International travels

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

Rolling suitcase on airport floor

Illustration: Mostphotos/Chad McDermott

The information will be updated.

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 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). The exception is not an encouragement to travel abroad. The Government advices everyone to consider whether an international travel is strictly necessary.

Travelers arriving from yellow countries or areas are not under quarantine duty.

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

Refer to the updated map at fhi.no of the countries and 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 you should 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 to do if you arrive in Norway from a red country or area?

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

The final decision as to which areas or 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 be updated every fortnight at a minimum.

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

When arriving from a red country or area the following applies:

  • You need to complete a 10 days travel quarantine starting from the day of your arrival to Norway. See how to implement your quarantine here.
  • Keep wearing the face mask from your flight until you have reached home or the location where you will implement your quarantine.
  • 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.
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Pay close attention to any symptoms developing.
  • Take a test for the coronavirus if you develop any symptoms while in quarantine, see the Coronavirus Self-Checker.

What to do if you arrive in Norway from a yellow country or area?

You are exempt from travel quarantine duty when arriving in Norway from a country or area with a sufficiently low level of transmission. Yellow and red countries and areas are marked in this map from NIPH (fhi.no).

When arriving from a yellow country or area the following applies:

  • You do not need to enter 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 any 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 in cooperation with your employer for healthcare personnel who do not have direct patient contact.

Travel quarantine

Anyone returning from red countries or 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.

Violation of the quarantine duty is a criminal offence.

Traveling through countries or areas en route to Norway

Transiting through a yellow country or area:  If you travel from a red country and pass through one or several yellow countries, the time you spend in these yellow countries is counted as quarantine time. As an example: If you travel from a red country and pass through a yellow country and spend five days in this yellow country before entering Norway, you are left with only five more days of quarantine duty. You need to complete your total quarantine period of 10 days, either in whole or partially in Norway.

Transiting through a red country or area:  If you are in a yellow country or area you travel through areas defined as red without this triggering quarantine duty. This is provided you do not use public transport, do not stay overnight in the area and keep a distance to others than those you normally live with.

If your flight itinerary includes an in-transit stop in a red country or area this will trigger quarantine duty upon arrival in Norway.

How to implement the quarantine

When you are in quarantine, you should stay in your own home or in another suitable place of residence*. You can only stay outside your home or place of residence if you can avoid close contact with anyone other than those you normally live with.

If you are in quarantine you cannot:

  • go to work, school or kindergarten or engage in activities outside your home
  • take longer domestic trips
  • seek places where it is difficult to keep a sufficient distance to other people
  • 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 and avoid queuing.

You cannot go visit others and you should avoid having visitors in your home.

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

Children who are in quarantine cannot meet up with playmates other than those who are part of the same household.

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

* Not accepted as a suitable place of residence

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.

Documentation of your stay 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.

Members of the same household as someone who is in quarantine

If you live with a person who is in quarantine, you should follow the advice given to the general population. Should a member of your household develop symptoms while in quarantine the recommendation from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health is that you also stay at home in quarantine.

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 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.

The use of public transport is in general not permitted

You are not allowed to travel by public transport during your time in quarantine. 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.

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.

See advice and information from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health

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 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 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 a country with a sufficiently low level of transmission, referred to as yellow 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.
  • 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 the country – you must stay in travel quarantine during this leisure time.

You do not 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.

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

Test centres upon entry into Norway

You will be offered a test for the coronavirus when you arrive in Norway via selected airports and the border control at Storskog. The offer is valid for those arriving both from yellow and green countries. Testing is voluntary and free of charge, as part of the efforts to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection being imported into Norway. The test centers on ports are currently on hold, but will be established if needed.

If your test comes back negative after arriving from a red 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 be contacted by the health services and isolated to avoid transferring the disease to others and stop the spread.

The test result will be available within three days. We do not have the means to issue all the negative test results. If you have not heard anything within 3 days, this implies that you have tested negative. 

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. In some municipalities, travellers who are not Norwegian citizens will receive a logon link via SMS.

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.

Preventive advice during travel

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly. ask hendene ofte og grundig. 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

Hosting guests from abroad triggers the responsibility for creating new 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