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Travel: Norway to scrap Covid entry quarantine for vaccinated arrivals

Norway on Wednesday announced that later this week, those who have been fully vaccinated or had coronavirus in the country can skip entry quarantine and that it would exempt vaccinated travellers using the EU's vaccine passport from entry quarantine in the near future.

Travel: Norway to scrap Covid entry quarantine for vaccinated arrivals
Oslo Gardermoen departure lounge. Photo: Jarl-Erik Storesund/Flickr

From 3pm Friday, June 11th, those fully vaccinated in Norway or who have had Covid-19 in the Nordic country will no longer be required to quarantine on entry, provided they test negative for coronavirus at the border or within two days of arrival, the government announced at a press conference. 

The change of rules coincides with the launch of Norway’s full Covid-19 certificate, which launches the same day. 

“Those who have been fully vaccinated or have had Covid-19 in the last six months, and who can document this in a safe and verifiable way (via the Covid-19 certificate), do not need to be in the entry quarantine,” Health Minister Bent Høie said at a government press conference. 

The Covid-19 certificate will be accessible via helsenorge.no.

Those who have received their first dose in Norway, at least three weeks prior to their arrival, can only leave quarantine once they return a negative PCR test after day three. 

Høie also announced those aged between 12 and 18 would be able to exit quarantine after day three if they return a negative PCR test. 

According to the Health Minister, vaccinated travellers using the EU’s vaccine passport will also be released from quarantine once the scheme is up and running in July. 

READ MORE: How will the EU’s ‘Covid passports’ work for travellers?

“Norway’s stance has always been that we want to be part of a common European solution,” Høie said at the press conference. 

The government are still advising against all non-essential international travel. Current entry restrictions also remain in place. 

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Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

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