Stricter quarantine regulations for foreign employees arriving in Norway

The Norwegian Government announced 26 October 2020 stricter quarantine regulation for employees arriving in Norway.

Stricter quarantine regulations for foreign employees arriving in Norway.

Foreign employees arriving in Norway have since June 2020 had the possibility of working during the 10-day quarantine period if they test negative on SARS-COVID-19.

Due to an increase of COVID-19 infections both in Norway and Europe, The Norwegian Government yesterday (26.10.2020) announced stricter quarantine regulations. 

Please note that the regulations have not yet officially been amended, and information below is based upon the Government's announcement yesterday afternoon. This article may therefore be subject to updates.

Arrival from "red countries" – No exemption from quarantine

Foreign employees arriving in Norway from what EU have defined as "red countries" will no longer be exempted from the Norwegian quarantine regulations (e.g. upon negative tests).

EU defines red countries as countries with more than 150 confirmed infections per 100 000 inhabitants over 14 days, and if more than 4 percent in the country tests positive, the limit is 50 confirmed infections per 100 000 inhabitants.

This means that employees arriving in Norway from such red countries must stay in quarantine for 10 days, without any possibility to work during this time.

This amendment will enter into force at midnight 30 October 2020 (night to Saturday 31 October), but without any retrospective effect. This means that it will only apply to employees arriving in Norway from Saturday 31 October.

Arrival from other countries

Other employees arriving form countries not defined as "red" by EU may still be exempt the Norwegian quarantine regulations, but with stricter conditions.

  • Employees on off-duty quarantine (following the first negative test) shall be tested every third day, and accommodated privately in single-rooms the first 10 days in Norway. 
  • Employer shall arrange for distance between others when employees are in off-duty quarantine.

This amendment will enter into force at midnight 27 October 2020 (night to Wednesday 28 October) without any retrospective effect. 

The Government have also announced that these measures will last until early December 2020 at the earliest.

KPMG recommendations

These stricter quarantine regulations may make it difficult for foreign employers to operate effectively in Norway, especially for employers that relies on rotation schemes that are dependent on high travel frequency for the employees.

A relevant option to reduce and mitigate additional costs and other undesirable effects of these restrictions might be to increase the rotation periods for the employees. In this regard, please find additional information in our previous article – "COVID-19: effect on work-rotation schemes".

Update 2 November 2020 – BNL recommendations

The Norwegian Building Organization (BNL) have updated their industry standard on travel quarantine and work where you may find additional information regarding the quarantine regulations, including definitions, what employees are eligible to work after negative test results etc.

The updated industry standard was published by BNL on 30 October 2020, and have been translated by KPMG.

You may find the translated version here: Code of practice for BNL's federated companies regarding entry quarantine and work

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