Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Norway extends border controls to at least May 5 to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Some other measures relaxed.

This alert affects Norway

This alert began 16 Apr 2020 10:52 GMT and is scheduled to expire 04 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Travel restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Norway have extended border controls up to at least May 5 in order to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The country's sea and airports remain closed since March 16. Permanent residents of Norway are allowed to enter the country. Authorities also announced the gradual reopening of educational facilities, starting with kindergartens, April 20-27, depending on disease activity from region to region. Vocational schools, colleges, and universities will be reopened to small groups of students from April 27.

Numerous other preventive measures remain in effect. Sport, leisure, and entertainment venues remain closed. Restaurants may only offer delivery services. Festivals, parades, private parties, and cultural celebrations are banned. Public transport remains operational; however, face masks are mandatory for commuters. Market places, medical facilities, fuel stations, tobacconists, and laundromats remain open. Additionally, authorities have mandated a 14-day self-quarantine for travelers that have arrived in Norway from anywhere other than Scandinavia since Feb. 27.

Authorities are likely to further increase restrictions throughout Norway in the coming days. As of March 14, more than 950 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the country.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by Norway's government correspond with similar actions taken by other governments globally in recent days in response to the spread of COVID-19, a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int

Norwegian coronavirus portal: www.regjeringen.no