Travel advice

The Government advises against all international travel that is not strictly necessary.

Foto: Mostphotos/Chad McDermott

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against all international travel that is not strictly necessary. This global travel advice from UD is valid until January 15th, 2021. Exceptions from the global travel advice have been made for countries and regions in the Nordic region and the Schengen area/EEA with a sufficiently low level of transmission (referred to as yellow areas). Travels to yellow areas does not trigger quarantine duty. This should however not be taken as an encouragement to travel. The Government still advice everyone to consider whether an international travel is strictly necessary.

Anyone returning from countries/areas with a high level of infection (referred to as red areas) must enter a 10 days travel quarantine.

Refer to the map at fhi.no of the areas that are presently red and yellow.

The travel advice is intended to reduce the risk of those resident in Norway to be infected while abroad and of those traveling to bring the infection with them to Norway. 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.

What if you arrive in Norway from a red area/country?

A country or area can turn red while you are traveling, even if the same area was yellow when you left home. If the area you are in should reach a certain level of infection (number of persons infected per 100 000 inhabitants) the area could turn red.

The final decision as to which areas and countries are red is made by the Government based on recommendations from The Norwegian Directorate of Health and The Norwegian Institute of Public Health. The map will typically be updated every fortnight.

Refer to the map at fhi.no of the areas that are presently red and yellow.

As a rule of thumb, the map will be updated Fridays with changes taking effect from midnight 00:00 am Saturday.

When arriving from a red area the following applies:

  • Keep wearing the face mask from your flight until you have reached home.
  • You need to be in travel quarantine for 10 days from the day of your arrival to Norway.
  • You should stay at home or in another suitable place of residence.
  • You should not go to work, school or kindergarten while in travel quarantine, but you can work from home.
  • You can travel by public transport from the place of arrival to the place where you will be in quarantine. If you are 12 years old or older you should wear a face mask.
  • You are not allowed to travel by public transport during your time in quarantine.
  • You can go for a walk, but only if you are able to keep a good distance to others.
  • You should make arrangements for others to help out with your grocery shopping or other necessary errands.
  • If you cannot make any such arrangements, you should visit the shop at times when only few others visit.
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Pay close attention to any symptoms developing.
  • Take a test for the coronavirus if you develop any symptoms, see the Coronavirus Self-Checker.
Violation of the quarantine duty is a criminal offence.

What if you arrive in Norway from a yellow area/country?

The Government has decided that you are exempt from travel quarantine duty when arriving in Norway from areas and countries within the EU/EEA/Schengen with a sufficiently low level of transmission. Even if you are exempt from quarantine duty when arriving from an area marked yellow, the Government is asking the inhabitants in Norway to avoid all non-essential international travels. Yellow and red areas are marked in this map from NIPH (fhi.no).

When arriving from a yellow area the following applies:

  • You do not need to go into travel quarantine.
  • Pay close attention to any symptoms developing.
  • Stay at home if you feel ill.
  • Take a test for the coronavirus if you develop any symptoms, see the Coronavirus Self-Checker.
  • Keep a distance to others.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently.
  • You cannot visit a hospital or nursing home prior to 10 days after your arrival.
  • If you work with patient care in the health services, the Institute of Public Health recommends you provide one negative test for the coronavirus prior to returning to work.
  • Testing can be considered at a local level for healthcare personnel who do not have direct patient contact. This should be determined in cooperation with your employer.

Travel quarantine

Anyone returning from red areas within the Schengen/EEA region or countries outside the Schengen/EEA region must stay in quarantine for 10 days after the date of their arrival in Norway. This is referred to as travel quarantine. See NIPH for an overview of the relevant countries.

Traveling through a yellow area en route to Norway

If you travel from a red area and pass through one or several yellow areas, the time you spend in these yellow areas is counted as quarantine time. As an example: If you travel from a red area and pass through a yellow area and spend five days in this yellow area before entering Norway, you are left with only five more days of quarantine duty.

You are not exempt from quarantine duty after traveling through a yellow area on your way back to Norway if less than 10 days have passed since you were in a red area. The travel quarantine period is set to 10 days, irrespective of whether you complete all or parts of it in Norway.

If you are in travel quarantine the following applies

You should stay at home or in another suitable place of residence

For a residence to be suitable for implementation of your quarantine duty, it must be possible to avoid contact with anyone other than those you normally live with.

This means that accommodations where you have to interact with other guests are not suitable for quarantine. Staying in a motorhome, caravan, tent or cabin at a camping site is not an acceptable address for implementation of quarantine duty if you share a toilet, kitchen or other rooms/facilities with people other than your close contacts/travel companions. The same applies to addresses where you share rooms/facilities with others than those you usually live with, such as a dormitory or other place of residence with a shared bathroom or kitchen.

