The land of fjords and mythical Nordic culture, Norway is a stunning country.. And while its nature is as majestic as you’d expect, the country’s cities are bastions of cool, with cutting-edge cuisine and a cafe culture to rival any coffee-loving nation. Even if COVID-19 is here to stay.
We are here to help you navigate the New Normal with our guide to the COVID entry requirements for Norway. Our article includes everything you’ll need if you’re planning a trip: who can enter, testing and quarantine measures in place, and any restrictions on the ground.
This guide has all the information YOU NEED TO KNOW for travelling to Norway in 2020.
A message from Will, the OG Broke Backpacker
Amigos, let’s face the facts: travel isn’t what it was. Things have changed.
We strive at The Broke Backpacker to be the best source of up-to-date and relevant information in the travel-sphere. All the information here was sourced, checked, double-checked, and published on 10/12/2020. While the information was correct then—and we will outline any changes and updates that we do make in the future—it’s important to respect the immense changeability of this topic.
If you’re going to be travelling amongst the coronavirus world, you need to, do your own research and do it hard. No one blog or website is a sufficient source, and even if it was, it might all just go tits up anyway.
This information changes more often than I fart in a day. Tread with caution.
And if you do see some misinformation, please leave a (constructive) comment so that we can patch it up! We really do appreciate your support and input in these weirdest of times.
Who Can Travel to Norway Right Now?
As of 9th November, is currently allowing travel from European Union member states and Schengen area countries (including the United Kingdom). That list is as follows:
The above countries and others, including Andorra, Monaco and San Marino, are subject to Norway’s colour-coded system of risk assessment. Currently all countries are on the red (high risk) list, except for Greenland (Denmark) and certain parts of Finland, which are yellow (medium risk).
Third countries, which includes Australia, Canada, and New Zealand among others, are currently not permitted to enter Norway. This travel ban is slated to be in place until 1st June 2021. However, these restrictions will continue to be re-assessed in line with the development of the coronavirus pandemic.
Exemptions to the restrictions include those visiting family in Norway, those with a place of residence in Norway, healthcare professionals and others; for the full list of exemptions see here (in Norwegian).
Can Americans travel to Norway?
At the moment, American tourists may not travel to Norway.
However, it is possible that under exceptional circumstances some American travellers may be permitted entry into Norway’s borders. Regardless of which category you fall into, it is still important to note what travel to Norway may require once restrictions are lifted.
What Are the COVID-19 Entry Requirements for Norway?
Norway is currently using a colour-coded system to make the process f recognising high and medium risk countries easier. Some countries were previously listed as green (low risk), but now all EU/EEA countries are red, bar some areas of Finland.
Whether a country/region is red or orange determines what requirements visitors from that country/region must undertake:
Those arriving from countries/regions listed as “red” must be required to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test. This must be taken within 72 hours of your arrival in Norway.
A test on arrival is available for all travellers. This is a voluntary test for COVID-19 and is not a requirement, regardless of your country of origin’s red/orange status. These are free of charge in an effort to encourage more travellers to take them.
Test results are available within three days. The official site for public health information states that the government does not have the capacity to deliver all negative test results; if you do not hear from the health authorities within three days you may assume it is negative.
If your test comes back positive, you will be contacted by health authorities and isolated.
All visitors from red countries to Norway will be required to quarantine for 10 days. This is regardless of whether or not you have a negative result from a pre-travel COVID-19 test. Even those who tested negative for COVID-19 on arrival in Norway will still be required to quarantine for the whole 10-day period.
Quarantine must be done at a quarantine hotel. This costs NOK 500 (around US$55) per night for individuals. This also applies to those visiting family members in Norway.
If you are not a resident of Norway, but own a holiday home (except caravans, boats etc.) you may carry out quarantine at this residence.
During quarantine, it is recommended that you:
- Stay inside as much as possible
- Do not go to work or school
- Do not take any long domestic trips
- Avoid anywhere with crowds
- Do not use public transport (except when travelling to/from your place of quarantine)
- Maintain social distance of at least one metre if necessary trips to shops and pharmacies
If you develop any symptoms of COVID-19 whilst in quarantine, you should contact health authorities.
Note that those arriving from yellow countries/regions will not have to self-isolate.
And for those who wish to travel to Svalbard, if you are travelling from a red area – including residents – you must complete the full 10-day quarantine before leaving the mainland.
There is currently no additional documentation required for travel to Norway.
