UK oil workers are eligible for an exemption to new rules restricting travel to Norway, the country’s government has advised.
On Saturday, Norway deemed the UK a “red zone”, meaning anyone travelling into the country from Britain would need to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival.
Along with Greece, Austria and Ireland, the UK passed the threshold of 20 cases per 100,000 people in population over the prior two weeks, leading to the designation.
However, oil and gas workers, travelling to go offshore in Norway, are eligible for exemption so long as they are not infected and are not displaying any symptoms, according to the country’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.
A number of UK workers travel to Norway for employment offshore.
The Norwegian Oil and Gas Association (NOROG), highlighted that the country’s Covid-19 regulations state that persons “strictly necessary” to “maintain proper operation of critical social functions or take care of the basic needs of the population” are eligible for exemption while travelling to and from work.
NOROG said this comes with the condition that the exemption needs to be confirmed by company management before travel, and that workers are not suspected of having been in contact with a positive case.
Meanwhile, the Energy Ministry said it is implemented “from operator to operator”, rather than industry-wide like in the UK.
A spokeswoman for Oil and Gas UK said: “Whilst we welcome exemptions for UK oil and gas workers involved in critical and relevant activities outside of the UKCS, we are not in a position to comment specifically on arrangements put in place by non-UK countries and would direct enquiries to the relevant government authority and/or trade association.”
In May, oil and gas workers were handed an exemption to new Home Office rules requiring international travellers coming into the UK to self-isolate for 14 days.
The measures came into effect on June 8.