COVID-19 self-test distribution station opens Monday at Longyear 78°; free kits provided to vaccinated people with respitory symptoms and targeted unvaccinated groups

Photo by Longyearbyen Lokalstyre

A COVID-19 self-test distribution station in the parking lot of Longyear 78° is scheduled to be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays starting Monday, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

The tests require a nasal swab and provide results in 15 to 30 minutes. User guides are included in the kits.

“If you get a positive result from the self-test you should contact Longyearbyen Hospital,” a notice posted by the governor states. “A PCR sample will then be taken to ensure that the sample is positive. This is done the following weekday during the day.”

Svalbard was among the few places on Earth with no COVID-19 cases until last month, with several cases reported among residents and visitors since. Local officials, after an emergency meeting, decided to provide the self tests as part of a series of actions – although The tests will be distributed free to the following priority groups:

• People with respiratory symptoms, including those vaccinated
• Unvaccinated close contacts
• Targeted regular testing of unvaccinated in major outbreaks of infection in Svalbard, when this is determined by Longyearbyen Hospital and published on the websites of the city of Longyearbyen and the governor.

The self tests are not for routine testing of employees by companies seeking them.

People not in one of the priority groups can buy self-tests at a pharmacy.