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FEATURE

UPDATE: What are the latest travel rules between Norway and the UK?

Here's everything you need to know about the latest Covid rules and restrictions for travelling between Norway and the UK. 

UPDATE: What are the latest travel rules between Norway and the UK?
These are the rules for travelling between Norway and the UK. Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash

Recently, there have been several significant changes to the travel rules between the UK and Norway, with changes to the quarantine rules when travelling to Britain from Norway and for NHS and Northern Irish  Covid pass users travelling the other way. Here’s everything you need to know about travel between the two countries. 

Travel to the UK 

Currently, Norway is on the UK’s green travel list, meaning travellers arriving into England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland will not be required to quarantine on their arrival, regardless of their vaccination status. 

However, travellers will still need to take two tests when planning a trip to the UK from Norway. One within 72 hours of your departure flight and the second two days after arriving in the UK; the day you land in the UK counts as day zero. 

In most cases, the test that’s taken within three days of your flight will probably have to be from a private provider as not all municipalities offer travel testing and even less offer fit-to-fly certificates. 

The test from Norway can be either a PCR or rapid antigen test and will cost around £100 depending on the provider and how quickly you need the result.

You can take the test at most major airports, but we recommend booking one in advance to be on the safe side. 

The day two test must be booked before travelling, and prices start as low as £20. However, it’s worth forking out a bit more for a day two test, as many have reported problems with some of the cheaper day two tests. 

If you’re travelling with children, kids over ten have to take the pre-departure test and kids over four are obliged to take the day two test. 

Before you leave, you’ll also need to fill out the passenger locator form and the day two test will need to have been booked to complete the paperwork. 

You can click here to look at the passenger locator form and here to look at day two test providers. 

Once you’ve landed in the UK you will not need to quarantine or isolate unless you test positive for Covid-19. 

As Norway is currently on the UK’s green list, the travel rules are the same whether you have a vaccine pass or not. If you make a stopover in an amber country such as the Netherlands or Denmark then you will need to undergo a ten-day quarantine and pay for an additional test on day eight if you are not fully vaccinated. If you’ve had all your jabs then the rules are the same as if you are coming from a green country.

One last caveat is the UK doesn’t class people who have mixed vaccine doses as fully vaccinated so bear this in mind if making a stopover.

While broadly similar, Covid-19 travel, quarantine and testing rules are slightly different if you’re heading to ScotlandWales, or Northern Ireland.

READ MORE: What does Norway being on the UK’s green list mean for travellers?

Travel to Norway

This is where things can get a bit more confusing as the entry rules and requirements are very different depending on whether you are vaccinated or not. 

Firstly, we’ll cover the rules for if you are not vaccinated. 

Rules for unvaccinated

Entry from the UK for unvaccinated arrivals into Norway is currently restricted to residents and citizens and the close family and partners of those living in Norway. 

There are some exceptions that you can read about here.  

Partners will need to complete a free application with the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) and have it accepted before they travel. You can look at the application here.

Close family in Norway is classed as children and stepchildren (regardless of age), parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. 

Family members coming to Norway are asked to provide proof of relation, such as a birth certificate and evidence the person they’re visiting lives in Norway. 

Residents will need to provide proof they live in Norway also. A residence card or certificate is sufficient 

You will need to provide a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 24 hours of your arrival in Norway for those who can enter. In most cases, an antigen test, sometimes called a lateral flow test, is the most practical solution. 

You will also need to complete the Norwegian entry registration form before you travel and get tested for Covid at the border after you’ve landed. 

After that, you’ll need to enter quarantine. Unfortunately, the UK is currently dark red on the Norwegian Institute of Public Health’s travel map, so if you haven’t had a jab of any sort or Covid, you will need to enter a quarantine hotel for a minimum of three days. 

On day three of quarantine, you’ll be tested for Covid, and if the test comes back negative, you will be able to complete the rest of quarantine at home or somewhere else with a private bedroom and bathroom. After that you can end quarantine after returning another negative test taken on day seven. 

