covidtestreturn

NORWAY REIMPOSES NEGATIVE COVID-19 TEST FOR SVALBARD TRAVELERS: Omicrom varient means mainland test required within 24 hours of departure, including vaccinated persons

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Photo by Arild Olsen / Longyearbyen Lokalstyre

A negative COVID-19 test within 24 hours for all people traveling to Svalbard is in effect again due to concerns about the highly contageous Omicrom that has reached Norway and scores of other countries, Norway’s government announced Friday.

Permanent Svalbard residents can get free tests at Gardermoen Airport in Olso and in the Tromsø city center. However, self-tests are not valid for any travellers.

“Due to the reduction in available health resources in Svalbard, a large outbreak would put great pressure on critical societal functions and might result in evacuation to the mainland, which would require use of the air ambulance service,” a press release announcing highened restrictions nationwide stated. “Priority will therefore be given to administering a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to the population of Svalbard.”

Svalbard was one of the few places in the world with no COVID-19 cases until this fall, due to extra-strict rules including the negative test just before traveling that was in effect for many months. Numerous residents complained when it was enacted the cost and logistics of the tests were unfair for those needing to go to/from the mainland for work, medical and other necessary reasons.

Free tests at Gardermoen are availalble at Dr. Dropin in the departure area with documented proof of Svalbard residency. Tromsø’s municipal government offers tests at its facility in the city center.

The heightened restrictions will be reviewed in two weeks, according to the government’s release.

About Post Author

Mark Sabbatini

I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.
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