Tag Archives: Easter

RULES VS. RECOMMENDATIONS – HOW MUCH IMPACT? No-travel advisory among headline items in latest COVID-19 measures, but will it alter plans to visit Svalbard for Easter?

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While those in Norway will have to accept the sobering fact they can’t get a drink in a pub for a least the next few weeks, nearly all of the items in a long list of additional COVID-19 prevention measures announced by the government Tuesday are “mere” recommendations.

Since Svalbard is at the peak of spring tourism season with the highly travelled Easter holiday next weekend, a key question is how many on the mainland will choose to comply with non-mandatory advisories making the biggest headlines such as avoiding unnecessary travel? And if they don’t might it result in some of the recommendations becoming rules?

YET EVEN TOUGHER COVID-19 LIMITS THROUGH EASTER: Ban serving alcohol, smaller public gatherings, stricter quarantines as of Thurs.; recommendations much stricter w/ eye on travel

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A long list of new COVID-19 restrictions and recommendations – including a nationwide ban on serving alcohol in restaurants and pubs and a major reduction in the size of public gatherings – will be in effect starting Thursday, Norway’s government announced late Tuesday.

The new preventative measures, in effect until at least April 12, are the latest of several incremental expansions due to a resurgence of COVID-19 nationally and globally due largely to mutated strains. Central government officials acknowledged the newest measures are likely to severely disrupt spring and Easter holiday plans, but concerns about travel and communal gatherings during that time is largely the reason for the extra enforcement.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES FOR EASTER WEEKEND (WED.-MON.): News/events added frequently and chronologically, so you can keep reading it without turning your brain into a fried egg

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This story will be updated through the holiday (most recent update 4 p.m. Saturday), with major/breaking news reported in separate articles. Photo of Russian settlement residents chilling out with some ice fishing during an excursion last weekend by Timofey Rogozhin.

Much of Svalbard may be unusually quiet during Easter weekend due to the usual businesses closures and most unusual coronavirus restrictions, but those wanting a spiritually and physically inspiring experience still have plenty of options including free guided accompaniment on snowmobile trips between Longyearbyen and Pyramiden on Thursday and Friday.

The weather forecast generally calls for safe conditions, although strong winds and some snow is forecast Thursday afternoon and evening, and mostly clear skies on Friday will give way to increasing clouds through Monday. Temperatures will generally be in the range of minus 15 degrees Celsius.

WHEN ISOLATION ALLOWS EXPLORATION: With everyone but residents cut off from Svalbard, locals able to enjoy traditional Easter-season cabin trips since archipelago is one ‘district’

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There aren’t many options for Longyearbyen folks desiring a “staycation” during the Easter holiday period starting this weekend (although Barentsburg is proving a sought-after lodging option), but a nationwide ban on most cabin stays during the coronavirus restriction period doesn’t apply to Svalbard, thus making the traditional trips here possible – with some vacancies not always available this close to the holiday.

‘Fight against evil’: Svalbard Church priest’s Easter serman denounces anti-immigrant minister, Israeli attacks in Gaza

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Never one to shy from controversy, Svalbard Church Priest Leif Magne Helgesen used his Easter Mass to denounce deadly Israeli attacks against Palestinian protesters and a Norwegian minister stirring up fears of foreigners and the mass murders by Anders Behring Breivik in a narrative about fear and the need to not submit to hopelessness against fighting it.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of April 11, 2017

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Spate of accidents, small avalanches causes for caution during sunny and busy Easter Week
Several accidents resulting in injuries and at least two small avalanches have occurred in the past few days as Svalbard enters one of its busiest weeks for outdoor excursions, according to The Governor of Svalbard and other officials.

Random weirdness for the week of April 7, 2015

bearufo

We never thought one day we’d be yearning yet more insistence from scientists that Svalbard’s polar bears are kin to the Abominable Snowmen roaming the Himalayas, but it seems like teaming the furry kinsfolk up may be a good idea to ward off an invasive species threat a certain boffin says we may face.