The hotel costs 500 kroner per night for adults and 250 for children between 10 and 17. 

If you have received one jab between three and fifteen weeks since arriving in Norway, then you can quarantine at home or somewhere with your own room and toilet for three days before taking a PCR test. 

You will need to be able to prove you’ve received a jab with either a Norwegian, EU, NHS or Northern Irish Covid certificate. 

Rules for fully vaccinated 

Norway has begun accepting  Covid passes from travellers from England, Wales and Northern Ireland as proof of vaccination, meaning quarantine-free and unrestricted entry for fully jabbed arrivals.

Travellers will coming from England and Wales can use the NHS Covid app, and the CovidCertNI App if they are arriving from Northern Ireland. 

Vaccine certificates from Scotland are not currently accepted.Covid-19 certificates from Scotland will not be accepted until it has a digital and verifiable solution for documenting vaccination status.

A spokesperson for the Scottish government has said that it expects to get a digital Covid pass up and running within the next month.

“We are developing an app to make it easier to show Covid status for international travel. This will include vaccinations records, and we aim to release this next month,” the spokesperson told the BBC.

To be classed as fully vaccinated when travelling to Norway, a week will need to have passed since your second jab, or three if you received the single-use Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Furthermore, if you have recovered from Covid-19 in the previous six months and can prove so via a valid Covid-19 certificate, then you fall under the same rules as being fully vaccinated.

Fully vaccinated travellers arriving, or those who have had Covid in the past six months, from the UK with an EU or Norwegian Covid certificate aren’t subject to any entry restrictions provided a week has passed since their final shot.

This means any vaccine pass holders can travel for whatever reason they wish but won’t need to undergo quarantine, testing or entry registration. In addition, the children of vaccine pass holders are exempt from the same rules as their parents, too, meaning quarantine-free entry for them too. 

Member comments

  1. iam trying to fly to scotland this passenger locater form is for people traveling to england and wales at gardermoen last thursday 12 august i could not complete this online form before depature as only for england travel not scotland also the app requests covid negitive reference number from provider in norway my test paper did not have any reference number again could not complete locater form as app would not let me complete this form without this number shocking and discraceful behavier from checkin staff from widerow and sas i was told it was not there problem when told the system was clearly broken with 1 hour before my flight to delay my flight until next day as i was overwelmed i was told i could not i was to late and i would loose my flight and could book a new flight ticket my flight ticket cost 6000 kroner with the knock on effect of cancelled flight it has cost me about 10000 kroner this is alot of money for me as i have a disability pension a english woman in her 70s come at the same time i was discusted and very angry at the treatment she recieved from checkin desk sas no support offered to complete locater form this poor woman clearly overwelmed and shaking and very upset the staff seemed to take plesure in her distress and clearly a rutine and bad practice they use every day the locater form says to upload documents iam 59 years old i have never uploaded anything in my life also clearly the woman in her 70s was the same so my point is no support service for people with disabilities or elderly people who are not tec savy iam very unlikey to see any money for my loses and will not be able to do anything about that but what i can and will persue is a disability discrimination case against widerow and sas airlines are there to surve the public not for the people to be used a a tool to maximise profits in a brutal uncareing manner these airlines are not user friendly and that is simply wrong

  2. Can anyone explaine this policy in the Norweigan Governments Travel page:

    “Protected people who have received their first dose within the past 3–15 weeks and children under the age of 18 must complete travel quarantine if they come from a red or dark red country.”

    and here on the Public Health Agency site:

    “Fully vaccinated and those who have had covid-19 in the last six months have exceptions from the entry quarantine. Protected persons who have received the first vaccine dose between 3 and 15 weeks ago and children under the age of 18 must be in the entry quarantine, but can terminate the quarantine if they test negative no earlier than three days after arrival. ”

    I see in the article it may be refering to those with a single dose. I am fully vaccinated and am planning to travel to Norway first week of September but by first dose was within the 15 weeks. My second dose was in mid August. can I travel without quarantine?

