Tag Archives: Gov. Kjerstin Askholt

MAYDAY UNTIL MAY DAY: Governor extends Svalbard quarantine order until May 1, citing its effectiveness; length of travel ban to be discussed next week with national officials

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Photo of polar bear on world’s northernmost sundial overlooking a visitor-free Longyearbyen by Eva Therese Jenssen/UNIS.

The first local reopenings are set to begin with the kindergartens on Monday, but Svalbard as a whole will remain under a quarantine order until at least May 1 in yet another two-week extension to the order that originated March 13, The Governor of Svalbard announced Friday. Meanwhile, a separate meeting is scheduled next week with national officials to discuss a ban on visitor travel to the archipelago, the duration of which remains unknown.

SVALBARD QUARANTINE BAN FOR ALL ARRIVING ‘ANYWHERE OTHER THAN SWEDEN AND FINLAND’: After a day of confusion, policy clarification applies to residents and tourists; new exemption made for those in critical public occupations

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A day after a ban on travelling to Svalbard was announced for anyone under the coronavirus quarantine – when even top officials and airport security officials at airports were unsure if the ban applied to permanent residents as well as tourists, and what few countries were exempt – The Governor of Svalbard announced at Saturday the ban applies to everybody who’s returned from a country outside Norway other than Sweden and Finland since Feb. 27.

“People who arrive Norway from anywhere other than Sweden and Finland are going to quarantine on the mainland,” the governor announced in a statement. “In other words, residents in Svalbard are not going to travel ‘home’ to Svalbard until after the quarantine period.”

However, an exemption was also enacted today for people in certain critical public occupations such as health care and transportation. Gov. Kjerstin Askholt said the specifics of how the policy will be enforced against those who must return to the mainland and who is exempt are still being determined.

“I don’t have the solution yet,” she said.

AVALANCHE UPDATE: Governor recommends 13 residential buildings near hillside be abandoned long-term or permanently

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The long-term or permanent evacuation of 13 residential buildings closest to the mountain where two devastating avalanches have occurred in the past 14 months was recommended Wednesday by The Governor of Svalbard. The decision is for practical purposes effective immediately since the buildings were already evacuated after a landslide in the area Tuesday.