The Norwegian government has included Poland in a group of countries coloured red on its map illustrating the epidemiological situation abroad, deciding the country’s policy on how to handle international travellers arriving in Norway. Poles will now have to self-quarantine after arrival, together with citizens of states such as the Netherlands, Iceland, and Cyprus.
The countries have been included on the map due to the rising number of coronavirus infections in those states. The criteria to be classified among the states coloured red is the detection of more than 20 new infections on average per 100,000 inhabitants over the course of the last two weeks. The formula has been developed by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
The new restrictions forcing citizens from states coloured red to self-quarantine will be introduced from Saturday.
The Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg explained the decision as needed to avoid a new lockdown, saying "we are not against free travel, but we must react so that the situation which we had earlier this spring, with a complete lockdown, is not repeated again. We want students to be able to go back to school as normal.
In addition, the 10-day quarantine will also be applied to people travelling from certain Swedish regions: Oestergoetland, Oerebro, Blekinge, Uppsala and Dalarna. The Danish island of Zeeland (not including Copenhagen) and the central part of the Jutland Peninsula with the city of Aarhus have also been classified as red.
States such as France, Monaco, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania and Spain have previously been included on the list of red countries.
Norway has seen an increase in new cases of coronavirus for two weeks, leading the government to introduce new restrictions such as banning the sale of alcohol in restaurants and bars after midnight. The new outbreak has been traced back to a Norwegian cruise ship from which the virus spread to several dozen municipalities.
The situation is deemed to be the worst in Oslo, where there are more than 20 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. The city’s mayor, Raymont Johansen, told NTB's Norwegian press agency that he does not rule out a complete lockdown of the capital city.
Last week saw 389 new infections, bringing the total up to 9,751 cases.