What changes about life in Norway in January 2022? 

Pictured is mountain ranges in Ålesund.
Here's what changes about life in Norway. Pictured is a mountain range in Norway. Photo by Christiann Koepke on Unsplash
In January, several everyday products will become more expensive, the rules for when you can start contributing to your pension will change, and Norway's Covid-19 rules are set to be reassessed.

Covid-19 restrictions could be changed

Norway’s current Covid-19 rules, which include a ban on the sale of alcohol in Norway, will be in place until January 14th. The measures were brought in during December due to rising infections and the spread of the Omicron variant.

The government has said that it would be willing to retain or tighten the measures if the situation requires.

READ MORE: What are Norway’s Covid rules this New Year’s Eve?

New self-isolation rules for teachers

Exemptions to coronavirus self-isolation rules will apply to employees in schools and kindergartens in Norway from the new year.

The rule exempts teachers and kindergarten staff from isolating when identified as a close contact of somebody who tests positive for Covid-19, but only when at work. Outside of work, they must still isolate.

Being exempt from quarantine during work hours is typically referred to as “leisure quarantine”.

Typically, close contacts are in full quarantine for three days before taking a test and are in leisure quarantine until day seven.

Change to the pension rules

Everyone over 18 will begin contributing to their pension from the first krone they earn as part of the compulsory occupational pension scheme from January 1st.

Previously, contributions were only required for earnings of 106,000 kroner and above. According to the government, the new rule will allow one million more Norwegians and 160,000 young people to contribute to the occupational pension.

READ MORE: Can you claim your Norwegian pension from another country?

Petrol to cost more

The cost of fuel will go up considerably due to hiked taxes on petrol and diesel. Petrol tax is set to rise to 1.60 kroner per litre, and diesel tax will increase to 1.87 kroner per litre. This will be effective from January 1st.

Childcare to become cheaper

The maximum price parents can be charged for a kindergarten place will be reduced from 3,315 kroner per month to 3,050 kroner per month. This will take effect from the new year.

All first-grade children will also have access to a half-day place at an after-school activity.

READ ALSO: Everything parents in Norway need to know about barnehage

Kids go back to school

On Monday, January 3rd schools in Norway will reopen their doors to pupils. The term will last until the winter holidays, or vinterferie, which will be between the end of February and early March depending on which part of the country you are in. 

Upper secondary schools will reopen at red level and primary schools, secondary schools and kindergartens will reopen at yellow level.

Government to pick up half the electricity bill during the winter

The government will cover 55 percent of the bill on energy prices above a monthly average of 70 øre per kilowatt-hour. The deduction will appear on your bill and will be calculated automatically.

January will mark the first month that the deduction appears on household’s bills. 

The scheme will apply from December until March 2022. The deductions will appear on the bill for December, which will arrive in the new year.

Duty-free rules change

The duty-free quota rules will be changed from January 1st, meaning it will no longer be possible to replace the tobacco quota with 1.5 litres of wine or beer. This will come as something of a blow to those who don’t smoke but like to grab a discount at duty-free.

Tax on the highest earners will increase

The tax on the highest incomes will be increased. Norway’s bracket tax, an incremental tax paid based on your earnings and paid alongside the flat rate, will be raised for higher earners.

In general, income tax will become higher for those who earn more than 643,800 kroner a year and the entry points for steps three and four for the incremental tax will be lowered. In addition, a fifth step for the highest earners, who make more than 2 million kroner, will be introduced.

Those earning less than 750,000 kroner a year will pay less in taxes. Overall, the government says that around 82 percent of taxpayers will pay less or the same amount of tax.

READ MORE: What changes about tax in Norway in 2022?

Tobacco will become more expensive 

The tobacco tax will increase by five percent above the regular price adjustment. For example, the tax on a pack of twenty cigarettes will increase to 59 kroner. For snus, the tax increases from 85 kroner per 100 grams to 90 kroner per 100 grams

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