CORONAVIRUS UPDATES FOR SVALBARD FOR WEDNESDAY: Grocery deliveries noon-3 p.m., rent relief for Lompensenteret and Store Norske tenants, extra-safe touring urged and more


This list will be updated throughout the day.

As those in Longyearbyen face yet another increase in restrictions with new quarantines for those returning from the the mainland or been there recently, a number of efforts are being made to provide assistance and diversions to locals affected by the coronavirus crisis. Additional closures and scale backs are also occurring, as are new efforts to obtain help in the form of work or money for specific individuals.

• UNIS and The Governor of Svalbard have issued alerts and guidelines regarding avoiding excursions that may necessitate rescues, medical help other other resources. Also, “in the event of a contagious situation in the field, methods of recovery other than helicopter will be considered if possible,” the governor’s notice states.

Free counselling is available for UNIS students and others associated with The University of f Tromsø.

• Svalbard Delivery Service is offering deliveries from Svalbardbutikken from noon to 3 p.m. for 75 kroner. No alcohol.

• Svalbard Adventures, Longyearbyen’s second-largest tourism company, has laid off 85 percent of its employees and one-third of them are ineligible for national benefits, Svalbardposten reported.

• Store Norske will be offering reduced rents to its residential tenants, according to Svalbardbardposten. The company is also taking various preventative measures such as closing Svea to visitors.

• The Olav Thon Grupp is temporarily waiving rents for tenants at Lompensenteret, the company announced in a press release.

• The Arctic Nature Guide program is withdrawing all students from Svalbard for the semester, the University of Tromsø announced. All travel and immediate housing expenses are being paid by the university.

• A detailed essay about tours and other things still happening in the Russian settlements of Barentsburg and Pyramiden, along with the precautionary measures in place, is available from company managing the settlements.

• Physical therapy appointments at Longyearbyen Hospital have been cancelled until further notice. Those with acute problems can call the hospital at 7902 4200. Advice can be obtained by contacting Kristin Furu Grøtting at 9765 5755, although she is in home quarantine until April 1.

• Rabalder Café and Bakery will be closed as of Thursday until further notice.

Free outdoor running training is being offered by Edgar Žigis, a professional runner. First gathering is scheduled at 3:30 p.m. at the skateboard ramp.

Personal training is being offered by Maria Sele since Svalbardhallen is closed.

The Irish Band of Longyearbyen released an online recording of the traditional song “The South Wind” in commemoration of St. Patrick’s Day.

Singing lessons are being offered by Sten Allikas, with the first session free. His band’s album “The Vale” has also been released and is available on Spotify.