Authorities in Norway have eased certain national restrictions introduced to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from Oct. 12 after assessing that regional authorities are adequately equipped to respond to localized outbreaks. The limit on organized indoor and outdoor events will be increased to 200 people and 600 people, respectively, while the prohibition on restaurants and bars serving alcohol after 2359 will be lifted. Previously, most businesses and facilities were permitted to resume operation provided they adhere to strict hygiene and social distancing requirements. Private gatherings of up to 20 people are permitted.
Local authorities are empowered to introduce stricter measures in their jurisdictions in response to increasing infection rates. Authorities in Oslo previously tightened COVID-19 restrictions from Sept. 30, banning private gatherings of more than ten people and mandating the use of facemasks on public transport where social distancing of one meter (3 feet) cannot be observed. The ban on bars and restaurants selling alcohol after 2359 will remain in place in Oslo.
Norwegian authorities updated their list of high-risk countries as of Oct. 10 to include all EU and Schengen Area countries, along with the UK, excluding Greenland, Kalmar County in Sweden, and all of Finland except for Etela-Savo, Central Finland, Helsinki and Uusimaa, North Karelia, and Vaasa, which are designated as moderate-risk. Travelers from high-risk ("red") areas must self-isolate for ten days upon arrival, while those arriving from locations designated as having a moderate risk of infection ("yellow" areas) are not required to self-isolate.
Travelers from most other countries are currently prohibited from entering Norway. Individuals with close family in Norway or who have been granted permits to work or study in the country are exempt from the travel ban but must self-isolate for ten days. Authorities continue to advise against all nonessential travel abroad.
Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.
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.