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Daily Archives: 12. August 2020 − News & Stories


Nor­way expands tra­vel restric­tions; tou­rism in Lon­gye­ar­by­en behind expec­ta­ti­ons

The Nor­we­gi­an government has made a cou­p­le of signi­fi­cant chan­ges to the exis­ting tra­vel restric­tions due to the incre­a­sing num­ber of posi­ti­ve Coro­na-cases in many Euro­pean coun­tries. More tou­rists will have to stay in qua­ran­ti­ne upon ent­e­ring the coun­try (if they still deci­de to come at all). At the same time, the government reminds all Nor­we­gi­ans that tra­vel­ling to any for­eign coun­try is not advi­sed unless necessa­ry. This tra­vel warning is expec­ted to remain in for­ce until at least 01 Octo­ber.

The cate­go­ry “green” does not occur any­mo­re in the list of Euro­pean coun­tries publis­hed and regu­lar­ly updated by the Fol­ke­hels­e­insti­tutt (insti­tu­te for public health). Ins­tead, coun­tries are shown in yel­low. Accord­ing to prime minis­ter Erna Sol­berg, this is to pre­vent misun­derstan­dings and to make clear that the­re is always an inherent risk to tra­vel­ling, so Nor­we­gi­ans are advi­sed to stay in the coun­try as much as pos­si­ble. For non-Nor­we­gi­an tou­rists, the cate­go­ry “yel­low” is prac­ti­cal­ly what “green” used to be befo­re: tou­rists from the­se coun­tries and regi­ons may enter Nor­way without qua­ran­ti­ne.

Norwegian Corona-map as of 12 August 2020

Nor­we­gi­an “Coro­na-map” for Euro­pe as of 12 August 2020. © Fol­ke­hels­e­insti­tuttet.

But also bey­ond colou­ring, the most recent ver­si­on of Norway’s “Coro­na map for Euro­pe” has chan­ged signi­fi­cant­ly com­pa­red to pre­vious ver­si­ons. The­re is a lar­ger num­ber of coun­tries now in red, mea­ning that tou­rists from the­se coun­tries will have to stay in qua­ran­ti­ne for 10 days upon ent­e­ring the coun­try. Qua­ran­ti­ne has to be in one address on the main­land (not Sval­bard). The latest map now shows coun­tries such as Fran­ce, the Nether­lands and Ice­land in red. “Hat­ched” coun­tries are tho­se were infor­ma­ti­on is con­si­de­red insuf­fi­ci­ent or unre­li­able; also here, tou­rists have to stay in qua­ran­ti­ne for 10 days upon ent­e­ring Nor­way.

The new map, as shown here, will be in for­ce from 15 August. It will be updated after 14 days or ear­lier if nee­ded.

Dif­fe­rent rules app­ly for tra­vel­lers with a back­ground other than tou­rism.

As had to be expec­ted, tou­rism has lar­ge­ly col­lap­sed also in Spits­ber­gen. In June, the total num­ber of tou­rists was 85 % less than in June 2019. In July, the quo­te incre­a­sed to 50 % due to a lar­ger num­ber of Nor­we­gi­ans taking the oppor­tu­ni­ty for a trip to Sval­bard. In total num­bers, this means that 3448 tou­rists came in July, com­pa­red to 8789 in July 2019. The capa­ci­ty use of the hotels was 35 %, in con­trast to 77 % one year ear­lier, accord­ing to Sval­bard­pos­ten based on sta­tis­tics by Visit Sval­bard.

Ian R. Stone (1943-2020)

Ian R. Stone, high­ly estee­med as a friend, col­league and polar his­to­ri­an by this aut­hor and many others, left on his final jour­ney on 10 July 2020. Many rea­ders of the­se lines will remem­ber him as a bril­li­ant his­to­ri­an and gifted lec­tu­rer on board small expe­di­ti­on ships in the Arc­tic and Ant­arc­tic, such as the Rus­si­an ones used by Ocean­wi­de Expe­di­ti­ons in years now gone past, or in more recent years also on crui­se ships in war­mer waters, an expe­ri­ence and way of life that he shared with his wife Olga. I enjoy­ed Ian‘s know­ledge and friendship during a num­ber of crui­ses both in the Arc­tic and Ant­arc­tic. He never hesi­ta­ted to share his vast know­ledge and expe­ri­ence in a warm, friend­ly, humo­rous but always pro­fes­sio­nal way with a youn­ger col­leage.

Ian R. Stone (1943-2020)

Ian R. Stone (1943-2020), in March 2005 at Base Orca­das on the South Ork­ney Islands.

Ian was a gen­tle­man aca­de­mic in a clas­si­cal way, the kind that they just don’t make any­mo­re the­se days. His end­less know­le­ge of polar (and other) explo­ra­ti­on was always rea­di­ly avail­ab­le, cer­tain­ly not just after a quick, secret glim­pse at an online resour­ce. At the same time, he was rea­dy to take it up with surf and Zodiacs or with an angry polar bear, if nee­ded.

It has always been good to know that the­re was someo­ne who would be able to ans­wer any his­to­ri­cal ques­ti­on that could be ans­we­red, some­thing I have often bene­fi­ted from also as an aut­hor. Ian always sup­por­ted others with plea­su­re. I have fond memo­ries from the times that I could share with him.

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