International travels

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UD) advises against all international travel that is not strictly necessary.

Rolling suitcase on airport floor

Illustration: Mostphotos/Chad McDermott

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UD) advises against all international travel that is not strictly necessary. This global travel advice from UD is valid until March 1st, 2021. Read more about the global travel advice here (regjeringen.no).

The travel advice and rules for entry are intended to reduce the risk of those travelling to bring the infection with them to Norway. Prior to travelling you should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply, both for the area where you live and for the area that you want to travel to. Keep in mind that the infection situation and the advice for infection control may change rapidly.

Rules upon entry into Norway

When travelling to Norway you must keep in mind:

There might be exceptions, and it is your duty to familiarize yourself with the rules. If you do not comply with the rules, you might be denied entry. Violation of the quarantine duty is a criminal offence.

Travel registration form when entering Norway

Everyone travelling to Norway must complete the registration form prior to crossing the border. This also applies to Norwegian citizens.

After completing the digital registration, you will receive a receipt which you must then present to the police at the border control. You cannot register your journey any earlier than 72 hours prior to the time of arrival.

Start the registration here (regjeringen.no)

Digital travel registration in additional languages (regjeringen.no)

If you have questions or require assistance in connection with the registration, please call +47 33 41 28 70. This service is operated by the Government. 

The lines are open 24/7. Guidance in Polish, Russian, Lithuanian and Romanian is also available between 08:00-22:00.

Requirement for presenting a negative test result upon entry to Norway

For you to enter Norway as a foreign traveller, you must present documentation of a test for the coronavirus taken less than 72 hours prior to entry.

Valid test methods are the standard PCR-based analysis or the rapid antigen-based test. The documentation must be issued in Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, English, French or German.

There are some exceptions where the requirement will not apply, including:

  • Norwegian citizens, persons who are resident in Norway or persons in transit.
  • Persons who have had a COVID-19 infection within the last six months, confirmed by a valid laboratory test (PCR-based standard test or antigen-based rapid test). The test must have been taken more than two weeks earlier.
  • Children who are under 12 years old.
  • Persons who regularly travel/commute to Norway from Sweden or Finland in order to work or study. (Separate requirements apply for healthcare professionals.)
  • Personnel in critical public functions related to matters of life and health can be exempted.

For a complete list of exceptions, see the COVID-19 regulations (lovdata.no).

Requirement for coronavirus testing upon arrival to Norway

If you have visited an area that triggers quarantine duty during the last 14 days, you are required to take a test for the coronavirus upon arrival to Norway.

The test must be taken at the airport or when crossing the border.

Read more about the requirement for coronavirus testing upon arrival here. 

When entering Norway from a red country or area

Anyone returning from countries or areas in the EEA region or Switzerland with a high level of infection (referred to as red countries or areas) or from countries outside of the EEA region / Switzerland must enter a 10 days travel quarantine. See how to implement your quarantine duty.

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

You can travel by public transport from the place of arrival to the place where you will be in quarantine. If you are above the age of 12 you should wear a face mask until you have reached the location where you will implement your quarantine duty.

A country or area  can turn red while you are traveling, even if the same area was yellow when you left home.

When entering Norway from a yellow country or area

Countries or areas within the EEA region or Switzerland with a sufficiently low level of transmission (referred to as yellow areas) are exempt from the rules related to travel quarantine. The exception is not an encouragement to travel abroad. The Government advices everyone to consider whether an international travel is strictly necessary. Here is an overview of which countries and areas this applies to (fhi.no).

At present, no country and only very few areas within the EEA region or Switzerland are defined as yellow. 

When arriving from a yellow country or area you do not need to complete the registration form, nor do you need to present documentation of a negative test for the coronavirus, undergo testing upon arrival or enter a quarantine.

You cannot visit a hospital or nursing home any prior to 10 days after your arrival.

Pay close attention to any symptoms developing. Stay at home and take a test for the coronavirus if you develop any symptoms.

If you work with patient care in the health services, the Institute of Public Health (NIPH) recommends you provide one negative test for the coronavirus prior to returning to work.

Testing can be considered in cooperation with your employer for healthcare personnel who do not have direct patient contact.

