Thursday, June 10, 2021

Norway Exempts Fully Vaccinated Travellers From Quarantine Requirement

The Norwegian authorities have announced that fully vaccinated travellers, as well as those who have recovered from the virus in the last six months, will no longer be subject to the self-isolation requirements.

Nonetheless, everyone is still required to test at the border before entering Norway.

In line with the recommendations from the National Institute of Health and the Norwegian Directorate of Health, the decision on the quarantine exemption will enter into force from Friday, June 11, reports.

“Those who have been fully vaccinated or have had covid-19 in the last six months, and who can document this in a safe and verifiable way, do not need to be in the entry quarantine from and including Friday, June 11 at 15. They must still be tested at the border,” Minister of Health and Care Services Bent Høie said.

According to the Minister, such changes to the restrictions are being made as the vaccination numbers are increasing throughout the country and since most of the endangered people have already taken the first dose of the vaccine.

“A system will soon be in place to be able to verify documentation on vaccination status from the EU and EEA area and the United Kingdom,” the Minister added.

Vaccinated persons who have received only one dose of the vaccine between three and 15 weeks ago still need to be quarantined as the risk of infection for those who have received only one dose is higher. Additionally, it appears that a single dose of the vaccine protects less against COVID-19 variants. Thus, it is seen as necessary to keep the quarantine requirement in place for this group of people.

Last week, the authorities also decided to relax the quarantine requirements for children under the age of 12. It was agreed that children who travel together with their vaccinated parents should not stay self-isolated at quarantine hotels.

Norway Adds New Entry Control Centre in Bodø

In order to increase control of travellers entering Norway from non-Schengen Area countries, the Norwegian government has decided to establish a new organisational unit in the police immigration sector.

According to the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security, the Schengen Area countries do not have additional information on visa-free third-country nationals who wish to travel to the Schengen Area. Consequently, a travel system needs to be established. Schengen Area countries plan on introducing the system by the end of 2022.

“The European Travel Authorization System (ETIAS) will enable Schengen countries to assess and decide whether visa-free third-country nationals wishing to travel to the Schengen area pose a security risk, a risk of illegal migration or a risk to public health before arriving at the Joint the outer limit,” Minister of Justice and Emergency Management Monica Mæland said.

As for the outer border, the controls will be carried out as per usual. A travel permit will be a prerequisite but will not act as a guarantor for entering Schengen Area countries.

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