Handling of Covid 19 virus on Svalbard

The Governor and the Svalbard Preparedness Council follow the situation closely and adhere to the guidelines of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. The need for new measures is assessed on an ongoing basis, and the emergency services will request assistance from central authorities if the need arises.

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Published 3/11/2020

- The basic preparedness at Svalbard is vulnerable, and prevention is therefore extremely important. Residents and visitors are therefore encouraged to be aware of hygiene and infection prevention, says Governor Kjerstin Askholt.

We follow the same principles as on the mainland for home isolation and home quarantine. For travellers and tourists this will involve – if they get sick or must be infection quarantine under the stay on Svalbard, they must be in isolation or quarantine at the accommodation they are going to.

The emergency response actors at Svalbard, who are responsible for critical functions in the community, plan on how to maintain the operation of these services should the employees be affected by corona infection.

Central emergency preparedness plans are being made for how to avoid flight and ship contamination for the entire country, including Svalbard.

The Governor follows the recommendation of the Emergency Preparedness Committee (in Norwegian) against biological events to avoid the spread of infection and large sick leave in the Governor’s organization.

Rescue services and police operations are operated as normal.

- The emergency response actors at Svalbard work well together and we have prepared ourselves as best we can. However, we are a small and vulnerable society and do not have all the answers yet. We must therefore monitor developments closely in the future. We also depend on everyone contributing to this common day war to prevent the spread of infection on Svalbard.

Reference is also made to the following guidelines from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (sidebar on the right).