Testing upon arrival to Norway

If you have visited an area that triggers quarantine duty during the last 14 days, you are required to take a test for the coronavirus upon arrival to Norway.

The test must be taken at the airport or when crossing the border. Valid test methods are the standard PCR-based analysis or the rapid antigen-based test.

Due to limited test capacity at the border at Svinesund, a temporary exception has been granted. The exception only applies to Svinesund and in situations where the waiting time exceeds 1 hour. The exception states that if you have a permanent residence in Norway, you can undergo testing at an alternative testing site.  The test should be taken as soon as possible and no later than 24 hours after arrival to Norway. The exception will be revoked as soon at the test capacity is sufficient.

The test taken upon arrival can be used as the first of two tests to shorten your quarantine period.

Those exempt from testing requirements are:

  • Children who are under 12 years old.
  • Persons who have had a COVID-19 infection within the last six months, confirmed by a valid laboratory test (PCR-based standard test or antigen-based rapid test). The test must have been taken more than two weeks earlier.
  • Persons who are exempt from quarantine duty during working hours and leisure time as per § 6a of the COVID-19 regulations (lovdata.no).
  • Persons who regularly commute to Norway from Sweden or Finland in order to work or study and are exempt from quarantine duty as per § 6b of the COVID-19 regulations (lovdata.no).
  • Professional long-haul truck drivers and train personnel who do not work on a freight train.
  • When testing is practically impossible; personnel whose jobs are strictly necessary to maintain proper operation of critical public functions or meet the basic needs of the population, as per § 6e of the COVID-19 regulations (lovdata.no).
  • Utlendinger som nevnt i utlendingsforskriften § 1-4 eller § 1-5, jf. forskrift om innreiserestriksjoner for utlendinger av hensyn til folkehelsen § 3 bokstav f. (diplomatpass m.m.)
  • Non-Norwegian citizens as mentioned in The Immigration Act § 1-4 or § 1-5, ref. the regulation on restricted entry for foreign citizens based on public health considerations § 3 letter f. (diplomatic passports etc.)  

You will only be contacted if your test result is positive (coronavirus confirmed). You will not be contacted if the test result is negative.  If you have access you can check your results online via helsenorge.no. Some laboratories offer additional solutions for checking test results. You will be notified of these options.

Travel quarantine

Anyone returning from red countries or areas within the EEA region or Switzerland 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.

Violation of the quarantine duty is a criminal offence.

Where to implement the travel quarantine?

You can implement your quarantine duty period:

  • At a permanent residence in Norway, irrespective of whether you own or rent the residence. You will need to be able to document the ownership or tenancy. This does not apply to mobile housing arrangements such as caravans, boats etc.
  • At a quarantine hotel
  • At a suitable place of residence made available to you. See description below for what is considered a suitable place of residence.
  • At the permanent residence of your spouse or the person you share parent responsibility with. You must be able to document that you are married or have children together. Your common minor children may also implement their quarantine duty here
  • At a suitable place of residence provided by your employer. It should be possible to avoid close contact with others, with a separate room with TV and internet, a separate bathroom, and a separate kitchen or catering services.

Irrespective of where you will be implementing your quarantine duty you will need to complete the travel registration form prior to entry. This includes documentation of the place of residence meeting the requirements for implementing the travel quarantine. 

If you - without due reason - do not undergo testing when arriving in Norway, you will need to implement your quarantine duty at a quarantine hotel.

Suitable place of residence

It should be possible to avoid close contact with others for a residence to be suitable for implementing your quarantine. A separate room with a separate bathroom and a separate kitchen or the possibility for serving food is required.

Persons who are part of the same household and who travel to Norway together can implement their travel quarantine at the same place of residence with no requirement for private rooms.

Quarantine hotel

The cost of staying at a quarantine hotel will be NOK 500 per night for individuals above the age of 18 and for employers. The cost for children between the ages of 10 and 18 is NOK 250 per night, while children under the age of 10 are free of charge when living with their parents.

The municipality is responsible for organising the quarantine hotel. You will be offered a test for the coronavirus at the quarantine hotel. Even if your test result comes back negative, you will need to complete your full 10 days quarantine period.