You can only go outside of your home or place of residence if you can avoid close contact

If you go outside, you must avoid close contact with anyone other than those you normally live with.

You can only visit public places if you can avoid close contact with those you do not live with. If unavoidable, you can conduct necessary errands in the store or pharmacy, but you must maintain a minimum of one metre distance to others and avoid queuing.

Travelling by public transport is not allowed. Those arriving in Norway can nevertheless travel by public transport from their place of arrival to the place where they will be in quarantine, and those leaving Norway prior to completing their quarantine duty period can travel by public transport to their place of departure. Persons in both these groups who are exempt should wear a face mask when traveling by public transport if they are above the age of 12 years old.

You should not go to work while in travel quarantine, but you can work from home. Pupils, students and children cannot go to school or kindergarten.

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 while in quarantine

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 while in quarantine, you shall contact the local health services for testing. If you are tested for COVID-19 and the result is negative, you must still stay at home for the rest of your quarantine period. You must also stay at home if you have any symptoms and not go out until you have recovered and are free of symptoms.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can be coughing, fever, breathing difficulties, reduced sense of smell and taste, headache, lethargy and muscle pain.

See also information on quarantine (travel or transmission quarantine).

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

Exceptions to the quarantine rules

As a rule of thumb, you will need to go into quarantine upon your arrival to Norway but with some exceptions. Some exceptions apply both during work and leisure time, while other exceptions apply only during work.

During work refers to the time a person spends at work or while travelling between the place of work or assignment and the home or and place of residence. Leisure time refers to the time not spent at work or while travelling for work as defined above.

Even if you are exempt from quarantine duty, you should as far as possible avoid close contact with others than those you live with. As an example, you should maintain a safe distance to those you work with even if you are exempt from quarantine duty due to work.

The exemption from quarantine duty ceases to apply If you develop symptoms of COVID -19 or a doctor suspects that you are infected.

The exceptions to quarantine rules for work and leisure applies

  • If you arrive in Norway from areas or countries with a sufficiently low level of transmission, referred to as yellow areas/countries.
  • If you travel by your own car or a tour bus and pass through a red area en route to Norway, provided that you do not stay overnight in the red area. You must maintain good hand hygiene and keep a distance to others if you need to make a stop.
  • After having performed maintenance that is strictly necessary or supervision to avert major material damage to private property, boat, caravan or similar in Sweden or Finland. You cannot stay overnight, go to the store or be in close contact with anyone who is not part of your own household while in a red area.
  • Persons who cross the Norwegian border in order to be with children as part of access and contact arrangements between parents and children or children living in two homes under the Children Act. Contact arrangements under the Children Act, also includes cases were 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.
  • Those invited by the Norwegian authorities due to key foreign policy reasons.
  • If you have had a confirmed (laboratory tested) COVID-19 infection within the last six months. Should you develop symptoms of an acute respiratory infection you should still stay at home until all symptoms are gone.

Exceptions to quarantine rules in connection with work

Crossing borders between Sweden or Finland and Norway in connection with work

If you travel to Norway regularly from red areas in Sweden or Finland on your way from where you live to where you work you are exempt from quarantine during work, provided that you are tested for COVID-19 every seventh day as a minimum. Your employer or client in Norway is responsible for organizing and financing the testing.

The exception applies only during work. If you have time off in Norway – either between work sessions or prior to leaving – you must stay in travel quarantine during this leisure time.

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 Sweden. This can be shown when you cross the border.

Testing of employees upon entry into Norway

Persons who are resident in and enter Norway in order to work or on an assignment can be exempt from quarantine duty during work when a negative test result has been confirmed. This also applies to persons who live in Norway and have been travelling due to work.

For the exception to be granted, the employer must ensure that two coronavirus tests are performed after entry into Norway. The two tests should be taken with a minimum of 48-hours in between, with the second test taken on day five at the earliest.

If the first test comes back negative, the exception to the travel quarantine applies only during work. If the second test also comes back negative, you are exempt from travel quarantine both during work and leisure time.

Opportunity for the entity's management to grant exemptions for personnel in critical public functions

The employer/client is under duty to plan their operations in a way that exceptions from the quarantine rules can be minimized. Exceptions to travel and transmission quarantine rules during work can be granted if a test regime cannot be carried out due to time restrictions to maintain proper operation of critical public functions related to matters of life and health.

These are functions such as:

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.

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

Test centres upon entry into Norway

You will be offered a test for the coronavirus when you arrive in Norway via selected airports, border controls and ports. The offer is valid for those arriving from both yellow and green areas. Testing is voluntary and free of charge, as part of the efforts to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection being imported into Norway. Tourists as well as Norwegian citizens can be tested at the test centres.

