(Bloomberg) -- Norway put in place the strictest border controls since March in an effort to stop the more infectious coronavirus type from taking hold.

Foreign nationals without residency in Norway or without close family living in the country will be denied entry, Prime Minister Erna Solberg told reporters in Oslo. Exceptions will be made for seafarers and aircrew, while workers from states outside of the European Economic Area won’t be allowed to enter.

Having withstood the pandemic better than most in 2020, Norway managed to put a cap on higher infection rates after the Christmas holidays before the more contagious coronavirus variant was detected in a nursing home near Oslo. While it has locked down the area around the capital since then, it has nonetheless avoided the level of contagion seen in neighboring Sweden and Denmark.

Norway has some of the strictest rules in Europe for foreign arrivals, and now sees the need to restrict entry from within the European Economic Area where the more infectious virus variant is spreading, the government said in a statement.

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