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Norway adds new European countries to virus ‘red list’

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[FILES] Norway Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide. Photo: WIKIMEDIA

Norway said Thursday mounting case numbers meant it would reclassify France, Switzerland and the Czech Republic as coronavirus “red zones”, requiring incoming travellers to quarantine themselves for 10 days.

“Unfortunately, the current trend in a number of European countries is moving in the wrong direction,” Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide said in a statement.

The tiny principality of Monaco and two Swedish regions have also been added to Norway’s red list, with the foreign ministry advising against non-essential travel.

Oslo adds countries to the list when the number of new cases in the previous two weeks mounts above 20 per 100,000 inhabitants.

The quarantine requirement will come into effect overnight Thursday and Friday, the foreign ministry said.

Outside the 27-country European Union but part of the Schengen free movement zone, Norway lifted travel restrictions with most of its neighbours on July 15.

But “the infection situation and local restrictions can both change very quickly,” Soreide said, while the ministry upheld “global advice against non-essential travel” at least until August 20.


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