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Home* News and Stories → Public grants for tra­vel cos­ts ins­tead of living expen­ses; tou­rism star­ting up again

Public grants for tra­vel cos­ts ins­tead of living expen­ses; tou­rism star­ting up again

Unem­ploy­ment has gone through the roof in Lon­gye­ar­by­en during the Coro­na pan­de­mic and many have come into finan­cial trou­bles. Only Nor­we­gi­an citi­zens are eli­gi­ble for sup­port from the Nor­we­gi­an public wel­fa­re sys­tem becau­se of the con­di­ti­ons of the Spits­ber­gen Trea­ty. Others have to take care of them­sel­ves or they have to ask for sup­port in their home coun­tries.

Nevertheless, the Nor­we­gi­an government had step­ped in and offe­red public help for citi­zens of third coun­tries in Lon­gye­ar­by­en to pre­vent a social cri­sis. This pro­gram­me will, howe­ver, cea­se on 20 June and the government in Oslo does not con­si­der to extend it, des­pi­te such deman­ds being rai­sed in the dis­cus­sion in Lon­gye­ar­by­en. Ins­tead, the government wants to offer finan­cial help with tra­vel expen­ses to tho­se who want to lea­ve and return to their home coun­tries, accord­ing to a press release by minis­ter of jus­ti­ce Moni­ca Mæland..

Tourists, Longyearbyen

Tou­rists and locals enjoy­ing the sunshi­ne in Lon­gye­ar­by­en:
this is what ever­y­bo­dy is hoping for from 01 June.

Poli­ti­ci­ans, com­pa­nies and many indi­vi­du­als in Lon­gye­ar­by­en hope that not many will have to make use of this offer from the government. Tou­rists from main­land Nor­way can come to Spits­ber­gen again from 01 June and boo­kings have star­ted to come in. Some tour ope­ra­tors have told Sval­bard­pos­ten that they are cur­r­ent­ly hap­py with the deve­lo­p­ment of boo­kings. Still, the majo­ri­ty of employees are at home without work, and some have alrea­dy left Lon­gye­ar­by­en. But for many who come from coun­tries fur­ther away such as Thai­land, get­ting to their home coun­tries would be very dif­fi­cult becau­se of cur­rent tra­vel restric­tions.

In the end, it will of cour­se be the deve­lo­p­ment of the Coro­na pan­de­mic that will con­trol the deve­lo­p­ment: so far, the­re is no case of Coro­na con­fir­med in Lon­gye­ar­by­en. Nobo­dy can tell how long this will last and what will hap­pen then.

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last modification: 2020-05-20 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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