer may provide you with a written confirmation of your employment in Norway and that you live in another Nordic country. This can be shown when you cross the border.

When you travel to another Nordic country for work you must relate to the current rules that apply for the specific country.

Mandatory testing of health personnel arriving from Sweden

Health personnel arriving from Sweden must undergo testing upon entry to Norway. This is a requirement of the covid-19-regulation from July 1st, 2020. 

Two tests are required after entry into Norway, with a minimum of 48-hours in between. The person is under quarantine duty until the first test comes back negative. If the first test is negative, the person can work without being hindered by quarantine duty but must be in quarantine during leisure time. If the second test also comes back negative, the person is exempt from travel quarantine both during work and leisure time.

Exceptions apply for health personnel who commute every day, yet the requirements are that they do not simultaneously work within the Swedish health services. These persons are subjected to quarantine duty during any leisure time they might have while in Norway.

Testing of employees from the Schengen-/EEA-areas outside of the Nordic countries

Persons who enter Norway from Schengen-/EEA-areas outside of the Nordic countries in order to work can be exempt from quarantine duty provided that their employer ensures that two corona-tests are performed after entry into Norway. The first test must be negative prior to the person starting work. Two tests are required after entry into Norway, with a minimum of 48-hours in between. The second test should be performed on day five at the earliest.

If the first test comes back negative, the exception to the travel quarantine applies only during work and during travel to and from work. You should be in quarantine during leisure time. If the second test also comes back negative, you are exempt from travel quarantine both during work and leisure time. For more information, see the covid-19-regulation.

In connection with maintenance that is strictly necessary

If you cross the border between areas of Sweden that are subjected to quarantine duty and Norway after having performed maintenance that is strictly necessary and supervision to avert major material damage to holiday properties in Sweden you are exempt from quarantine upon your return to Norway. 

Exceptions do not apply if you stay overnight at the holiday property or somewhere else in Sweden prior to returning to Norway. Nor do the exceptions apply if you have visited stores or malls etc. or have been in close contact with anyone in Sweden who is not part of your own household.

Access and contact arrangements between children and parents

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 duty.

The exception applies to contact arrangements between one of the parents and the child when the parents are divorced or do not live together, or when the Child Welfare Services is responsible for the care of the child and the child travels to be with the parents. This does not open for the opportunity to visit family in another country and then avoid travel quarantine when returning to Norway.

Opportunity for the entity's management to grant exemptions

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.

Read more about the exceptions to quarantine duty upon arrival in Norway on the Government's webpages and Helsedirektoratet.no (in Norwegian).

See also questions and answers about travel quarantine from the Government (in Norwegian).

Undergone covid-19

It has been decided that those who have had a confirmed (laboratory tested) covid-19 infection within the last six months are exempted from quarantine. This is because a person who has had covid-19 is predominantly likely to be protected against a recurrence of the disease, although it is not yet known for how long this protection will last. Anyone showing symptoms of an acute respiratory infection shall – like everyone – stay at home for an additional 24 hours after being free of symptoms.

Travel advice for persons in risk groups and their relatives

​Advice for persons in risk groups is collated 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. This may contribute to further transmission. 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

A separate guideline for infection control in aviation connected to the covid-19 outbreak (in Norwegian) has been prepared.

The use of face masks during flight are not included in the advice given by the authorities. This is up to the airlines to decide themselves.

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.

​Swimming, beach life and outdoor activities

Water parks and swimming pools were able to open to the general audience from June 15th, provided that sound measures for infection control are followed.

There is no risk of covid-19 transmission via the water during swimming in fresh- or sea water. Yet it is important to keep the general advice on hygiene and social distancing in mind. 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.

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

​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, presumed to 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).