Getting here and advice about your stay
Norway is a member of the Schengen free travel zone. UK citizens do not require a visa to enter if your passport describes you as a British Citizen.
If you have another type of British nationality, you should check the current entry requirements on the website of the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) at: https://www.udi.no/en/contact-us/; and if necessary confirm with the Norwegian Embassy in the UK, at: https://www.norway.no/en/uk.
For stays of longer than three months, contact the Norwegian Embassy for further information about entry requirements: https://www.norway.no/en/uk.
Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you do not need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.
If you are travelling to Norway for business, check the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice, at: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/norway before you leave.
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs)
UK ETDs are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Norway.
Check with the Norwegian Embassy in London before travelling with pets. See: https://www.norway.no/en/uk.
The currency of Norway is the Kroner (NOK). Norway can be very expensive. Make sure you have access to plenty of money. Bank opening hours are shorter than in the UK – especially in summer. Credit cards are widely accepted, but are not so widely accepted as a means of payment in Norwegian supermarkets and petrol stations as they are in the UK. You may be asked to provide ID if you cannot pay by chip and PIN. You can send money electronically to Norway via Forex and Western Union.
[Source – FCO Travel Advice/gov.uk]
Local laws and customs
Drugs and drink driving laws are stricter in Norway than in the UK. Do not become involved with drugs of any kind. Possession of even small quantities can lead to heavy fines and/or imprisonment.
Whale meat is available in Norway but importing it into the UK/EU is illegal under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Any importation of whale meat to the UK will result in seizure of the goods, possibly a fine of up to £5,000 and a custodial sentence.
[Source – FCO Travel Advice/gov.uk]
Safety and security
Crime levels are low, but there is a risk of petty theft, particularly in airports and railway stations in and around Oslo. The British Embassy is often asked to help British nationals who have had their valuables stolen just after arriving in the country. Take sensible precautions to protect your belongings, particularly your passport, money and credit cards.
Assaults and muggings have been on the increase. Remain alert when walking home alone at night, and stick to main roads and well-lit areas. Avoid shortcuts and quiet roads with no other pedestrians.
Visitors can drive using a valid UK or other EU/EEA driving licence. There is no need for an International Driving Permit. Make sure you have the correct vehicle insurance cover before you arrive.
Distances are great and driving takes longer than you think. Narrow and winding roads may be hazardous and impassable, especially in winter. Winter tyres are mandatory from around 1st November to 15th April (exact dates vary from year-to-year).
Keep headlights on at all times. Fines for exceeding the speed limit are high. On roads which are not marked with a priority sign (a yellow diamond), drivers must give way to traffic coming from the right.
Alcohol limits for drivers are far stricter than UK levels. There are frequent roadside checks for alcohol. Penalties for driving under the influence are severe and can lead to a prison sentence.
See the European Commission guide to driving in Norway, at: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_
All vehicles with a maximum allowable total weight of over 3,500kg must be equipped with snow chains. A truckers’ guide in English issued by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration can be found at Donna Diesel. See: https://www.vegvesen.no/en/Home; and https://www.vegvesen.no/en
Follow the advice of the Governor of Svalbard, including on how to protect yourself from a possible polar bear attack, the risks of glaciers, avalanches and other dangers outside the main town of Longyearbyen. See: http://www.sysselmannen.no/en/.
Extreme weather and crises
Extreme weather, floods and landslides can occur. The Norwegian Government’s website (Kriseinfo) provides information and advice to the public before, during and after a crisis. See: http://www.kriseinfo.no/en/.
Visiting in summer
Mosquitoes and midges can be a problem in forest, lake and mountainous regions. Bans on campfires are strictly enforced in many areas during the summer months. If you plan to go off the beaten track or out to sea, seek local advice about weather conditions and have suitable specialist equipment. The weather can change rapidly, producing Arctic conditions even in summer on exposed mountain tops.
Visiting in winter
The winter is long (it can last well into April) and temperatures can drop to -25°C and below. There is also a high wind chill factor, particularly in unsheltered areas and mountain ranges. Weather conditions can worsen quickly.
Bring warm clothes and practical footwear to cope with icy roads and pavements. You can buy special clamp-on grips (brodder) to give extra security in icy conditions locally. If you are taking part in skiing, hiking or other off-road activities use the correct equipment. You can get advice at local information centres, which in smaller places tend to be connected with skiing equipment rental shops.
Large numbers of British nationals travel successfully and safely in and around the Arctic each year. The Arctic is, however, a vast region, comprising the northerly areas of Canada, Finland, Greenland (Denmark), Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and Alaska (United States).
In addition to reading the specific travel advice for each of these countries, prospective visitors to the Arctic should also consider carefully the potential remoteness of certain destinations from search and rescue, evacuation and medical facilities. Independent travellers are particularly advised to develop contingency arrangements for emergency back-up.
The most popular way of visiting the Arctic is by ship. As some areas of the Arctic – specifically the more northerly and remote regions – can be uncharted and ice-covered, you should check the previous operational experience of cruise and other operators offering travel in the region. You should also consider the on-board medical facilities of cruise ships and talk to cruise operators as appropriate, particularly if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
The eight Arctic States take their international search and rescue obligations very seriously, and have recently signed a binding agreement on search and rescue co-operation in the Arctic. However, in the highest-latitude regions of the Arctic, cruise ships may be operating in relative isolation from other vessels and/or inhabited areas. You should be aware that in these regions, search and rescue response will often need to be despatched from many hundreds of miles away, and assistance to stranded vessels may take several days to arrive, particularly in bad weather.
Search and rescue assets are also likely to offer only basic transport and basic medical care, and are unlikely to be capable of advanced life-support. Responsible cruise operators should happily provide additional information relevant to the circumstances of the cruise they are offering, and address any concerns you may have.
Consular assistance and support to British nationals in the Arctic will be affected by the capacity of national and local authorities. You should make sure you have adequate travel insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment or potential repatriation.
Visit your health professional at least four-to-six weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures.
Country-specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre on the TravelHealthPro website: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries; and by NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website: http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations.aspx.
Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website: http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/Pages/Healthcareabroad.aspx.
If you are visiting Norway you should get a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. See: http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC/Pages/about-the-ehic.aspx. The EHIC is not a substitute for medical and travel insurance, but it entitles you to state-provided medical treatment that may become necessary during your trip. Any treatment provided is on the same terms as for Norwegian nationals.
If you do not have your EHIC with you or you have lost it, you can call the Department of Health Overseas Healthcare Team (+44 191 218 1999) to get a Provisional Replacement Certificate. The EHIC will not cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or non-urgent treatment, so you should make sure you have adequate travel insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and repatriation.
Seek local advice if you intend to eat mussels harvested off the coast and certain types of fish from lakes and fjords.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. If you are referred to a medical facility for treatment you should contact your insurance/medical assistance company immediately.
Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
[Source – FCO Travel Advice/gov.uk]
FCO travel advice
If you are travelling to Norway for business, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) website has up-to-date travel advice to help you prepare for your visits overseas and to stay safe and secure while you are there.
For advice please visit the FCO Travel section pages on the gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/norway.
Email: email@example.com; this email service only offers information and advice for British nationals planning to travel abroad.
If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Consular Assistance team on +44 (0)20 7008 1500 (24 hours).
If you are abroad and need emergency help, contact the nearest British Embassy, Consulate or High Commission: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations.
[Source – FCO Travel Advice/gov.uk]
Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. See the FCO Foreign Travel Insurance guidance at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/foreign-travel-insurance.
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