Norway announced on Wednesday, January 27, 2021, the closure of its borders to almost all non-residents to prevent the spread of new, more contagious variants of the coronavirus. “From midnight Thursday to Friday, Norway will introduce the strictest entry rules from March 12.Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said during a press conference: “In practice, the border will be closed to all those who do not reside in Norway“, she added.
The Nordic country, which is not a member of the European Union, but belongs to the Schengen area of free movement of people, will reevaluate this measure in two weeks.
Only some categories are exempt, such as people who occupy critical functions for society (defense, energy, etc.), the transport of people and goods, health workers from neighboring Sweden and Finland, or foreign journalists. On the other hand, the measure applies to foreign athletes, while Norway is due to host international ski events in the coming weeks.
Oslo in semi-containment
The kingdom, which has one of the lowest pollution rates in Europe, explains that it wants to keep the health situation under control. “We see that other countries have gone from low pollution figures to uncontrolled dissemination in a matter of weeks, like Ireland, ”argued Erna Solberg.
These new restrictions are in addition to entry measures among the most severe in Europe (Obligation to carry out a negative test before entering the country, to undergo a new test at the border, to register with the local authorities and to respect a quarantine).
The Oslo region has been in a semi-containment regime after the discovery of a focus of cases of the British variant in a nursing home in a town near the Norwegian capital.