    1. Hello,

      You will be classed as fully vaccinated when you travel so you will be exempt from quarantine if you have a valid vaccine certificate. These are the NHS Covid app for England and Wales, the Northern Irish digital pass and the EU and Norwegian Covid certificates. Currently no other vaccine certificates are accepted as proof.

      1. Thank You so much.

        I have also been in contact with Helsedirektoratet who have said the same. I was only concerned after a travel restriction page on Norwegian Air and an insurance company, seemingly using the same system, said fully vaccinated would have to quarantine. Also, wondering who was considered Protected Persons threw me off. But now reading many info pages through on the government sites I can see it refers to single doses.

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For members

DRIVING

What’s it like driving from Scandinavia to the UK with a young family?

With the cost of airline tickets increasingly discouraging, is driving from Scandinavia to the UK becoming a more attractive option? The Local Denmark editor Michael Barrett gave it a try.

What’s it like driving from Scandinavia to the UK with a young family?

This summer has seen the return of large-scale international travel after a couple of Covid-hit years that have not been a picnic for anyone.

While the end of restrictions came as a relief, severe delays and disruptions at airports have added a new uncertainty around travel in 2022.

Scandinavia has not been an exception to this, with strikes at Scandinavian airline SAS and delays at Copenhagen and other airports among the problems faced by the sector.

Additionally, the increasing price of airline tickets in a time when inflation is hitting living costs across the board has become another factor discouraging air travel.

Finally, there’s the impact of air travel on climate to be considered. So is there an alternative?

The plan

Unlike colleagues who have made long distance journeys from France and Sweden respectively by rail, our plan was to make the trip from our home in Denmark to the UK by car.

There are a few reasons we picked this less climate-friendly option. I’ll readily admit they were driven (no pun intended) by our own needs, and not those of the planet. I hope we can offset this by using the train more than the car for longer journeys within Denmark, where costs are competitive.

Once we decided not to take our usual Ryanair flight, we only really considered driving. This is primarily because we have a toddler (age two), and felt that on such a long journey, the ability to control the timing and length of our stops would be crucial.

Secondly, the route would have taken longer and been more difficult logistically by rail, and would also have cost more. For example, we arrived at Harwich International Port late on a weekday evening, from where onward travel was to rural Suffolk. The thought of doing this on multiple local rail (possibly bus) services with a tired two-year-old makes me shudder a bit.

The route

From our home in central Denmark, we set out on a Monday morning and drove south on the E45 motorway, crossing the German border and continuing past Hamburg. We then got on to the A1 Autobahn and made for Bremen, where we stopped overnight.

Travelling non-stop, this journey takes just under four hours. It took us around five and a half. We stopped twice and were caught in traffic at Hamburg, where there is lot of construction going on around the city’s ring road.

Leaving early (just after 6am) the following day, we drove southwest and crossed the border into the Netherlands after a brief stop, but then managed to complete the journey to the port town Hook of Holland without a further break.

Our ferry from Hook of Holland to Harwich was due to leave at 2:15pm and check-in time was an hour before that. This was the only deadline we had on our journey that would have been problematic to miss, so we gave ourselves plenty of time for the drive from Bremen. We arrived in Hook of Holland at around 11:30am.

Next was a six-hour ferry crossing to the East Anglian coast. We booked a cabin – they are inexpensive on daytime crossings – which gave us a chance to relax after the drive and our daughter a comfortable spot for her afternoon nap.

After a queue at customs in Harwich which took around 45 minutes, we were driving through the Essex countryside just before 9pm local time. The final drive to our destination took an hour and a half.

