Home quarantine for everyone who comes to Svalbard

The Governor has decided that all travellers to Svalbard arriving in Ny-Ålesund, Barentsburg, Pyramiden, Svea and Hornsund will be placed in home quarantine for 7 days after arrival. The Longyearbyen Local Council has previously decided that everyone who comes to Longyearbyen should be imposed home quarantine.

Published 3/20/2020

The definition of home quarantine appears in the national guidelines for home quarantine in force at any given time.

For persons who develop disease or symptoms during the quarantine period, the government's current guidelines for converting the quarantine to isolation apply at all times.

The Governor's decision is valid from Friday 20 March at 18:00. The decision is valid until 27 March 2020 at 18:00.

- It is clear that this decision about home quarantine is far-reaching for those who are affected by it. The current serious situation and the need to prevent and avoid any contamination, however, make the decision necessary, says Governor Kjerstin Askholt.

- This was done in consultation with the chief infection protection doctor at Longyearbyen Hospital, who recommends that all visitors be placed in home quarantine, she says.

On Tuesday this week, the Longyearbyen Local Council decided on expanded quarantine regulations for visitors from the mainland to Longyearbyen plan area. The reason for the decision was to prevent and limit the infection of Covid-19, while protecting people at risk.

- The Governor of Svalbard considers that the same considerations apply in the other places in Svalbard, and that there is also a similar need there. Also, we see that a holistic and unified practice is necessary”, Kjerstin Askholt points out.

- As we see it, the decision is necessary to implement measures as soon as possible to prevent and stop any spread of infection throughout Svalbard, also outside Longyearbyen, she says.

Access to health care in Svalbard is limited, and the settlements on the archipelago are therefore in a vulnerable situation when it comes to possible infection.

The quarantine provisions apply only to the traveller, and not persons the traveller stays with, or has stayed with, during his/her stay in Svalbard. Travellers with symptoms should be immediately in isolation.

Anyone who has no symptoms of respiratory infection can return to the mainland. Travellers who make use of the opportunity to return to the mainland must be in quarantine until departure.

The following exceptions apply to the decision:

Persons with critical social functions and other key personnel may be exempted from this quarantine requirement, but national guidelines for quarantine and disease isolation apply.

The Governor decides who is included in the exception. The exception should only be used where it is strictly necessary. Apart from this, no exemption is granted from the provisions.

Application is sent to the Governor of Svalbard on electronic application form. See link to the right.

The Governor's decision is made on the basis of Regulation FOR-2015-06-22-747 on health legislation for Svalbard and Jan Mayen Section 9 sixth paragraph; cf. Infection control law Section 4-1, first paragraph, letter d).