Covid-19 Status Update for Norway

Status in Norway as of 2nd July 2020 (this page is updated daily as we continuously monitor the situation):

To date 8902 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Norway. 251 people have died so far. 19 people are hospitalised. Real time information on current numbers here.

Update 26th June 2020 : NON EU citizens with valid residence permits can enter Norway from July 1, 2020
The Norwegian government has now changed the rules for NON EU citizens who have recently received a residence permit to live in Norway: everyone who has been granted a valid  permit but wasn’t allowed to travel to Norway yet, will be allowed to do so from July 1 2020.

EU citizens
From July 15th, all residents from the Schengen area/EEA countries where the level of infection is acceptable, will be allowed to enter Norway without having to follow the 10-day home quarantine rules.

The Norwegian government will continue to assess the infection situation in the European countries. An overview of the European countries and its residents that this new rule applies to, will be published from July 10th onwards. In case of an increase in the spread of infection in a specific country or region, the government can and will reintroduce the home quarantine rules after entry to Norway for that specific country and / or region.

Update 12th June 2020 : The Norwegian Government will open Norway’s borders for leisure travel to and from the other Nordic countries from 15 June, but will maintain quarantine rules and restrictions on entry for people arriving from regions where the level of infection is high. The regions to which the rules on quarantine on entering Norway no longer apply will also be excepted from the travel advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

All regions in Finland, Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and Denmark currently meet Norway’s criteria. The Danish authorities have adopted their own national rules for the Copenhagen region, which Norwegians travelling to Denmark must comply with. Large parts of Sweden do not meet the criteria now, and quarantine rules and restrictions on entry to Norway will still apply to people entering Norway from these regions. At present, Gotland is the only part of Sweden that fulfils Norway’s criteria. The map and criteria are available here

Update 29th May 2020 : From 1st of June 2020, business travellers who cross the border between the Nordic countries and Norway are exempt from the duty of quarantine under section 5 during the time they are travelling between home and their place of work, and the time they are at work.

Persons who are essential to maintain the proper operation of critical public functions or attend to fundamental needs of the population, including persons who perform goods and passenger transport functions, are exempted from the duty of quarantine under section 5 during the time they are travelling between home and their place of work and the time they are at work. Use of this exemption must be clarified with the entity’s management.

From 15th June 2020, the border between Norway and Denmark will open for leisure travel. This means that means that quarantine on arrival and entry restrictions no longer apply, and Denmark is excepted from the advice against non-essential travel to all countries issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This will apply both to Norwegian residents who have visited Denmark and to Danish residents coming to Norway on holiday. However, it is vital for people who cross the border to follow the recommendations of the health authorities, and to go into self-isolation and get themselves tested if they have COVID-10 symptoms. Please note that Danish tourists need to travel directly from Denmark to Norway with ferry or plane. Danish visitors who travel via Sweden will need to undergo quarantine.

Update 12th May 2020 : The rules for EU / EEA citizens traveling to Norway were changed and effective immediately. EU / EEA citizens who will visit their spouse, cohabitant or children under 18 can now travel to Norway. Children under 18 can also visit their parents in Norway. By “cohabitant,” it means an established cohabitation relationship for at least two years, or that you are expecting a child together, and will be living together.

Update 7th May 2020 : The Norwegian government has announced plans to reopen the country, these changes will apply from 7th May 2020:

  • The recommended size of groups who can meet is being increased from five to a maximum of 20, provided that people can keep at least a metre apart.
  • This means that training and other sports activities for up to 20 people will be possible, provided that people keep at least one metre apart. The recommendations of the Norwegian Directorate of Health and the relevant sports associations will apply and should be followed.
  • Sports halls may be opened, but use of their changing facilities is prohibited.
  • Events with up to 50 participants may be held in public places provided that the participants can keep a social distance of at least one metre and there is an event organiser responsible for ensuring that the rules are respected. This applies to all types of events, including sports events such as cups and matches. An employee or person contracted to organise an event in a public place is not counted as a participant in the event. The precise role of the organiser should be clarified in standards for the different sectors.
  • The prohibition against foreign travel for health personnel is repealed. However, the Government still advises against foreign travel. Anyone who has travelled outside Norway must go into quarantine when they return.  
  • Quarantine rules after travel abroad may well apply until after the summer, and people should be prepared for this.
  • The quarantine period is being reduced from 14 to 10 days. Anyone who has been in close contact with a person who is confirmed to have contracted the virus up to 48 hours before they showed the first symptoms must go into quarantine. The quarantine rules still apply if you have been closer than two metres from a person who has confirmed COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes. People who are confirmed to have had COVID-19 are exempt from the duty of quarantine for six months.
  • Employers should ensure that their employees can remain at least one metre apart throughout working hours. In parts of the country where employees need to use public transport, employers are urged to facilitate working from home and virtual meetings as far as possible, and to require people to be physically present only when necessary. This applies particularly in the Oslo region and other towns where public transport can become congested.