However proof of family, spouse and partner relationships is required. There is no particular evidence that must be presented, but marriage and birth certificates are accepted, as are any official documents that prove your cohabitating status with a partner.
Those residing in Norway who wish their grandparent, parent, child, etc. to visit may complete this solemn declaration on family relation.
Those who wish to carry out quarantine at a property they own (as stated above), should expect their ownership of said property to be documented on arrival.
There was an coronavirus app called Spittestop in operation in Norway, but this was pulled by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in June 2020 due to privacy concerns.
Travellers from the EU/EEA may travel freely to Norway as usual, with entry requirements in place as detailed above.
However, until further notice, all visa application centres have ceased accepting applications for short stay visas in Norway as requested by the Royal Norwegian Consulate.
Please see the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration for a list of countries who are eligible for visa-exempt travel to Norway.
Those who can enter Norway’s borders visa-free will not be required to have travel insurance.
However, it is highly recommended that you acquire adequate travel insurance for any trip made during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is crucial to cover not only the costs of healthcare, but those incurred by unavoidable extensions and/or interruptions to vacations.
For more information, please see our travel insurance section.
However, applicants for a Schengen visa are required to secure travel insurance of at least €30,000 coverage.
Norway Travel Restrictions – On the Ground in the Norway
As with many countries around the world, Norway has a number of measures in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The most basic of these include New Normal guidelines, some of the most important are listed below:
- Washing hands with soap (or use alcohol-based disinfectant)
- Keep your distance from others (1 metre)
- Practice good cough/sneeze etiquette (into elbow sleeves or paper tissue)
Wearing a mask in Norway is mandatory, but only in certain situations and in certain local areas. It is important to check for local requirements on the recommended or mandatory use of masks.
There is currently only one nationwide circumstance when masks are mandatory: when taking public transport to/from your place of quarantine (if required to quarantine).
Note that masks are mandatory only for those aged 12 and over.
There are other measures in place throughout Norway, both on a local and nationwide level. The government stopped short of issuing a full “lockdown” on 5th November, instead urging citizens to stay at home as much as possible and limit social contact with others.
These recommendations include a limitation on social gatherings of more than 20 people, and avoiding unnecessary domestic travel.
These restrictions are stricter in the capital, Oslo, which announced closures and mandatory mask usage on public transport. These are in place as of 10th November and expected to run for at least three weeks.
What Tourist Services Have Reopened in Norway?
Many services throughout Norway are subject to restrictions and limitations due to COVID-19. In large cities such as Oslo and Bergen, where cases are higher than elsewhere, there are stricter measures in place. Services still open include:
- Ski resorts
- National parks
Limitations on various services and establishments differ depending on the regional authorities in Norway. For example, restaurants may remain open in Oslo, if they do not serve alcohol. And while bars are closed entirely in the capital, on a national level bars are open but must close at midnight; restaurants with liquor licenses may not admit customers after 10 p.m.
Ski resorts are operating within New Normal guidelines, too. For instance, guests are encouraged to purchase ski lift passes online, and the number of people in each gondola is limited.
Now, while travel insurance is not a mandatory entry requirement for Norway, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have it. You really shouldn’t ever be travelling without insurance, and that goes double for the pandemic!
Keeping yourself covered against coronavirus mishaps is a complex subject, however, Americans get it easy. Our favourite insurance provider World Nomads just got favourite-r! They’re covering against COVID-related incidents and will also count for countries where corona coverage is a requirement.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple—just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
Is there a backup option? Sure is—SafetyWing Travel Insurance! SafetWing is the cheap, long-term insurance for cheap, long-term travellers. And now, they’ve stepped up to the plate covering travellers and digital nomads against COVID-19 related medical expenses… at a bargain!
And if neither of those two choices are right for you? Well, in that case, I strongly, strongly, strongly recommend doing your own research on the top travel insurance companies and finding one right for your trip.
And Keep Smiling
Even though Norway is currently restricting travel to many countries throughout the world, that doesn’t mean it’s closed for good. Everything great about Norway still remains in place to enjoy.
All it means is that you’ll need to wait a little longer to get out there and experience it all. The grandeur of the fjords, the prime skiing, the city life: it’s just on hold for the foreseeable future.
If you’re raring to go, and you’re allowed to – great! But if you’d rather wait till things blow over (or if your country is subject to Norway’s travel ban), you can always dream of planning a trip.
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