What went right

It’s not the most relevant information for anyone considering a similar trip, but I have to mention our car. A 2003 VW Polo we bought two years ago that has never had any mechanical issues, I was nevertheless braced for possible problems given its age (and ensured I had roadside assistance for outside of Denmark, more detail on this below).

However, there was not so much as a hint of an issue of any kind at any point during the 900 kilometres it covered on the journey, nor on the way home. Respect.

Our plan to split the trip into two days paid off. I think you could do it in one day (there are also overnight ferries) if you shared the driving and needed less flexibility. I should also recognise here that we live relatively close to Germany and our destination was close to the east coast of the UK. If you were travelling, for example, from Copenhagen to Cardiff, you’d have significantly more driving to do.

For us, knowing we could take long breaks if we needed them took a lot of stress out of the journey and allowed us to adapt to our toddler’s needs – changing nappies, finding a service station playground or stopping for an ice cream.

Stopping overnight also gave us the chance to see some new places (we switched things up on the way back and stayed in Groningen in the north of the Netherlands, instead of Bremen) and gave us a feeling of being on our own little bonus holiday.

What went wrong

In all, things went as well as we possibly could have hoped for and our conclusion after we got back home was that we’d like to travel this way again.

We were stopped by traffic police in Groningen city centre because I failed to understand signs showing we were entering a public transport-only zone. The officers who stopped us then offered to escort us to our accommodation a few streets away.

The ferry, operated by Stena Lines, had far less to do on board than we’d imagined there would be on a six-hour voyage. Two tiny off-duty shops, a cinema showing a superhero film and a minuscule play area (which our daughter nevertheless enjoyed) were about the extent of it. We hadn’t downloaded any films ourselves or brought much entertainment with us from the car, so we got a bit bored during the crossing. This is hardly a serious gripe and an easy one to rectify on the return trip.

The practical stuff 

Roadside assistance is obviously crucial for a journey like this, and it’s also important to double check your insurance is valid once you leave the country in which your car is registered and insured – Denmark, in our case.

Foreign authorities can check your insurance is valid. You can document this with the International Motor Insurance or “Green” card, which serves as proof you have motor insurance when you drive outside of the EU (you don’t need it within the EU).

This means that (in theory) you can be asked to present it in the UK. We weren’t asked for it.

The Green Card can be printed via your insurance company’s website. You’ll need your MitID or NemID secure login to access the platform and print off your document. Here is an example of the relevant page on the website of insurance company Tryg. If you can’t find the right section on your insurance company’s website, contact them by phone.

A number of Danish companies specialise in roadside assistance, including Falck and SOS Dansk Autohjælp. You can also include roadside assistance as part of your motor insurance package. We have the latter option, but in either case, I’d recommend calling your provider to make sure you are covered for breakdown in the EU and non-EU countries like the UK (if that’s where you’re going). Obviously, you should add such cover to your existing deal if you don’t have it, or change to a different deal.

The company which operates the ferry from Hook of Holland to Harwich is Stena Line. Both directions have daytime and overnight departures.

There is a range of prices, and I couldn’t cover all the options here if I tried. However, I’d recommend a cabin on the daytime departures, because it’s inexpensive and gives you a bit of personal space and privacy, which is useful with children.

After calculating what our approximate fuel costs would be, the price of the hotel stays and ferry tickets, we found that the trip cost around 1,500 kroner more than we would have paid to fly from Billund Airport to London Stansted with checked-in baggage with Ryanair on the same dates. In return, we could take as much luggage as we want with us (and back), we got to see Bremen and Groningen and had our own car with us in the UK. This was more than worth the additional expense.

I also spent 50 kroner on a “DK” sticker for the tailgate of the car (because the car is so old it predates the EU number plates that include the country code) and 70 kroner for some headlight stickers which prevent full beam headlamps from dazzling oncoming drivers when you are driving on the left in the UK.

As I busily fixed them onto my car as we waited to disembark the ferry, however, a lorry driver parked next to us said these were, in fact, entirely unnecessary.

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