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Norway softens rules on quarantine for travellers from abroad

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OSLO (Reuters) -Travellers to Norway will be able to undergo a mandatory ten-day quarantine in a place of their choosing if they can document that they can respect quarantine conditions, the Nordic country’s justice minister said on Wednesday.

Presently, all travellers to Norway must undergo a ten-day quarantine in a quarantine hotel chosen by local authorities if they cannot document that they own property in the Nordic country.

Travellers who can document they rent property in Norway or that they will borrow a property from someone in Norway, can avoid staying in a quarantine hotel. They will still need to document that they have a negative COVID test undertaken in the 72 hours prior to arrival. 

“Some of the rules have been criticised and have felt unfair,” Justice Minister Monica Maeland told a news conference.

The number of infections has continued to slow in recent weeks after the government reintroduced restrictions last month.

Norway’s 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants is now down to 103.6 as of Wednesday, fourth-lowest in Europe behind Iceland, Ireland and Finland, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Separately, British citizens who are not residents in Norway will not be able to travel to the Nordic country from Jan. 1 due to the country’s COVID-19 restrictions, the British ambassador to Oslo tweeted on Wednesday.

Norway currently prevents citizens outside the European Economic Area from entering the country. Britain is due to leave the EEA on Jan. 1, with Brussels and London yet to sign a deal to govern relations from 2021.

(Reporting by Gwladys Fouche, editing by Victoria Klesty)

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