CORONAVIRUS UPDATES FOR SVALBARD FOR SAT.-SUN.: Ideal weather, no crowds and lots to do – for those not confined otherwise inflicted with non-viral effects of the virus

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This story will be updated throughout the weekend (most recent: 2:30 p.m. Sunday). Photo of spring sunbathing Svalbard-style by Jens Johan Eriksen, a cook in Ny-Ålesund who is probably the world’s northernmost player in an online music bingo tournament being livestreamed Saturday night.

Yet more cloudless skies, mild temperatures, little wind and still enough snow cover (if barely in some areas) to explore the sun-drenched nature are forecast through Monday. All in all, pretty much a once-in-a-lifetime chance to enjoy a tourist-free idyllic (and common) late-April weekend in Svalbard…which of course might be more enjoyable if it weren’t for that virus thing that’s left so many indoors/unemployed/etc.

News/announcements this weekend include:

StationenMix kiosk and other businesses will be closed from 4 p.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Monday due to work that will cut off the electricity at Lompensenteret.

A midnight sun cruise aboard the M/S Billefjord is being offered from 4:30 p.m.-midnight Monday.

• Bruktikken is open from noon-2 p.m. Saturday.

An outdoor Mass by Svalbard Church Priest Siv Limstrand at Taubanebukken is scheduled at noon Sunday.

• The ski hill will be open from noon-2 p.m. Saturday, with a hot dog cookout also available. While the previous five-person signup limits will not be in effect, efforts to ensure participants keep proper “social distance” will be made.

Tio Moncho’s Mexican food truck will be open from 4-8 p.m. Sunday.

Polar Spa AS will reopen with necessary precautions at 10 a.m. Monday.

A community hike is scheduled at 7 p.m. Monday beginning at Visit Svalbard.

Svalbar is hosting a pool tournament beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday. A maximum of eight players at time will be allowed.