The following changes will apply from 11 May:

  • All schools are to open for all grades by the end of next week (15 May). They must follow the infection control rules, and this may mean that it is not possible for all pupils to be at school at the same time.
  • Educational programmes for adults and immigrants may restart. This applies to educational programmes for newly arrived immigrants under the Introduction Act, programmes under Chapter 4 of the Adult Education Act, and short courses offered by the folk high schools. These programmes can be restarted provided that they can comply with infection control guidelines.
  • Driving schools may reopen. They must follow the same infection control rules as other services where there is one-to-one contact.
  • The aim is to allow bingo halls and similar facilities to reopen.
  • Universities, university colleges and vocational technical colleges are to continue remote teaching. Students who need to be at their institution to maintain progression in their study programmes may be granted access. They must comply with infection control guidelines.
  • Courses run by adult education associations and Skills Norway are to continue remote teaching. Students who need to be at their institution to maintain progression in their study programmes may be granted access. They must comply with infection control guidelines.
  • Guidelines for sports activities will be published, focusing on activities for children and young people that involve physical contact, such as football. The aim is to allow them to engage in these activities rather more normally than at present, for example to play matches against others in their team. This must be organised in compliance with infection control standards.

The following changes are planned from 1 June:

  • Bars and other establishments that serve drink but not food may open provided that they can comply with the rule of maintaining a distance of at least one metre between people. Requirements on seating and table service will be set out in regulations. 
  • Amusement parks may reopen.
  • Organised swimming activities, including school swimming lessons, will be permitted.  
  • The Norwegian Directorate of Health and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health will draw up new advice on holiday and leisure travel by 15 May at the latest, which will apply from 1 June.  

The following changes are planned from 15 June:

  • Events with between 50 and 200 people will be permitted.
  • The intention is to reopen gyms and fitness centres, provided that the health authorities, in cooperation with this sector, have arrived at appropriate infection control measures.
  • The intention is to reopen water parks and swimming pools for the general public, provided that the health authorities, in cooperation with this sector, have arrived at appropriate infection control measures.
  • Matches in the top division of Norwegian football will be permitted from 16 June under an exemption from the COVID-19 regulations.

Update 7th April 2020 : The Government has decided to make 7 changes in the implemented measures to contain the Covid-19 outbreak:

  1. 20th April 2020: Kindergartens across the country will reopen.
  2. 20th April 2020: Health practitioners who perform one-to-one services, such as psychologists, opticians and physiotherapists, will be able to resume much of their activity.
  3. 20th April 2020: The ban on overnight stay at cabins is lifted. It will be possible for people to stay overnight at their holiday cabins.
  4. 27th April 2020: Children in Grades 1-4 will return to school. SFO will also be open.
  5. 27th April 2020: Universities, colleges and vocational schools will open to some students and staff: students who are at the end of their studies, and who are dependent on using facilities and equipment at their institution, to return to universities, university colleges and vocational technical colleges. The same applies to staff in recruitment positions who are in the final stage of their projects.
  6. 27th April 2020: Upper secondary school for second- and third-year pupils who are following vocational programmes will open, provided that this can be done in a way that meets infection control guidelines
  7. 27th April 2020: Services where there is one-to-one contact, such as hairdressers, massage and skin care professionals to resume contingent on compliance with the standards that are to be prepared.

Everyone will be given time to familiarise themselves with the standards, prepare themselves sufficiently and ensure they have the necessary infection control equipment to do their jobs.

Update 24th March 2020: The Government is continuing all the measures implemented to combat the coronavirus outbreak in Norway until over the Easter holiday, through 13 April 2020.

‘The measures we have imposed appear to be slowing transmission of the virus, but we need more time to see what effect they are having. The Government has adopted a strategy to limit the spread of infection that entails ensuring that infected persons only transmit the virus to a maximum of one other person. If this succeeds, the health service will have the capacity to help all who need it,’ Prime Minister Erna Solberg said.

In public spaces, people should keep at least one metre away from other people. When away from home, there should be no more than five people in a group – except for members of a family or the same household. Indoors, people should keep at least two metres away from one another, though this does not apply to family or household members.

Travel

The Norwegian government has closed the borders for all but Norwegian citizens and foreigners that possess a residency permit from Monday March 16th at 8 am local time, and discourages all but necessary travel inside the country. Strict border control will be implemented. The main airports will still stay open, so that tourists travelling in Norway have an opportunity to travel back home. 

