This story will be updated throughout the day (most recent: 5:20 p.m.). Photo of Hurtigruten tourists photographing an iceberg in Svalbard for a “citizen scientists” study at The University Centre in Svalbard by Børge Damsgård/UNIS.
During a one-day period of more adverse long-term local impacts of the coronavirus crisis, including an extension of Svalbard’s quarantine until May 18 and The University Centre in Svalbard cancelling its courses for the remainder of 2020, there’s at least smattering of re-openings and other positive developments as Longyearbyen prepares to observe a muted May Day celebration.
Among Thursday’s developments, Svalbard Museum plans to reopen Saturday, Svalbard Bryggeri will resume its Friday evening social gatherings and dog kennels desperately seeking help for dogs during a tourist-free spring received 900 kilograms of dogfood from Svalbardbutikken. Also, while most businesses still operating will be closed for the May Day holiday on Friday, including Svalbardbutikken, some smaller operators are offering services and tours through the weekend.
News/announcements so far include:
• Svalbardposten reported Svalbardbutikken donated 870 kilos of dog food plus more in meat, exceeding 50,000 kroner in value, to local dog kennels on Thursday. The kennels have been seeking government and private funds to cope with the crisis, but some have also said they might eventually be forced to kill dogs as a last resort if no way of supporting the animals is possible and new owners can’t be found.
• Bruktikken is open from 4-6 p.m. Thursday.
• Svalbard Delivery Service is open until midnight. It is also now offering “punch cards,” with every fifth delivery free.
• Dayboat tours aboard the M/S Billefjord are being offered to Borebukta on the north side of Isfjorden from 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Billefjorden from 8:30-5 p.m. Saturday.
• Svalbard Church will broadcast a May Day greeting with music by the Store Norske Men’s Choir on Facebook at 9 a.m. Friday.
• Mix kiosk will be open from 2-9 p.m. Friday, for those needing groceries and hot food.
• Tio Moncho’s Mexican food truck is open from 2-11 p.m. Friday, 3-11 p.m. Saturday and 3-8 p.m. Sunday.
• Svalbard Museum will reopen from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. daily beginning Saturday.
• Svalbar will host the next part of its pool tournament from 6-10 p.m. Saturday. Participants must register in advance.
• Svalbard Bryggeri will reopen its Friday pub evenings beginning May 8, but with space and time restrictions, with two-hour slots from 4-6 p.m., 6-8 p.m. and 8-10 p.m. that must be reserved.