Minor children who arrive in Norway alone and need to stay at a quarantine hotel shall have the opportunity to have an accompanying caregiver at the quarantine hotel.

Children and young people should have the opportunity for play. Accompanying children for outdoor activities at least once a day is encouraged. The hotel should also be able to have food available for children and young people outside of mealtimes, as well as access to laundry when required.

Permanent housing

Permanent housing refers to a residence in Norway where you live and that you either own or rent, alone or with others. This also applies to people who are moving to Norway but have not yet registered their new permanent housing with the National Population Register.

A holiday property does not fall under the definition of permanent housing as these typically are not a permanent residence. The same applies to student housing that is made available by the Student Association. Student housing must meet the requirement for a suitable place of residence.

Upon arrival in Norway you are required to document relevant housing ownership or tenancy. Ownership can be documented via:

  • tax information
  • information on payment of fees etc.
  • information from the land registry that shows that you own the residence. this can be downloaded from the Norwegian Mapping Authority's pages by logging in via Altinn.

The lease can be presented as documentation of the tenancy. The lease must be of a certain duration.

How to implement the travel quarantine

Your travel quarantine period is 10 days starting from the day of your arrival to Norway.

If you are in quarantine you should:

  • Stay at one of the locations described above.
  • Not go to work, school or kindergarten.
  • Not travel domestically.
  • Not seek places where it is difficult to keep a sufficient distance to other people.
  • Not use public transport (with the exception of traveling from your place of arrival to the place where you will be in quarantine, or the opposite direction when leaving Norway prior to completing your quarantine duty period. Anyone over the age of 12 should then wear a face mask.)
  • You should not seek out public places such as shops, pharmacies and cafes. If unavoidable, you can conduct necessary errands in the store or pharmacy but ensure that you maintain a minimum of one metre distance to others.
  • Avoid having visitors in your home. Children cannot meet up with playmates other than those who are part of the same household.

You can go for a walk but keep a good distance to others.

The key point is not to infect others prior to possibly developing symptoms yourself.

Testing can shorten your travel quarantine duty period

You can reduce the length of the travel quarantine if you test negative for the coronavirus twice during your quarantine period.

  • The first test must be taken within three days after arrival. Both the rapid antigen-based test and the standard PCR-based test is
  • The second test can be taken seven days after arrival. The second test must be the PCR-based

Quarantine is mandatory until your second test result comes back negative 

The entire 10-day quarantine period is mandatory for everyone who has visited or resided in the United Kingdom or South Africa in the last 14 days prior to arrival in Norway, with no possibility to shorten the quarantine duty period.

The purpose of this is to avoid infection to be imported into Norway and to get a better overview of potential viral mutations. 

If testing has reached capacity in a municipality, testing to shorten the travel quarantine duty period can be down-prioritized to avoid such testing to be at the expense of ordinary contact tracing.

Members of the same household as someone who is in quarantine

If you live with a person who is implementing their travel quarantine, you only need to follow the advice given to the general population. You should keep a distance to adults who are in quarantine. 

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 while in quarantine

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 while implementing your travel quarantine, you shall contact the local health services for testing. If the test result is negative, you must still stay at home for the rest of your quarantine period.

If you have lingering symptoms after completing your quarantine period you must stay at home until you have recovered (meaning you feel well and do not have a fever), even if some symptoms of a respiratory tract infection lingers.

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

Svalbard

Anyone arriving in Norway from a red area/country need to complete their full quarantine period in mainland Norway prior to travelling on to Svalbard. This applies to all who want to travel to Svalbard, including residents. For more information, see the governor of Svalbard.

Exceptions to the travel quarantine

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.

All exceptions do not apply if you have entered Norway from the United Kingdom or South Africa within the past 14 days. Please refer to the section below on rules for travellers arriving from the United Kingdom or South Africa.

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 other 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 avoid close contact with others than those you live with as far as possible.

