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Norway Finally Reopens, Dropping Quarantine for All Travelers

By Michelle Baran

Jan 26, 2022

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It's time to turn those Norway travel dreams into a reality.

Photo by Andrey Armyagov/Shutterstock

It's time to turn those Norway travel dreams into a reality.

One of the world’s happiest countries is welcoming back visitors from abroad. And we couldn’t be happier about it.

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The land of Vikings, Northern Lights, fjords, and friluftsliv is once again welcoming back international travelers after nearly two years of restrictive COVID-19 travel measures. Effective January 26, Norway has dropped its quarantine requirement for international arrivals.

Norway Is One of the World’s Happiest Countries. Is Friluftsliv the Secret?

All U.S. travelers ages 16 and older, vaccinated or not, are now able to enter Norway as long as they complete an entry registration form no more than 72 hours before arriving in Norway, and then take a free COVID-19 rapid antigen test upon arrival at the airport in Norway.

Those who cannot present a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate—which according to Norwegian authorities is either a Norwegian COVID-19 certificate, EU digital COVID certificate, or U.K. NHS COVID-pass—including unvaccinated travelers, must present a negative COVID test (PCR or antigen) taken no more than 24 hours prior to their departing flight for Norway. For the majority of U.S. travelers, that means a prearrival test is needed—a CDC-issued vaccination certificate won’t be accepted.

“Those who cannot prove with an EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate that they are fully vaccinated or have recently recovered from COVID-19 (e.g., CDC card holders), must also present a negative COVID-19 test taken 24 hours before arrival in Norway,” the U.S. Embassy in Norway confirmed.

Children under 16 are not required to take a test before arrival but will be asked to take a test upon arrival. (An exception could be made “if it would be unreasonably difficult for them to take the test,” according to the Norwegian government.)

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Norway has had a 10-day quarantine requirement in place for non-EU residents since March 2020. At the end of November, Norway updated its rules, allowing U.S. travelers to test out of quarantine with a negative COVID-19 PCR test 72 hours after arrival. But now the country has done away with the quarantine entirely.

For those eager to immediately embrace this new travel opportunity, Norway travel specialist Up Norway recommends Svalbard, Lofoten, Alta and the Sunnmøre Alps in winter.

“Another highlight this time of year is a micro-retreat in the wilderness, like Pan Treetop Cabins. Located in the dense Finnskogen Forest, the ultra-modern accommodations elevate travelers 26 feet off the ground, far above the canopy with 360 panoramic views ... of fir trees punctuated by blue lakes and unique animal life including over 170 different species of birds,” said Torunn Tronsvang, CEO and founder of Up Norway. 

Norway began dropping the majority of its in-country COVID-19 protocols this past fall. Currently, the government is asking just that people continue to wear a mask when social distancing is not possible. Otherwise, there are no curfews in place and businesses are allowed to operate as normal, as of press time. Proof of vaccination or of a negative COVID test is not currently required to enter establishments.

>> Next: AFAR’s Ultimate Norway Travel Guide

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