The Governor extends the quarantine order until 17 April

The Governor extends the order of home quarantine for 14 days to anyone arriving in Svalbard via airport, harbour or by other means. The decision applies to the whole of Svalbard until April 17. If necessary, the order of quarantine can be extended after this date. It is possible to obtain exemptions from the quarantine order.

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Published 4/8/2020

The Governor of Svalbard considers that the need for protection and prevention is still present.

- The decision is as before based on assessments from, among others, the infection control doctor at Longyearbyen hospital, Longyearbyen community council and the emergency response council for Svalbard, says Governor Kjerstin Askholt.

For persons who are already in quarantine following the previous decisions, the quarantine period runs for 14 days from the time of arrival in Svalbard. The definition of home quarantine appears in the national guidelines for home quarantine in force at any given time.

- On the basis of national travel advice and because all travellers must be in home quarantine upon arrival here, tourists and other travellers are not advised to travel to Svalbard for the time being, Kjerstin Askholt points out.

- It will still be possible to obtain exemptions from the quarantine provision according to certain guidelines, says Governor Kjerstin Askholt.

Persons in companies with a critical function and other key personnel who are necessary to maintain the necessary operations in the companies can be exempted from the quarantine requirements. The exception provision should only be used where it is considered to be strictly necessary.

In addition, exceptions may be granted for persons who have already been in quarantine on the mainland for 14 days. The person must have come directly from the quarantine on the mainland, ie travelled straight from the quarantine to the airport. Exceptions should only be used when contagion risk during quarantine and travel to Svalbard is considered absent or very small.

It will be up to the management of each company to consider whether an exception should be granted. The company shall make a contamination assessment and avoid that the employee is in contact with other employees and customers where possible. In this case, the company must make special arrangements for the person to be able to keep a distance of other people 2 meters indoors and 1-2 meters outdoors. The exception applies only to the person's work, i.e. travel to and from work and during working hours. In his/her spare time, the person will be subject to home quarantine.

The Governor may in other special cases grant exemptions from the quarantine provisions. Special cases could be personal circumstances such as serious illness in the closest family.

Guidelines from central authorities may result in changes to the exemption provisions in the Governor’s decision. The decision can be revoked if it is no longer needed.