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 a country or area in the EEA region / Switzerland referred to as yellow countries/areas.
  • If you travel from a yellow area or country and pass through a red area en route to Norway. Provided that you do not travel by public transport nor stay overnight, and that you maintain good hand hygiene and keep a distance to others if you need to make a stop in the red area.
  • 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.Separate rules apply for the UK and South Africa.
  • Those invited by the Norwegian authorities due to key foreign policy reasons.
  • If you have had COVID-19 infection, and have a confirmed valid laboratory test (PCR-based standard test or antigen-based rapid test), within the last six months. The test must have been taken more than two weeks earlier.  Should you develop symptoms of an acute respiratory infection you should still stay at home until all symptoms are gone.

Exceptions from travel quarantine in the event of serious illness or funeral of a close relative

You can be exempt from quarantine duty if you can document that you have tested negative for the coronavirus and take another test when you are about to:

  • visit a relative who is seriously ill or dying

or

  • attend a funeral of a close relative 

Your spouse, cohabitant, girlfriend, children, siblings, parents, grandparents, parents-in-law or other person with whom you share a close personal connection is defined as your close relative.

Exemption from quarantine duty can only be granted for the specific visit or funeral. The requirements for place of residence and implementation of quarantine otherwise applies.

If you arrive in Norway after having visited the United Kingdom during the previous 14 day period, you will only be exempt if you undergo testing with a negative test result on the day of the visit or funeral.

Exceptions to quarantine rules in connection with work

Exceptions for long-haul truck drivers and train personnel

Long-haul truck drivers and train personnel who arrive in Norway from red areas or countries in the EEA/Switzerland region are exempt from travel quarantine when crossing the border into Norway. The exemption applies only during work. The person should be in travel quarantine during leisure time.

See exceptions for flight crew and personnel on freight trains (lovdata.no) (in Norwegian)

Exceptions for certain employees or workers: Testing at least every seven days

You may be exempt from quarantine duty if you are:

  • An employee or worker who frequently arrives in Norway (more than once during a 15-day period) from a red area in Sweden or Finland on your way from where you live to where you work.
  • A student in upper secondary school or higher education commuting from a red area in Sweden or Finland into Norway.

You may be exempt from quarantine duty during work if you follow a specific test regime that involve testing for the coronavirus:

  • at least every seven days

or

  • the first day you arrive Norway followed by every seven days, if more than seven days have passed since you were tested in Norway.

Your employer should arrange for and pay for the testing. For pupils and students, the educational institution or school owner is responsible.

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

Exceptions for employees travelling from the EEA region or Switzerland

You may be exempt from quarantine during work if you are:

  • An employee arriving in Norway from countries or areas in the EEA region or Switzerland with a sufficiently low level of infection.

At present, this only applies to very few areas or countries within the EEA region or Switzerland. Please refer to the map at fhi.no of the relevant countries and areas.

If you have been in a country or area with a particularly high level of infection, you will not be granted an exception to the quarantine duty. You can therefore not start working until your 10-day quarantine duty period is completed.

Before you can enter Norway in order to work, you must familiarize yourself with the rules for entry.

To be exempt, you must undergo a test regime that involves that you:

  • provide a negative test result for the coronavirus upon arrival in Norway
  • are tested every three days during the entire 10-day quarantine period
  • live in solitude / a single room throughout the quarantine period

The employer shall provide for and fund the testing regime.

The single room requirement does not apply if you implement your quarantine duty in your own home.

You are under quarantine duty both during work and leisure time until your first test result comes back negative.

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 quarantine rules during work can be granted if a test regime cannot be carried out due to time restrictions and when strictly necessary in order to maintain proper operation of critical public functions or meet the basic needs of the population. Exceptions to transmission quarantine rules can ony be granted in cases related to matters of life and health.

Refer to the list of critical public functions at regjeringen.no (in Norwegian).

Exceptions do not apply during leisure time.

Other exceptions for some employees

Some employees are exempt from travel quarantine in the COVID-19-regulations (lovdata.no)

For more information, see COVID-19 regulations (lovdata.no).

