Norway easing entry requirements on Saturday, but not for US travelers


Norway announced Friday it would soon open its borders to citizens from the European Union, the European Economic Area and a handful of other countries.

Starting Saturday at 4 p.m., Norway will allow citizens from the EU, EEA and countries on its purple list – currently New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Taiwan – as well as residents of the United Kingdom and Switzerland to enter. These travelers will not have to quarantine or undergo testing if they have been fully vaccinated or can prove that they had been infected and recovered from the coronavirus within the last six months. 

Travelers who cannot show proof of vaccination or recovery may face additional entry requirements. If they are 18 and older from red, dark red, purple, gray or third-party countries, they will need to quarantine but can isolation 72 hours after arrival with a negative PCR test. Travelers from green and orange areas do not need to quarantine.

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Norway is dropping its pre-arrival testing requirement, but travelers from red, dark red, purple, gray or third-party countries will need to take a test at the border. Norway is dropping its requirement to test on day seven of a trip but recommends children take a second test 72 hours after arrival.  

Most travelers from outside the approved countries – including the U.S. – cannot enter Norway unless they meet certain exemptions, such as visiting a romantic partner or close family members who live in Norway.

US travelers to Norway will have to wait

A proposed second phase to the country’s reopening plans, which could start in the second half of October, would lift entry restrictions on travelers from the EU’s third countries, which does not include the U.S.

The final phase, in which the country would reconsider its remaining entry restrictions, has no proposed start date.

The changes come as Norway’s daily COVID-19 cases continue a downward trend after their latest spike. The country reported 721 new cases in the past day, fewer than half of its record high of 1,785 in August, and has more than 67% of its population fully vaccinated, according to Friday data from Johns Hopkins University

Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg noted that the country’s hospital admissions have flattened out and expects large parts of the population to be fully vaccinated in the coming weeks. Norway’s National Institute of Public Health now believes there is little risk that the epidemic will get out of control, allowing the country to return to a normal, everyday life, Solberg said in a press release. 

The country is also set to end a number of national coronavirus measures on Saturday, including capacity limits at events.  

Follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter: @bailey_schulz

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