Norway scraps coronavirus quarantines

FILE PHOTO: Louise Restaurant & Bar at Aker Brygge is pictured after a person visiting it for a Christmas dinner was diagnosed with the omicron variant of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Oslo, Norway, December 2, 2021. Ole Berg-Rusten /NTB/via REUTERS

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway will end its system of mandatory COVID-19 quarantines for non-vaccinated travellers and close contacts of infected persons, replacing it instead with a daily test regime, the government announced on Monday.

Under the current rules, anyone arriving in Norway from an area with a quarantine obligation and who cannot show proof of vaccination, or having undergone COVID-19, needs to quarantine for at least three days.

Close contacts of infected people are required to quarantine for 10 days.

According to the National Institute of Public Health, this is no longer considered necessary for infection control, with the new rules set to apply from Jan. 26, the government said.

The current rules have been criticised for keeping healthy people in quarantine for an unnecessarily long time and especially affecting families with children.

From Wednesday, close contacts are required to test themselves daily for up to 11 days. Those who decline to test are required to quarantine however.

Travellers must still test themselves and register upon arrival in Norway and a negative test taken before arrival is also still necessary for those who cannot document that they are fully vaccinated or recovered, Norway said.

The entry quarantine can be reintroduced if the infection situation should change or there should be a new virus variant that requires stricter measures, the government added.

More Stories