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Home* News and Stories → Norway expands travel restrictions; tourism in Longyearbyen behind expectations

Norway expands travel restrictions; tourism in Longyearbyen behind expectations

The Norwegian government has made a couple of significant changes to the existing travel restrictions due to the increasing number of positive Corona-cases in many European countries. More tourists will have to stay in quarantine upon entering the country (if they still decide to come at all). At the same time, the government reminds all Norwegians that travelling to any foreign country is not advised unless necessary. This travel warning is expected to remain in force until at least 01 October.

The category “green” does not occur anymore in the list of European countries published and regularly updated by the Folkehelseinstitutt (institute for public health). Instead, countries are shown in yellow. According to prime minister Erna Solberg, this is to prevent misunderstandings and to make clear that there is always an inherent risk to travelling, so Norwegians are advised to stay in the country as much as possible. For non-Norwegian tourists, the category “yellow” is practically what “green” used to be before: tourists from these countries and regions may enter Norway without quarantine.

Norwegian Corona-map as of 12 August 2020

Norwegian “Corona-map” for Europe as of 12 August 2020. © Folkehelseinstituttet.

But also beyond colouring, the most recent version of Norway’s “Corona map for Europe” has changed significantly compared to previous versions. There is a larger number of countries now in red, meaning that tourists from these countries will have to stay in quarantine for 10 days upon entering the country. Quarantine has to be in one address on the mainland (not Svalbard). The latest map now shows countries such as France, the Netherlands and Iceland in red. “Hatched” countries are those were information is considered insufficient or unreliable; also here, tourists have to stay in quarantine for 10 days upon entering Norway.

The new map, as shown here, will be in force from 15 August. It will be updated after 14 days or earlier if needed.

Different rules apply for travellers with a background other than tourism.

As had to be expected, tourism has largely collapsed also in Spitsbergen. In June, the total number of tourists was 85 % less than in June 2019. In July, the quote increased to 50 % due to a larger number of Norwegians taking the opportunity for a trip to Svalbard. In total numbers, this means that 3448 tourists came in July, compared to 8789 in July 2019. The capacity use of the hotels was 35 %, in contrast to 77 % one year earlier, according to Svalbardposten based on statistics by Visit Svalbard.

last modification: 2020-08-12 · copyright: Rolf Stange