Changes in travel advice and border controls due to the corona virus

- Information in Norwegian

- Information in English

Information about travel and coronavirus

Map - Kuva:EU
Cumulativ number of reported covid-19 cases per 100.000. As of 14 March. Credit: EU

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against non-essential travel to all countries. For now, this advice will remain in effect until 14 April.

The Foreign Ministry urges all Norwegian citizens who are travelling abroad to consider returning home as soon as possible, in a safe and calm manner, in consultation with their travel agency or airline.

The reason is the increasing spread of coronavirus internationally and the unpredictable and difficult situation faced by many travellers. 

The health authorities introduced new measures to combat coronavirus infections on 12 March. Norway’s Director General of Health advised against all leisure travel, both domestic and international. All travellers coming to Norway from any country other than Finland or Sweden are to undergo quarantine for 14 days, regardless of whether they have symptoms. This order has retroactive effect dating from 27 February.

Questions about travel and the coronavirus

I am on a trip. Should I go home?

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urges all Norwegian citizens who are travelling abroad to consider returning home as soon as possible, in a safe and calm manner, in consultation with their travel agency or airline.

Norwegian citizens who live permanently in another country should comply with the advice and directions of local authorities.

The decision to travel home is up to individuals themselves. Norwegian authorities can provide advice and travel information.

The situation in countries experiencing outbreaks of the coronavirus is rapidly changing. Countries may be quick to introduce travel restrictions or mandatory quarantine for travellers arriving from countries with the coronavirus. Borders may close, flights may be cancelled and other measures may be implemented.

It is important that individuals appraise the situation carefully. It is important to take precautions and to keep abreast of developments locally and nationally in the country in question.

A great deal of information is available on our website and that of the Institute of Public Health.

The situation is evolving fast and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs cannot guarantee that changes will not occur at short notice.

I am a Norwegian citizen or have permanent residence in Norway. Will I get into the country when the borders are closed?

Yes, you will.  The Government will be closing the border to foreign nationals who lack a residence permit in Norway. They will be turned away at the border under provisions of a Norwegian law relating to the control of communicable diseases. This applies to foreign nationals without a residence permit in Norway.

However, Norwegian airports are not closing. All Norwegian citizens and persons who live or work in Norway will continue to be let into the country. Exemptions will be provided for European Economic Area (EEA) citizens and their family members who reside in Norway. Exemptions are also being prepared for EEA citizens who work in Norway.

Aircraft from abroad will be landing at Norwegian airports in the coming week, allowing Norwegians to get home. We will also be contacting the authorities in other countries to help ensure that the airlines are permitted to fly Norwegians home to Norway. But in this situation we are unable to provide guarantees. The airports will be open for international flights enabling tourists/foreign nationals to travel out.

All travellers coming to Norway from any country other than Finland or Sweden are to undergo quarantine for 14 days, regardless of whether they have symptoms. This order has retroactive effect dating from 27 February.  

The police are instituting temporary entry and exit controls at the inner and outer Schengen border, but no border crossing points are being closed.

Will the Norwegian authorities help Norwegians to get home?

There is ongoing dialogue between Norwegian authorities and the airlines to ensure as far as possible that essential flights are maintained. Our aim is to ensure that Norwegian citizens and foreign nationals with a valid residence permit in Norway can return home safely.

I am abroad and considering travelling to Norway. What can I do?

If you are outside of Norway we recommend that you contact your travel agency, airline and/or insurance company for information about returning home. We urge everyone to pay attention to the local news, especially related to the spread of the virus, as well as information and directions issued by local authorities. Follow closely the websites of airports and airlines for travel updates.

What does the Foreign Ministry recommend for students and exchange students studying outside of Norway? Should they travel home?

The Foreign Ministry’s advice to consider returning home applies first and foremost to those who are travelling, i.e. who have no place of residence or permanent accommodation abroad. In many cases, graduate students staying abroad over several years will be considered residents, while exchange students are often on shorter stays. But this is not an absolute distinction or recommendation. The situation varies greatly from country to country, so individuals must consider local conditions, their own circumstances and the available options for travelling home. Everyone who returns home now must be quarantined in accordance with the Directorate of Health’s guidelines.

They should ask themselves the following:

How prevalent is the infection? Are they in a group at special risk? Are they young and in need of family support? How is the local health system? Will they be able to remain indoors over time if the society shuts down? Do they have a local network? Are there already exit restrictions or problems affecting the chances of returning home?

Can Norwegians heading home travel through Denmark?

We are in close contact with the Danish authorities and have had it confirmed that exemptions are being made from the entry ban for Norwegians who need to travel through Denmark to return to Norway. Travel by car from Denmark to Norway must go via Sweden. In any case everyone should pay continuous attention to what the Danish authorities are saying about this. For more information: https://politi.dk/coronavirus-i-danmark

Can I carry out my planned holiday?

Our recommendation is that you do not. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against all international travel that is not strictly necessary. For now, this travel advice is to remain in effect from 14 March to 14 April.

