March 24, 2022

Traveling to Norway in Times of COVID19

Norway was my last travel before COVID19 happened and it is funny because when the world started to open to leisure traveling, Norway is my destination again. For obvious reason, my mom lives in Norway and she can’t travel to the Philippines yet so kami na lang ang bibisita. My late sister and I were supposed to visit my mom last year but it didn’t happen because of the global pandemic and my sister passed away two years ago. 

So planning this trip is bittersweet, happy because I can visit my mom after three years but sad because my eldest sister is no longer here. I’m also sad because my husband cannot join this trip. He is so busy with work that he could not afford to take a vacation leave. 

For the last two years, I am patiently waiting for the opportunity to travel again so when my mom and youngest sister sent me the link that Norway is open to tourists already, it gave me hope that I can travel again. So last January, my mom sent me the documents that I need and I started getting our Vaccine Certificate, I searched how to get a Yellow Card, and other documents needed to process our Schengen Visa. 

I also took note of the Travel Restrictions of Norway 

* All travelers must present negative results from a PCR or an antigen test performed within 24 hours before departure. 
* All travelers must take a COVID19 test on arrival. 
* Travelers who are 16 yrs old above must complete a registration form before departure within 72 hours of their time of arrival. 
* Face mask is recommended to wear at all public places. 

Transit Through Doha 

Passengers who are transiting through Doha, and not leaving the airport, are not required to present any test results or certifications above the requirements of their departure or destination country. 

It took me a long time processing our visa compared to my previous experiences but as days go by, Norway is slowly lifting its restrictions. Hindi pa nga kami lumalabas ng bahay so we can pass the COVID19 test pero in the end, we did not take any test because all COVI19 entry requirements have been lifted for all travelers to Norway. Yes, no testing, no quarantining, no registration. 

But I was still nervous before and during our flight, I just felt relieved when we already passed the Immigration in Norway. It is true that “There are no longer special requirements for entry into Norway due to the corona situation. The same rules as before the corona pandemic apply now.”

Traveling from Manila, Philippines to Trondheim, Norway 

When we are planning for our Norway trip, I already knew that we will fly with Qatar Airways because we had a good experience last time. I’ve been checking the Clark-Trondheim-Clark flight but I don’t like the flight schedule because of the 8 hours layover in Doha, Qatar so a few days before our trip, I checked Manila-Trondheim-Manila flight and I finally changed my mind. The rate and flight schedule are better if we will fly from Manila. 

Thank God, we don’t need to travel to Pampanga. We left early because I was thinking about the Friday traffic but we arrived in NAIA 3 after an hour. Himala, wala traffic, maybe because of the gas price increase. 

Prior to our trip, I downloaded Qatar Airways App so I already knew the onboard menu and I was able to check in and choose seats before we went to the airport. I thought checking-in would be easy but I was wrong, ang dami pala pila. We fell in line for Vaccine Certificate Check, Visa Check, and lastly to drop off our bag and get our boarding pass. 

And I don’t know if it is because of the COVID19 situation because this was the first time that the Immigration Officer asked for our Travel Insurance so it is really important to travel with insurance whether it is a mandatory requirement or not. 

Manila to Doha 9hr and 45min 
Connection time 3hr and 10min 
Doha to Oslo 7hr and 10min 
Connection time 3hr and 55min 
Oslo to Trondheim 55 min 

Aside from the usual Travel Kit, Qatar Airways also provided Protective Kit, this includes gloves, face mask, and hand sanitizing gel. There was no longer a paper menu, good thing I already have an idea of the onboard menu.

Manila to Doha Onboard Menu 
Snacks - Chicken Fajita Breakfast - Choice of Yellow Curry Fried Rice with Bean Stew Tofu, Plain Congee, or Wild Raspberry Brioche with croissant, seasonal fresh fruit, and yogurt. 

Doha to Oslo Onboard Menu 
Brunch - Choice of Herbed Scrambled Egg with Chicken Sausage, Vegetable Ratatouille and Curry Chicken Rice with a bread roll and seasonal fresh fruit 
Snacks - Chicken Fajita 

Three years ago, Qatar Airways has FREE WIFI for 30 minutes but I was not able to connect. But with our recent trip, I was happy because I was able to use the COMPLIMENTARY ONE HOUR of SUPER WIFI during our flight to Doha and Oslo. And because of this, I can message my husband and my mom above the clouds. Qatar Airways has flight entertainment but I prefer watching the views outside of the plane. It is nice to see the take-off and touchdown of our plane. 

Traveling to my mom’s place is no joke because I need to take 3 planes and 1 ferry boat so I was happy when I was able to book the shortest trip. But little did I know that this would be our longest travel experience, it took us 43 hours just to reach my mom’s place because of 2 delayed flights, missed connecting flight, and missed ferry boat trip. 

It was indeed a tiring trip but I am still happy because finally, we are here in Norway. It feels good to be able to travel again and life here is back to normal; no face mask and no social distancing.

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