Norway is to temporarily close its airports from 16 March as part of wide-ranging restrictions aimed tackling the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

”We have decided to close our airports, close our ports and we will have extensive border control along our border,” Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg announced today. ”We do this because we do not want anyone who does not have a critical reason to be in Norway to come to the country.

Olso airport Avinor

Source: Avinor

”It wasn’t something we wanted, but now it’s necessary. We do what we need to do to protect ourselves from the infection. In practice, this means that no one is allowed to travel to Norway.”

Norwegian airports operator Avinor had already yesterday taken the decision to close nine small airports to commercial traffic from 16 March.

Solberg notes it will work to enable Norwegians who are travelling abroad to come home. ”We work well with Denmark and have ensured that Norwegians can travel through the country even though they have already closed their borders,” she says.

Neighbouring Denmark had yesterday announced it was closing its borders to foreign nationals with effect from 14 March. Copenhagen airport though remains open to transfer traffic and for Danish nationals.