Norway tightens travel rules to limit import of Omicron Covid-19 variant

New Covid testing and quarantine rules were introduced on Saturday to try and prevent the import of the Omicron Covid-19 variant, recently discovered and sequenced in South Africa, into Norway.

Norway is among a slew of countries in Europe that have enforced more rigid travel rules on countries in southern Africa to try and contain the import of the new variant, which experts fear vaccines may be less effective against due to a large number of mutations.

Everyone who arrives in Norway from, or after having stayed in, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho, Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland) and Malawi will need to test for Covid-19 before travelling to Norway.

In addition, they will need to enter a quarantine hotel and isolate for up to ten days.

Arrivals can move from a quarantine hotel to their own home or another suitable quarantine location after taking a PCR test after day three.

After seven days, travellers will need to take another test. If this test comes back negative, they will be released from quarantine. Quarantine hotels in Norway cost 500 kroner a night for adults and 250 kroner for children aged between 10 and 17.

READ ALSO: EU health agency says Omicron variant poses ‘high to very high’ risk to Europe 

Those who have been in any of those countries after November 16th but arrived in Norway before November 27th will also need to get a PCR test if their most recent test was taken before the 27th.

Direct flights from these countries will also be banned. Diplomats and children under 18 travelling on their own are exempt from the new rules. In these instances, the current rules for non-EEA arrivals will apply.

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