Expanding on our Coronavirus Observatory, we are now making a compilation of the most relevant and recent COVID-19 information relating to Norway, to give our readers a better understanding of how the Norwegian Government is addressing the coronavirus pandemic.
On 12 March 2020, Norway announced, in the words of its former Prime Minister Erna Solberg, “the most far-reaching measures Norway’s population has ever experienced in peacetime.” Due to both the success of the country’s vaccination campaign and a low infection rate, however, as of 25 September 2021, the Norwegian Government declared that the country was moving to stage 4 of its reopening plan, namely ‘normal everyday life with increased emergency preparedness.’ Increased COVID-19 rates brought about by the emergence of the Omicron variant (see here and here) resulted in revisions to thestrategy and emergency preparedness plan and a ramping up of measures. Nonetheless, having determined that Omicron is less severe than previous variants, the Norwegian Government has once again removed restrictions throughout the country (see here).
International Travel: Since 26 January 2022, required travel quarantine has been removed for all travellers regardless of vaccination status. Furthermore, from 12 February 2022, both entry registration and documentation confirming a negative COVID-19 test taken prior to arrival into the country has no longer been necessary. Therefore, all entry requirements have been lifted for all travellers (see here). For more information about land, airport and harbour border information, see here and here.
Domestic Travel: All domestic travel has been permitted since 25 June 2021. Nonetheless, for individuals travelling toSvalbard, required testing on the mainland is mandatory prior to departure. Furthermore, it is advisable to check municipality websites prior to travelling to ascertain whether any local restrictions apply (see here).
Closures and Restrictions: The measures implemented on9 December 2021 and 15 December 2021 as a response to increasing rates of infection across the country started to be eased by the Norwegian Government from January 2022. The removal of the restrictions has been gradual, beginning on 14 January 2022, with further easing followed on 1 February 2022, and on12 February 2022. Therefore, almost all domestic restrictions have now been revoked across the country. Measures which continue to apply include the recommendation that venues, businesses, and educational institutions should operate in accordance with the infection control rules. Furthermore, those who have tested positive for COVID-19 are recommended to isolate for 4 days from the onset of symptoms and until they have been fever-free for 24 hours.
Events: No event restrictions apply. Nonetheless, the National advice is for all risk groups and vulnerable persons to avoid large gatherings (see here).
Economic Measures:Over the course of the pandemic various economic measures were implemented in Norway. These included but were not limited to: the reduction of the countercyclical buffer to enhance lending; the cash out pay scheme to compensate businesses with a large fall in turnover; the deferral of tax payments for individuals lacking access to finances; and alterations to unemployment regulations. Information about these measures can be found here, here, here and here. The government announced, in a press release on 11 May 2021 (see here), that as the country opened up, it planned to phase out economic compensation, reduce spending, and embark on a program of economic restructuring in the form of a green shift, strengthened international cooperation, and job creation. The former Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, explained in the press release that “with the Revised Budget we strengthen the effort to create more jobs and include more people in the labour market.” To find out more about Norway’s National Budget for 2022 or the country’s long term economic perspectives, see hereandhererespectively.
For specific information applicable to Norway’s Diplomatic and Consular missions, seehere.
Helena Roberts is a Global Leadership Fellow at Polar Research and Policy Initiative, and serves as lead writer for the Norway and Sweden sections of both the UK-Arctic Trade and Investment Observatory and the Coronavirus Observatory.