  • Travellers not residing in Norway are encouraged to leave the country as soon as possible. 
  • Travellers arriving from other countries, who are not residents of Norway, will be returned to their home country as soon as possible. Please seek more information at your arrival airport. Travellers with symptoms will be isolated.
  • Everyone who comes from other countries should be in quarantine for 14 days from their arrival in Norway, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not. Retroactive from 27 February.
  • The UDI or the police can expel foreigners without a residence permit in Norway. Foreigners who have been expelled shall leave Norway without undue delay. Certain groups – including EEA nationals residing or working in Norway, and their family members living in Norway – cannot be dismissed under this regulation.
  • Norway will now reject applications for a Schengen visa. Visas will only be granted in extraordinary situations.
  • Travellers are to contact their airlines/ferry companies for more information.
  • Avoid journeys that are not strictly necessary (both domestic and international)
  • Avoid public transport where possible
  • Avoid other places where one can easily get close to others
  • Avoid close contact with others.

Immigration and travel to Norway

FAQs from the Norwegian Immigration Authorities here and from the Government here.

Precautions in place from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health:

In order to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to contribute to the maintenance of necessary health and care services, the Norwegian Directorate of Health has, according to the Infection Control Act, issued a decision to close:

  • Childcare centres
  • Primary schools
  • Lower secondary schools
  • Upper secondary schools
  • Universities and colleges
  • Other educational institutions.

The following exceptions to the closure order apply: it is important to maintain operations in the health and care services and other critical society functions, and to avoid the use of people in risk groups for babysitting. Managers of childcare centres and headteachers in primary schools must therefore provide a solution for children of healthcare personnel, the transport sector or within other critical society functions. The same applies to children with special care needs that cannot be taken care of when childcare, school or other day care facilities are closed.

The Directorate of Health continues to act on another section in the Infection Control Act, on a ban on / closing of:

  • Cultural events
  • Sports events and organised sports activities, both indoors and outdoors
  • All establishments in the hospitality industry, except for eating places where food is distributed, i.e. canteens and eating places that can ensure visitors to keep at least 1 metre distance from each other. Buffets are not allowed. The hospitality industry includes restaurants, bars, pubs and nightclubs.
  • Gyms
  • Companies that provide hairdressing services, skin care, massage and body care, tattooing, piercing, etc.
  • Swimming pools, water parks, etc.

Measures to safeguard healthcare personnel in Norway

Decisions pursuant to the Health Emergency Act on the ban for travel abroad for healthcare personnel working in patient treatment. In order to maintain the necessary health and care services, the Directorate of Health has implemented the following measures:

Healthcare professionals working with patient treatment are prohibited from travelling abroad. The ban applies to both business travel and leisure travel.

Retail, groceries and events

Retail trade will remain open. There is no need to stock up on food. Grocery stores will stay open.

Public transport and working from home

  • Public transport will continue so that people with critical society functions can get to and from work and be able to distance themselves from each other.
  • We request not to visit people in institutions with vulnerable groups (elderly, psychiatry, prisons etc)

Health service capacity

To ensure that everyone receives good treatment and care, we are working closely with the healthcare service so that all parts of the service can maintain capacity. The Norwegian Directorate of Health is also in close dialogue with municipalities, county governors and the regional health authorities to assist with measures. Our work covers all aspects of the health service; nursing homes, home help, hospitals, health centres, general practitioners, private as well as public. It is especially important to ensure that healthcare professionals can perform their work safely and well and that we always have the healthcare personnel we need.

Entry control in healthcare institutions

Restrictions are imposed on visitors to all the country’s health institutions and the introduction of entry control to safeguard infection control for patients in the country’s health institutions. People who may be infected will be turned away from all the country’s health institutions. The Directorate of Health will advise the healthcare service on this

These are critical society functions:

The emergency response committee considers that the following functions to be critical to society:

  • Government and crisis management
  • Defence
  • Law and order
  • Health and care services
  • Rescue services
  • IT security in the civilian sector
  • Nature and environment
  • Security of supply
  • Water and wastewater
  • Financial services
  • Power supply
  • Electronic communication services
  • Transport
  • Satellite-based services
  • Pharmacies

If you have questions about the coronavirus (COVID-19) while travelling in Norway, please call the national information telephone at (+47) 815 55 015.

If you are experiencing symptoms like fever, sore throat, chest pain and breathing difficulties, please stay in your hotel room and contact guest service by telephone or call the 24-hour Norwegian medical service at 116 117 for guidance and assistance.

More information on the issue:

Norwegian Government

Norwegian Institute of Public Health

Norwegian Directorate of Health

Visit Norway

Please contact us should you have any questions at post@relocation.no