The travel advice was introduced on 14 March as an extraordinary measure to protect life and health in a situation of rapid coronavirus transmission. Restrictions imposed around the world have created an unpredictable and difficult set of circumstances for Norwegian travellers.
‘We are still in a serious, unpredictable situation. The number of coronavirus infections is increasing in all parts of the world. Most countries have introduced travel restrictions and quarantine rules. Borders have been closed and very strict aviation restrictions have been introduced. The window of opportunity for travelling home is closing. We are therefore advising against all international travel that is not strictly necessary until further notice,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.
Many Norwegians have managed to get home since the situation arose – both on their own and with the help of the Foreign Ministry. Returning to Norway is becoming increasingly difficult. Those who wish to return to Norway and still have the chance to use commercial routes must do so now.
Norway is cooperating closely and effectively with the Nordic countries and other countries in Europe to arrange flights from places where travel restrictions make it almost impossible to fly out by commercial aircraft. Arranging such flights is a major challenge due to the restrictions many countries have put into effect, and for many travellers returning to Norway will take time. Nor is there any guarantee that homeward journeys can be arranged from all the countries where there is a need.
Once a flight is confirmed, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will provide information to travellers who have registered at www.reiseregistrering.no on how to book tickets. Passengers pay for their own trips and must make their own travel arrangements home to Norway.
‘The Foreign Ministry’s ways of helping Norwegians to get home are becoming more limited as additional countries impose restrictions and close borders. As a result, significant numbers of Norwegian travellers who are abroad must prepare themselves to have to stay in the country where they are until it becomes possible to travel again,’ Ms Eriksen Søreide said.
If returning home is now impossible, travellers must contact their insurance company as their stay abroad will be longer than planned. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will follow up with advice, information and guidance for travelling Norwegian citizens who have to remain outside of Norway until the situation changes and travel once again becomes possible. Wherever they may be, we urge all travellers to follow the advice and requests of local authorities.
We also ask all them to register at www.reiseregistrering.no and update their whereabouts and scheduled departure dates. All who have returned home must delete their registration after returning.
Norwegian nationals who travel to other countries now despite this clear travel advice must not expect to receive consular assistance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to return home to Norway.
Existing travel advice remains in force for countries and regions to which the Foreign Ministry has already advised against travelling.
The press release can also be accessed in Norwegian here.