Norway to permit tourists from Denmark, Finland & Iceland from June 15

lofoten islands norway

From June 15, people from low-risk areas in the Nordic countries will be permitted to enter Norway with no quarantine requirement. Citizens of Denmark, Finland and Iceland can enter Norway from that date without quarantine. Most citizens of Sweden remain excluded.

Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg warned that everyone should expect travel restrictions to last for some time: “Let me emphasize, this is not just about where to spend the summer vacation. We must plan for travel restrictions to last for some time. There can be new outbreaks of infection in different places before there is a vaccine.”

The Norwegian government does not consider Sweden to fall into the low-risk category. Only residents of the Gotland region will be permitted to enter Norway for the time being. The travel advice also means that Norwegians are still discouraged from visiting Sweden. Except for Gotland, anyone returning from Sweden will have to undergo the 10-day quarantine period.

Norway has recorded 242 deaths related to COVID-19, with just 10 of those coming since May 15. Sweden, with a population just double that of Norway, has recorded almost 4,850 deaths.

Leaving most of Sweden out of the arrangements, breaks the long-standing close cooperation between the Nordic countries, and goes against the wishes of the European Commission, which wants to lift by Monday the internal borders in the Schengen travel zone.

Norway is not a member of the EU but belongs to Schengen.

“I think we need to be honest and say that in the Nordics this is something of a difficult issue at the moment,” Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg told a news conference. “At the same time we have a good conversation about how we’re doing it, and the fact that we’re applying objective criteria has been met with understanding.”