If your test comes back negative after arriving from a red area/country, you will still need to complete your 10 days travel quarantine duty. See the guidelines for completing your travel quarantine.

If your test comes back positive (confirmed COVID-19) you will need to enter isolation to avoid transferring the disease to others and stop the spread.

If you have a Norwegian national identity number or a D-number, your test answer will be available at helsenorge.no as soon as your sample has been analysed and reported. You must have an electronic ID to log in to helsenorge.no. The test result will typically be available one to two days after your sample was taken.

If you are a foreign national, your test results will be communicated to you via SMS. Hence it is important that you provide the correct telephone number.

Frequently asked questions and advice for international travel

What if I arrive from a red area, but am not resident in Norway?

If you are under quarantine duty, but you are not a resident in Norway, you must provide documentation upon arrival of your continuous residence at one registered address for the first 10 days of your stay in Norway. For stays shorter than 10 days, the documentation requirement applies for the full period you are to stay in Norway. The documentation requirement does not apply if you are a resident in Norway.

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

If you are healthy and arrive in Norway from a red area without any symptoms you can travel onwards to your final destination and then stay in quarantine in your own home.

If you show symptoms you can be transported – e.g. by private car – to your place of residence based on guidance from the municipal health officer. An alternative emergency measure would be to implement your quarantine in the municipality where the airport is located.

Can I be in transit in a red area without having to go into quarantine?

No. If you are in transit/have a connecting flight in a red area during your travels you will need to enter a 10 days travel quarantine. Violation of the quarantine duty is a criminal offence.

Are health personnel arriving from yellow areas outside of Norway required to undergo testing upon return?

The Institute of Public Health recommends that healthcare professionals who have been to yellow areas outside of Norway and who work in patient care provide one negative test for the coronavirus prior to returning to work. This applies to all employees, including new employees and substitutes. Testing can be considered at a local level for healthcare employees who do not have direct patient contact.

Advice before travelling to red areas despite recommendations

Should you need to travel to certain areas despite 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 turn 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 you as a traveller. Several countries and airports have introduced control measures and closed their borders to people who are not resident in the country. You should also be prepared to answer questions about your 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 should turn ill.
  • Risk of lack of possibilities of return travel or medical repatriation.
  • Risk of travel quarantine in Norway upon your return.
  • Risk of not being able to work during the first 10 days after travel (applies to healthcare personnel in particular, but other employers may also have rules about this).
Travellers who are part of a risk group should be vaccinated against seasonal influenza within 14 days before departure during the flu season.

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 both during the journey and 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 refrain from 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.

Links to further advice

Domestic 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 others not considered to be your closest contacts.

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 a lower risk of transmission.

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

  • If you are ill with symptoms of a 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 as soon as possible, 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 normally associate 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 as far as possible.

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 meter 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.

Health care requirements

You are entitled to receive necessary health care in the municipality where you live, or where you currently reside. If you are on holiday/a tourist in another municipality and turn ill, call the emergency out-of-hours clinic on 116 117 to get access to health care or an appointment for COVID-19 testing.

Svalbard

Tourists from mainland Norway can travel to Svalbard and the general entry quarantine for travellers from mainland Norway was lifted June 1st, 2020. Foreign nationals residing in Svalbard can travel to mainland Norway on the same terms as prior to the corona-pandemic. Anyone arriving in Norway from a red area/country still need to complete their full quarantine period prior to travelling on to Svalbard. This rule of thumb applies to all who want to travel to Svalbard, including residents. For more information, see the governor of Svalbard.

The Government has introduced cruise restrictions for Svalbard, initially valid through to November 1st, 2020. Read more at regjeringen.no (in Norwegian).

Travel advice for persons in risk groups and their relatives

Advice for persons in risk groups is collated 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, 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 close to them but with whom they 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.
  • Avoid face-to-face contact.
  • Try to keep a distance of at least one meter to your fellow passengers throughout the journey. Distance is the most important factor when traveling for a longer period of time. For public transport of shorter duration (e.g. under an hour) the general recommendation on keeping a distance of at least one metre can be deferred as long as the other measures are followed.
  • If crowded, consider postponing your trip.
  • Passengers should stand/sit with sufficient distance to each other. You can sit next to persons considered to be you closest contacts.
  • If there is space both for standing passengers as well as seating available, you should take a seat if possible during your journey.
  • 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.
  • When you take a taxi, you should sit in the back seat.

If you are in quarantine or home isolation you 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.

Persons with an acute respiratory tract infection should stay at home, even when 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.

Overview of confirmed coronavirus cases in public transport

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health is preparing a list of cases where coronavirus transmission has been confirmed on flights, ships, trains or buses (in Norwegian).