Tag Archives: Svalbardhallen

AND SO IT BEGINS…AGAIN: Library ends ‘self-serve’ hours, Svalbardhallen closes pool, Fruene may halt serving due to two-meter distancing, Kroa shuts due to new COVID-19 crackdown

fruene032521

Lots of people are being vaccinated and lots of leaders are simply declaring the COVID-19 crisis over regardless of evidence. But on Thursday morning in Longyearbyen it felt a lot like the onset of the pandemic a year ago as lots of organizations and businesses announced closures, limited operations and warnings as a new set of nationwide preventative measures took effect.

FIRST MASS LOCAL VACCINATION; TOURISTS QUARANTINED: 200 residents ages 56-64 to get COVID-19 shots Wednesday; several visitors confined due to contact w/ mainland case

massvaccine

Both the best and worst expectations of many locals for the COVID-19 pandemic this spring are being realized this week as about 200 residents ages 56-64 are scheduled to receive vaccinations Wednesday – but they’ll also have to worry about a handful of tourists being quarantined due to contact with an infected person on the mainland, despite extraordinary preventative restrictions on travel to Svalbard.

PARLIAMENT OVERRIDES ALCOHOL BAN: Establishments serving food will be able to serve again starting Friday; Svalbardhallen also reopening on a limited basis Wednesday

alcohollift

It will be possible to order booze with your meal again starting Friday – and get a workout to offset those calories starting today – after Norway’s Parliament on Tuesday voted to override a decision by Prime Minister Erna Solberg a day earlier to continue an ban on serving alcohol at restaurants due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city also announced Svalbardhallen will reopen – primarily for youth activities – starting Wednesday, part of a serious of local reopenings and cancellations/postponements related to the virus.

NO BOOZE FOR NEW YEAR’S: Ban on serving alcohol after midnight means Longyearbyen revelers at hotels and pubs have to leave champagne inside; and about that ‘recovery’ workout…

Those hoping to toast the departure of a dismal 2020 at midnight are getting a sobering reminder of the realities that will still exist in 2021 as city and tourism officials are reminding people that hotel and pub guests cannot toast the occasion with champagne when they’re outside to watch the fireworks, due to a COVID-19 restriction banning the serving of alcohol after midnight.

Also, for those who New Year’s resolutions include workouts at the gym, the city announced Wednesday a 10-day quarantine requirement is now in effect at Svalbardhallen for residents who’ve traveled to the mainland for the holidays or other reasons.

COVID-19 SHUTDOWN – THE SUMMER SEQUEL: Not as big as the original, but city’s administrative building and most of Svalbardhallen again closed as residents return from holidays

svalbardhallenclosedagain

A mini “surge” of COVID-19 cases in Norway at a time when many Longyearbyen residents are returning from summer holidays on the mainland and elsewhere is prompting city officials to close its main administrative building and everything but the swimming pool at Svalbardhallen.

Longyearbyen Hospital also issued a strongly worded reminder about the potential danger and necessary precautions since “it is easy to quickly done to forget,” and COVID-19 and infection protection are NOT fake news.”