The health authorities introduced new measures to combat the coronavirus on March 12, with the Director General of Health encouraging Norwegian citizens to avoid non-essential travel (both domestic and international). All who come from trips outside the Nordic countries are to be quarantined for 14 days, regardless of whether they have symptoms. This measure has retroactive effect from 27 February.

Do the Norwegian authorities have an overview of travel restrictions in other countries?

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs publishes travel information for all countries at regjeringen.no. However, countries may introduce measures at short notice ¬– new entry restrictions, for example – without necessarily notifying other countries in advance. We see cases of mandatory quarantine on arrival for citizens of countries with the coronavirus. Many flights have been cancelled. Borders may be closed. Some countries have already introduced measures and restrictions that affect Norwegian citizens or people travelling from Norway. The situation is rapidly evolving so it is important that travellers themselves investigate it carefully.

Can I plan a summer holiday?

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against all international travel that is not strictly necessary. For now, this travel advice is to remain in effect from 14 March to 14 April, but the period may be extended.

The Norwegian authorities are unable to forecast when the present situation will end. It will always be the case that individuals must assess the need to travel in light of the prevailing situation at their destination.

How can travellers get home to Norway when all flights are cancelled?

If you cannot get home from your travel destination, you should first contact your airline and/or travel agency and insurance company. Also, be aware that you will be required to undergo home quarantine upon return if you have been to countries outside the Nordic region.

What does it take for Norway to advise against all non-essential travel to a country?

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues travel advice after conducting an overall assessment of the security situation for Norwegian travellers. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is now advising against travel to all countries unless strictly necessary. For now, this travel advice remains in effect from 14 March to 14 April, but the period may be extended.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ travel advice does not constitute an order or a restriction. Travel advice is advisory only. Norwegian authorities can never guarantee that it is safe to carry out a trip or stay somewhere. Individuals must take responsibility not only for assessing whether a trip to a certain destination is justifiable but also for the choices that are made while abroad. Individuals must also take the necessary precautions on their own behalf before and during a trip.

Can the Norwegian authorities get Norwegian citizens out of quarantine abroad?

Foreign authorities may introduce travel restrictions and other measures, such as quarantine for travellers, at short notice. The Norwegian authorities have no opportunity to influence measures imposed by other countries to prevent further infection, and therefore cannot get Norwegian citizens out of quarantine.

Will the Norwegian authorities assist Norwegian citizens quarantined abroad?

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has very limited ability to provide assistance to Norwegian citizens placed in quarantine abroad. The Norwegian authorities have no opportunity to influence or appeal against measures imposed by other countries which they consider necessary to prevent further infection within their own borders.

What is your best advice for Norwegians travelling abroad?

Travellers should pay attention to information and updates about the coronavirus. Norwegian citizens are also encouraged to follow any advice or instructions issued by the authorities in the country where they are staying. In addition, Norwegians should register at reiseregistrering.no so we can reach them with updates and information. They should also make sure to have valid travel insurance at all times.

What is your best advice for Norwegians living abroad?

Norwegian citizens living in other countries should keep abreast of the national situation and follow the advice and instructions of local authorities. They should also make sure to have the necessary health insurance and to register at reiseregistrering.no.

Are there entry restrictions in the country I will be travelling to?

Local authorities may introduce travel restrictions and other measures, such as quarantine. You should familiarise yourself with current entry regulations for the country to which you plan to travel. Regulations may change at short notice and we recommend contacting the country’s authorities, such as its embassy in Norway. The Norwegian authorities are unable to forecast when the present situation will end.

Must I be quarantined on return to Norway? 

The health authorities introduced new measures on 12 March stating that all travellers coming from outside the Nordic countries are to be quarantined for 14 days, regardless of whether they have symptoms. The measure has retroactive effect dating from 27 February.

Will my insurance reimburse me in case of a cancelled trip? 

Questions about travel cancellations and travel insurance must be directed to your insurance company or travel agency.

General information for travellers

  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is closely monitoring the situation. Norwegians abroad who need urgent or special assistance may contact the nearest embassy or the Ministry’s operational centre at +47 23 95 23 95.

  • The Foreign Ministry urges all Norwegian citizens who are travelling abroad to consider returning home as soon as possible, in a safe and calm manner, in consultation with their travel agency or airline.

  • Travellers should pay attention to information and updates provided by the media. They are also urged to follow the advice and instructions of local authorities in the country where they are travelling.

  • The situation may change rapidly. Infrastructure such as buses, trains and air traffic may be affected. Local authorities may introduce travel restrictions and other measures, such as quarantine for travellers, at short notice.

  • Any country is free to impose measures and restrictions to try to prevent further infection. The Norwegian authorities have no opportunity to influence or appeal against measures that other countries impose on travellers.

  • In Norway, the Institute of Public Health (FHI) is responsible for infection control advice related to travel.

  • Have a question about the novel coronavirus? If you do not find the answer at fhi.no, call 815 55 015 (only from Norway).