CORONAVIRUS UPDATES FOR SVALBARD FOR TUESDAY: Church sending May Day musical greeting online, webinar for businesses in crisis, hopes of salvaging some summer tourism


This story will be updated throughout the day (most recent 1:30 p.m.). Photo of  Dina Brode-Roger and Elizabeth Bourne sunbathing without risking cancer-causing sunburn by Kanerva Karpo.

As schools, hair salons and a limited number of other places reopen this week, others are still being forced to come up with creative ways to offer at least limited bits of “normalcy,” including Svalbard Church which will webcast a musical May Day message on Friday and Innovasion Norge offering its businesses assistance/guidance via a webinar on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, local political and tourism leaders looking at the longer-term picture told Svalbardposten they’re trying to come up with a plan that will make it feasible for businesses to welcome tourists this summer. While foreign visitors are still all but completely banned from entering Norway, domestic travel is now possible – but those arriving in Svalbard are still subject to a 14-day quarantine and only about 10 passengers a day were arriving at Svalbard Airport as of earlier this month.

Other news/announcement today includes:

• Svalbard Church will broadcast a traditional May Day musical greeting by the Store Norske Men’s Choir via Facebook at 9 a.m. Friday.

• Borrowed books and other materials can now be returned to drop boxes outside Longyearbyen Library from noon-4 p.m. weekdays.

Bruktikken will be open from 4-6 p.m., with a maximum of three people allowed inside at a time.

A webinar offering advice for businesses in Svalbard to cope with the crisis is being hosted by Innovasion Norge from 10-11 a.m. Wednesday.

Day cruises exploring the north part of Isfjorden from 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and the ice edge of Billefjorden from 8:30-5 p.m. are being offered either by registration or on a space-available walk-on basis.