Alert: COVID-19 Information – May 29, 2020

Updates:

  • On May 29, the Norwegian government announced that routine travel between Norway and Denmark will be allowed without quarantine starting June 15.  For more information, see the May 29 press release.
  • On May 28, the Norwegian government updated quarantine rules and announced that work travel between the Nordic countries will be allowed starting June 1.  For more information, see the May 28 press release.

Global Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel:

  • On March 31, the U.S. Department of State issued a new Level 4 Global Health Advisory recommending U.S. citizens avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.  In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.  Airlines have cancelled many international flights and various cruise operators have suspended operations or cancelled trips.  There is no guarantee that the Department of State will be able to continue to provide repatriation assistance and transportation options to the United States may be unavailable in the future.

Entry and Exit Information:

  • On March 16, 2020, the Norwegian Government closed the border to foreign nationals who lack a residence permit in Norway. Temporary entry and exit controls have been introduced at the Swedish border.  However, Norwegian airports are not closing. The airports remain open for international flights enabling foreign nationals to depart.
  • Many travelers are having trouble finding flights due to route suspensions and widespread flight cancellations.  However, flights continue between many U.S. cities and transit hubs such as Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Doha among others with flight connections to Norway. Please continue to work with your airline and explore travel with other airlines that are offering flights to the United States.
  • The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) has posted a link with information for foreign nationals that cannot leave Norway due to COVID-19.
  • Restrictions on non-essential travel into the Schengen Zone remain in effect until June 15.  For more information, see the European Commission press release from May 8.
  • The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) and Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs advise to avoid all unnecessary travel.  The advice, which includes an entry ban for travelers that are not Norwegian citizens or permanent resident holders to Norway, has been extended until August 20, 2020.  Please see the May 15 press release regarding updated travel advice.
  • Please contact your travel insurance company to check if your travel insurance is valid for travel during the COVID-19 situation.  Many travel insurances are not currently valid for travel abroad.

Quarantine Information:

  • As a general rule for all infections, sick people should stay at home and not go to work/place of study/school/childcare center.  If you have more serious symptoms, contact your doctor by telephone. If you cannot reach your doctor, call the emergency out-of-hours clinic (116 117).
  • The Norwegian government is allowing symptom-free people in quarantine to leave Norway provided sound infection control measures are in place during transport from the place of quarantine to the place of departure. For more information, please see the Norwegian government’s guidance for foreign nationals without symptoms.
  • Anyone that has traveled outside Norway in the past 10 days must follow home quarantine procedures.  See the Health Norway travel advice page.
  • For more information, see the NIPH’s site for general information to the public.

COVID-19 Prevention Measures:

  • On May 15, the Norwegian government announced travel guidance focused on leisure travel, but also included guidance that entry restrictions and quarantine will remain in effect until August 20.  For more information, see the May 15 press release.
  • On April 30, the Norwegian government announced further relaxed COVID-19 prevention measures such as reducing the recommended distance between people to one meter and allowing events in public spaces with up to 50 people starting May 7.  For more information, see the April 30 press release.
  • Retail and grocery stores are open. Follow the advice of national security authorities about what to keep at home.
  • The transportation sector operates as normal.  However, avoid travel unless strictly necessary.
  • Schools are open, but higher education institutions remain closed.
  • Most restaurants and bars are open. Cultural events and sporting events are prohibited through   June 15.  Swimming pools and gyms remain closed.
  • Additional restrictions are in place for visitors to health institutions. Do not visit people at   institutions in vulnerable groups, such as the elderly or the sick.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Question— Will the Department of State or U.S. military be evacuating U.S. citizens?

Answer – There are currently no plans to evacuate US citizens from Norway.  We are aware the governments of some other countries have announced suspension of air travel.  In those countries, the State Department is considering all options to assist U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens should monitor our travel.state.gov website and enroll in STEP.state.gov for the most up-to-date information.

Question—I am a U.S. citizen. Can I travel to Norway?

Answer – Norway is currently restricting entry to Norwegian citizens and permanent residents only: March 15 press release 

Question—Are Norway’s airports closed?  Am I stranded in Norway?

Answer – The Government of Norway issued a March 15 press release to clarify that it has implemented stricter border controls, but airports are not closed completely.  Flights continue for the moment so Norwegian citizens and residents abroad may return and residents of other countries and foreign tourists may depart Norway.  However, airlines have cancelled many international flights and availability of flights and routes is unpredictable.

Question— I am an American citizen trying to fly home to Norway or the United States but cannot find a flight.  What are your recommendations?

Answer – Many travelers are having trouble finding flights due to route suspensions and widespread flight cancellations. However, flights continue between many U.S. cities and transit hubs such as Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Doha with flight connections to Norway. Please continue to work with your airline and explore travel with other airlines that are offering flights to the United States.

Question— Do I need to wear a face mask during a flight to/from Norway?

Answer — Several airlines now require passengers to bring and use their own face masks and may deny boarding to those who do not do so.  If you plan on traveling, we advise that you consult with your airline about their specific requirements.

Question – Is there a quarantine for passengers upon arrival in the United States?

Answer – We refer you to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Health and Human Services for questions regarding medical screening and quarantine for U.S. citizens entering the United States from other countries and jurisdictions.  The Department of Homeland Security fact sheet on arrival restrictions indicates that passengers from designated COVID-19 affected countries will be required to arrive at one of 13 airports where the U.S. Government has implemented enhanced screening procedures and will be subject to a 14-day self-quarantine period.

Question – Is there a quarantine for passengers upon arrival in Norway?

Answer – Yes, currently for passengers who have traveled abroad within the past 10 days or for those that appear to have COVID-19 symptoms.  For more information about travel to and quarantine in Norway, see the following Quarantine Information from Helse Norge.

Question – What will happen if I overstay my visa in Norway due to quarantine or cancelled flights?

Answer – the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration has jurisdiction over residency and length of stay in Norway.  A March 20 statement from UDI notes that foreign nationals who are not able to depart Norway before their visa or residency permit expires will not face negative consequences.  UDI’s Question and Answer page further explains that it is not possible to apply for an extension with the police closed and that you do not need to contact UDI, but that you should try to depart Norway as soon as possible.  We advise that you document your efforts to depart.

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