Norway likely to keep travel restrictions until 20 August

Norway will likely maintain travel restrictions it has imposed until 20 August, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on Friday, as the Nordic country negotiates a path between restarting economic activity and preventing a new wave of coronavirus infections.

The restrictions include official advice against travelling abroad unless necessary, a 10-day quarantine for all people returning from abroad and barring entry to most non-Norwegians who do not have the right to live and work in Norway.

“We do not wish to maintain these (restrictions) longer than we have to, and at the same time we want to give people as well as the travel industry in this country as much predictability as we can,” Solberg told a news conference. “My advice is to plan for holidays in Norway,” she added.

The government may decide to loosen restrictions imposed on leisure travel between the Nordic countries by 15 June, and will consider to allowing travellers from selected other European countries by 20 July.

Foreigners working in sectors considered crucial, such as agriculture, fisheries or the oil industry, are already allowed to come in the country though they still have to submit to a ten-day quarantine.

While the government is encouraging domestic tourism this summer, the exclusion of foreign tourists without offering substantial financial support to travel firms will trigger a string of bankruptcies, warned the Enterprise Federation of Norway, locally known as Virke.

“The government is suffocating the charter holiday industry,” the lobby group said in a statement.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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