Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Norway removes quarantine requirement for most EU arrivals as of July 15. Significant business and transport disruptions remain.

  • Alert Begins: 17 Jul 2020 03:25 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 31 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and business disruptions

Authorities in Norway further relaxed entry restrictions introduced to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as of July 15. From this date, travelers from most of the EU and Schengen Area and the UK are not required to self-isolate on arrival. The National Institute of Public Health is monitoring infection rates in these countries; travelers from countries designated green do not need to self-isolate on arrival, while arrivals from red countries must self-isolate for 10 days. Current red designated countries are Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania, and all of Sweden, apart from the counties of Skane, Blekinge, and Kronoberg. Most travelers from all other countries are currently prohibited from entry, excluding those with close family in Norway and individuals who have been granted permits to work or study in Norway; in these cases, arrivals are required to self-isolate for 10 days.

Authorities have previously eased a number of domestic restrictions. As of July 17, most businesses and activities are permitted to resume, provided strict hygiene measures are adhered to. Public gatherings of up to 200 people are permitted; private gatherings may not exceed 20 attendees. Authorities are not currently advising individuals to wear face coverings.

Background and Analysis
As countries relax blanket restrictions across Europe, authorities could begin to reintroduce sporadic, highly targeted measures in response to local COVID-19 outbreaks. Such measures could apply to districts, neighborhoods, or even specific facilities, including schools, factories, or accommodation and office blocks. Mandatory social distancing procedures in public places and on public transport, as well as widespread voluntary “self-policing” by residents, will assist in reducing the potential for contagion, reducing the necessity for a large-scale, blanket reintroduction of widespread restrictions.

The restrictive measures taken by Norway are similar to actions taken by other governments globally in response to a decrease in COVID-19 infection rates. COVID-19 is 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.

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.

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