Entry quarantine for seafarers upon arrival in Norway: clarification to the Covid-19 Regulation

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Whether seafarers are obliged to undergo entry quarantine at a quarantine hotel during the first three days upon arrival, or whether the entire quarantine period may be spent at single cabin on board the vessel has been the subject of some debate.

The Covid-19 Regulation does not prohibit the quarantine period taking place at a single cabin on board the vessel, insofar as the vessel provides a suitable location. Documentation that the seafarer will be lodged in a single cabin must however be presented upon arrival.

The Ministry of Health and Care Services has today provided a welcoming clarification that the entry quarantine may be observed on board the vessel from day one upon arrival. Consequently, going forward there is no requirement for crew to spend the first three days of the entry quarantine period at a quarantine hotel, provided the requirements of the Regulation section § 6 h are otherwise fulfilled.

The interpretation as well as the practical effectuation has until now varied between the various districts in Norway. In effect, seafarers in respect of some districts have been allowed to travel directly on board the vessel to undergo the entry quarantine, whereas seafarers in other districts have been instructed to spend the first three days at a quarantine hotel. The clarification from The Ministry of Health and Care Services will hopefully ensure an equal practice among the districts and provide a more flexible solution for the industry ahead.

We are following the regulatory development in Norway closely and assist industry players daily on these issues. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have in this regard.