Norway is banning all direct flights from the United Kingdom with immediate effect. This measure will initially apply for a period of 48 hours, but it may be extended. Additionally, a series of restrictions applicable to travellers arriving from the United Kingdom will be tightened.
‘We must ensure that the strain of the virus that has been detected in the United Kingdom is prevented from spreading to Norway insofar as this is possible. This is why we are now banning direct flights from the United Kingdom and tightening measures in place relating to travellers arriving from this region. This is in line with the advice we have received the Norwegian Directorate of Health,’ says Bent Høie, Minister of Health and Care Services.
The goal is to acquire a better overview of the situation in terms of the mutated virus and implement necessary measures accordingly. In addition to the ban on flights, a series of measures will be introduced and will be applicable to travellers arriving from the United Kingdom until 10 January. The main rule requiring a quarantine period of 10 days will continue to apply. Additionally, the following requirements will be in place:
- A PCR test (Covid-19-test) must be taken within 24 hours of arrival in Norway, followed by a new test no sooner than day 7 after arrival from the United Kingdom.
- A PCR test must be taken as soon as possible by all travellers who entered Norway from the United Kingdom within the past 2 weeks.
- Travellers entering the country must register their arrival.
- Travellers must notify the municipality in which they will be staying.
- The current exemptions from quarantine upon arrival in Norway will not apply to travellers arriving from the United Kingdom, with the exception of certain provisions.
It is estimated that the new strain of virus may be 70 per cent more infectious than the original version. It does not appear that the virus causes a more serious illness. The Norwegian Directorate of Health was tasked on Sunday with reinforcing the information about the quarantine rules to all travellers arriving from the United Kingdom and for all those travellers who have arrived from the United Kingdom within the last 14 days, including by text message. The Norwegian Directorate of Health was also tasked with evaluating further measures.
‘It is extremely important that all persons who have arrived in Norway from the United Kingdom within the last 14 days take a test and comply with these regulations,’ says Høie.