At a press conference on Friday, Minister of Health Bent Hoie informed about the recommendations that apply during the winter holidays. He then emphasized, among other things, that all trips abroad are still discouraged.
FHI emphasized that it is important that everyone follows the invitations so that we do not get a new wave of infection after the holiday.
“We now have a good development when it comes to infection rates in Norway. We are dependent on Norwegians now following the guidelines for the winter holidays, so that the infection does not flare up after the holidays,” said department director Line Vold in FHI.
However, a new survey shows that 168,000 Norwegians plan to defy the travel advice and travel abroad anyway.
The survey was conducted by YouGov on behalf of European Travel Insurance. 1,005 people participated in the survey from February 3rd to 7th.
Those who plan a holiday abroad during the winter holidays state that they are either going on a ski holiday or to warmer regions.
But there is still a great risk associated with traveling around the world as the pandemic is now, warns European Travel Insurance.
“If you defy the travel advice, ie the red light in the authorities’ travel map, you do not have valid insurance for the trip,” warns communications manager Andreas Bibow Handeland.
If you become ill or injured abroad and have to be treated in private hospitals, the bill can reach the millions, Handeland warns.
The same applies to repatriation to Norway. “We know that the pandemic situation is very unclear around the world now, and several mutations make things complicated and unpredictable,” he says.
European Travel Insurance’s partners abroad have reported on capacity problems in public hospitals in several places. You can also encounter local restrictions that can create challenges, Handeland points out.
“When the Norwegian authorities on top of this almost beg us not to travel abroad, and state that they cannot guarantee consular assistance, it is probably wise to spend the winter holidays here at home,” he says.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ travel advice is valid until 15 April, but can be extended. It would be contrary to our travel advice to go abroad during the holidays.
The risk is too high. Both to become infected, but also due to changes in the measures in the countries you visit and the possibility of being able to return, he says.
In the recent survey, more than half answer that they will spend the winter holidays at home where they live.
17 percent go to a cabin or hotel in Norway. Traveling to a cabin or hotel is perfectly fine, the Minister of Health points out. But he asks everyone to avoid public transport, keep their distance and shop in their home municipality before leaving.