Entry to Norway – information in several languages

Rules for travellers arriving from the United Kingdom or South Africa

If you arrive in Norway from the United Kingdom or South Africa after December 21, 2020 and have been there during the 14 days period prior to arrival, the following applies:

  • You need to complete the registration form – which you can find here.
  • You will have to undergo testing for the coronavirus (PCR-based test) as soon as possible and no later than 24 hours after your arrival in Norway. You will then have to take a second test seven days after arrival at the earliest, and the negative test result before you can end you quarantine duty period at the end of the full 10 days quarantine period.
  • You must contact the municipality in which you will be staying or the test centre to schedule and undergo testing. You are obliged to inform that the need for testing is triggered by your recent stay in or visit to the United Kingdom or South Africa. Refer to the webpages of the municipality you are travelling to or reside in for information on testing.

If you have been in South Africa during the period January 2nd – 16th, 2021 you will need to undergo testing for the coronavirus (PCR-based test) as soon as possible. You do not have to follow the above mentioned two-test routine if you arrived in Norway during this time period.

The requirement for testing does not apply if you have had a COVID-19 infection within the last six months, as confirmed by a valid laboratory test (PCR-based test or rapid antigen-based test).

Quarantine duty requirements for persons who have been to the United Kingdom or South Africa

If you have been in the United Kingdom or South Africa during the 14 days period prior to entering Norway, you will have to enter a 10 days travel quarantine. The requirement related to arrivals from South Africa is valid for anyone arriving in Norway after January 15th, 2021. The travel quarantine duty does not apply if you have had a COVID-19 infection within the last six months, as confirmed by a valid laboratory test (PCR-based test or rapid antigen-based test).

When arriving in Norway from the United Kingdom or South Africa you will not be able to take advantage of the following travel quarantine exceptions:

  • Exceptions for those arriving in Norway from Sweden or Finland as part of their journey between their place of work / study and where they live more than once during a period of 15 days.
  • Exceptions to the travel quarantine duty in order to be with children as part of access and contact arrangements between parents and children or children living in two homes.
  • Exceptions for athletes in connection with international sports events.
  • Exceptions for flight crew and personnel on freight trains who disembark from an aircraft or train in an area that triggers quarantine duty.
  • Exceptions for employees who arrive in Norway to board a vessel in a Norwegian port.
  • Specific rules apply for military personnel.

These exceptions can still be used, with adaptations:

  • Exceptions to the travel quarantine duty for business travellers when following the test regime.
  • Opportunity for the entity's management to grant exemptions for personnel in critical public functions. You are only exempt during work hours when necessary to avoid danger to life and health, AND only after having undergone testing for the coronavirus no sooner than three days after arrival with a negative test result.
  • Exceptions to the travel quarantine duty in the event of serious illness or funeral of a close relation. You will only be exempt if you undergo testing with a negative test result (rapid antigen-baser test) on the day of the visit or funeral.

Advice before travelling 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 should 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 might have consequences for you as a traveller. Several countries and airports have introduced control measures and have 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 limitations in the healthcare services at the destination if you should turn ill.
  • Risk of lack of possibility for 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 on 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.

If you are going to travel or study in Europe, you should bring your European Health Insurance Card

Preventive advice during travel

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly. An alcohol-based disinfectant can be a good alternative.
  • Keep a good distance to others that are not your close contacts.
  • Cough into the crook of your elbow or a paper tissue.

Students and others 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.

How to receive guests from abroad

A guest from abroad who is not a resident in Norway must stay in a quarantine hotel for 10 days upon arrival. The guest cannot stay at their hosts place while implementing their travel quarantine duty.

Once the period at the quarantine hotel has been completed, it is still your responsibility – as the host – to facilitate good routines at home to prevent the spread of infection.

Appropriate hygiene measures at home

  • Make it easy to maintain good hand hygiene. Have paper towel or a separate towel for each guest available. Put out an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Guests could use a separate bathroom/toilet, if possible.
  • Clean surfaces that are often touched (e.g., door handles).
  • Those who do not normally live in the same household or are close contacts, should keep at least one-meter distance.

Serving food

  • The person cooking and serving the food must wash their hands thoroughly and frequently.
  • The person cooking and serving the food must be healthy.
  • Everyone should wash their hands prior to the meal. Place an alcohol-based hand sanitizer on the table.
  • Everyone should have their own cutlery for eating but can share the cutlery used for serving the food.
  • Avoid finger food and buffets.

More information on food and drinks can be found at the Norwegian Food Safety Authority's websites.

Links to further advice