Monday 9/21/20

Norway allows more leisure travel to and from Europe

Three southern regions in neighbouring Sweden were also exempt from self-isolation rules, the government said, citing improved coronavirus infection rates.

Norway allows more leisure travel to and from Europe

Norway is as of July 15 to allow travel to and from over 20 countries in Europe including several popular holiday destinations, the government said on Friday.

Belgium, Britain, France Germany, Greece, Italy and Spain were among the countries that would be open for leisure travel without a requirement to self-isolate for 10 days on return to Norway.

Three southern regions in neighbouring Sweden were also exempt from self-isolation rules, the government said, citing improved coronavirus infection rates.

Travellers returning from other countries, including Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania and most of Sweden would still be required to self-isolate.

Spot checks

Justice Minister Monica Maeland said the system hinged on "trust" and that people returning from Sweden, for instance, would be subject to spot checks and questioned at the border about what part of Sweden they had visited.

The easing "was good news for the travel business that has been hard-hit by travel restrictions during the coronavirus crisis," said Iselin Nybo, minister of Trade and Industry.

Criteria for dropping self-isolation rules include at most 20 new coronavirus infections per 100,000 inhabitants per two-week period.

Increased risk

"Opening the borders will entail an increased risk of importing infection, and therefore a risk of transmission within Norway," cautioned Frode Forland of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

The agency was every two weeks to update a list of eligible countries.

As of 15 July, Norway was also to allow entry for foreign nationals resident outside the Schengen free movement area and the European Economic Area (EEA) who have a family or a partner in Norway, but they would be required to follow self-isolation rules, Maeland said.

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