Updated 08.04.2021

Information regarding international travel to Norway (incl. Svalbard)

New, stricter measures for travel to Norway took effect at 12 a.m., the morning of Friday 29 January 2021 and will be in place until further notice. The measures taken are outlined in a press statement from the Norwegian Prime Minister’s Office, and with more detailed information on the web sites of The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) and Helse Norge.

To limit the risk of transmitting the significantly more contagious variant of the coronavirus, the Government is imposing far stricter rules on foreign nationals who seek entry to Norway.

As a general rule, only Norwegian citizens (regardless of where they live) and foreigners with a permanent residence in Norway will be allowed entry. However, the Norwegian regulations relating to entry restrictions for foreign nationals out of concern for public health specifies in section 2 several exemptions from the entry restrictions. In sub-section c it is detailed that exemption is made for “a foreign national who has a need to travel through the Norwegian mainland on the way to or from work or residence in Svalbard“.

After consulting with the Governor of Svalbard, who in turn has consulted with The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI), it is clear that the following two groups are covered by this exemption, and are therefore permitted entry to Norway:

a) Researchers/technicians stationed in Ny-Ålesund on a rotational basis (e.g. 2-3 months) – whether to maintain year-round activity, or seasonal (summer) activity

b) Researchers who need to travel to Ny-Ålesund to conduct research and/or monitoring activities/projects on a shorter-term basis

NB! Please note that while the UDI on their web site describe exemptions from the entry restrictions, they also state clearly that “neither UDI, embassies, the police or anyone else can issue such a guarantee in advance. Nor is it possible to submit an application to ascertain whether you can travel to Norway if you are visa-free or already have a valid visa.” The final decision regarding entry is made by Norwegian police at the border.

Note also that anyone travelling to Ny-Ålesund must bring a formal letter from their employer confirming their employment status, and detailing why travel to Ny-Ålesund is necessary.

NPI, as the official Norwegian host in Ny-Ålesund will also be able to issue letters of support. For us to do this in an efficient manner, please send a request to research.nya@npolar.no specifying why travel to Ny-Ålesund is necessary, the RiS project number, the individuals travelling (incl. passport number) and travel dates. (The format will be similar to that used in visa support letters that NPI issues on a regular basis.)

NB! To clarify, such a letter of support is not a guarantee that you will be allowed entry. Reiterating the information provided on the UDI web site, “neither UDI, embassies, the police or anyone else can issue such a guarantee in advance. Nor is it possible to submit an application to ascertain whether you can travel to Norway if you are visa-free or already have a valid visa.

Please contact the airline you will fly with to check what documentation they require for you to board a flight to Norway.

Final decision regarding entry is made by Norwegian police at the border.

NB! Note that the general rules regarding quarantine and covid tests apply! Please see additional corona related information on the web site of The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration and on the web site of the Governor of Svalbard.

Note also that individuals entering The Kingdom of Norway must provide necessary information in order to ensure compliance with the quarantine regulations, enhancement of national precautionary measures and to contribute to the Norwegian disease detection and tracking system. Please register here prior to travelling to Norway: https://reg.entrynorway.no.

The Q & A page set up by the Norwegian Government (The coronavirus situation: Questions and answers about entry to Norway) provides useful information related to travel to Norway, and you are strongly encouraged to visit the page!

While we strive to keep the information on this page updated, regulations can change on short notice. We therefore recommend that you consult with official Norwegian websites (primarily The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI), and Helse Norge) and with your country’s embassy in Oslo prior to planning your travels.

Information regarding travel to Svalbard

All travel to Svalbard that is not considered as strictly necessary is discouraged. Anyone undertaking necessary travel must be able do document a negative result on a corona test taken no more than 24 hours before departure for Svalbard. The test must be completed on the Norwegian mainland. Furthermore, quarantine rules apply for international travellers arriving on the Norwegian mainland en route to Svalbard. Specifically, the full quarantine period must be completed on the mainland prior to travelling to Svalbard. This applies to all travellers, including local Svalbard residents. For additional information, please see the web pages of the Governor of Svalbard.

Information specifically for Ny-Ålesund

Currently, there are no additional restrictions for travellers going to Ny-Ålesund. However, for the first five days after arrival in Ny-Ålesund you are required to have your meals at a separate table in the mess hall. Also, to allow for extra cleaning measures in Ny-Ålesund, there will be an added cost per day for all visitors to Ny-Ålesund. (Additional information regarding costs on Kings Bay’s web site.) General rules (social distancing, good hand hygiene etc) apply. In the event that you experience any flu/cold or covid-19 symptoms, you are required to be quarantined, and then tested.

The goverment has introduced new national guidelines applicable to the whole country. The measures apply until futher notice, and a new assessment will be made by 12. April 2021. Local measures that have already been introduced will continue, changes that will affect us are:

Keep 2 meters distance, exceptions are your close contacts/cohort.

-Use mask in the local store and keep 2 meters distance.

For the first 5 days after arrival, it is very important that the individual takes responsibility for complying with these rules. Be it in the dining room, the shop, at work and in your free time.

For the newcomers: The first 5 days, the meal for you will be 20 minutes after the set time for the various meals. This is so that one can maintain 2 meters distance.

It is important that everyone who is going to travel to Ny-Ålesund makes an assessement of their own health situation and thinks about the possible consequences of beconing ill and in isolation. Those over the age of 65 and those with additional disease will have a greater risk of a serious course of the disease. If a person is vaccinated, the risk of a serious course of the disease can significantly reduced.

A possible evacuation to the mainland will not be carried out until you become seriosly ill. This can lead to a demanding course of illness in isolation in Ny-Ålesund, with only one nurse available.