Starting Sept. 25, Norway is permitting entry for all EU/EEA citizens plus UK, Switzerland and other third-party country visitors from purple-ranked areas, Prime Minister Erna Solberg announced Friday.
“It is 561 days since we introduced the toughest measures in Norway in peacetime … Now the time has come to return to a normal daily life,” she said.
The move comes after successfully completing the first three parts of Norway’s total reopening plan, which includes lifting international travel bans, and removing all Covid-19 restrictions.
For instance, social distancing will no longer be required. As of Saturday, restaurants, bars, and cultural and sporting arenas are allowed to operate at maximum capacity.
“In short, we can now live as normal,” Solberg said.
Under the new policy, international visitors from Europe plus New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Taiwan (purple-rated) who can produce a vaccine certificate or proof that they have recovered from COVID-19 during the last six months, no longer need to undergo testing or quarantine.
Unvaccinated visitors can still enter Norway but they must quarantine at a government-designated hotel if coming from a red, dark red, purple or grey-rated country.
If the same travelers come from green or orange-rated countries, they will be permitted to skip quarantine.
Unfortunately, not everyone has been invited to this celebration. Americans were not included in this phase of the reopening.
Thus far there is no projected start date for the final phase, in which the government would reconsider eliminating its ban on American visitors.
However, if the downward trend in coronavirus cases continues after this massive reopening, there is no reason why Norway should keep their borders closed to U.S. travelers.
Over the last 24 hours the country reported 721 new cases which is less than 50% of the cases they were seeing in August.
Moreover, Some 76% of all Norwegians have already received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 67% of the population is fully vaccinated, according to Friday data from Johns Hopkins University.