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Home* News and Stories → Adven­ture Oslo air­port. And: the ans­wer

Adven­ture Oslo air­port. And: the ans­wer

The Sval­bard­bu­tik­ken mys­te­ry

To start with, the ans­wer to the ques­ti­on in the last blog. It was about this pho­to:

Svalbardbutikken, Longyearbyen

A cor­ner in Sval­bard­bu­tik­ken, Longyearbyen’s refur­bis­hed super­mar­ket.
$64-ques­ti­on for Spits­ber­gen-nerds: what’s wrong here? 🙂

So, what is wrong? Obvious­ly, it wasn’t real­ly obvious 🙂 the pho­to on the wall is mir­ror-inver­ted. They say they will get a cor­rec­ted ver­si­on at some sta­ge.

Adven­ture Oslo air­port

Spen­ding a cou­p­le of hours in an air­port is pret­ty much the most boring thing that I can think of. why wri­te about it? Becau­se it can go wrong if you expect it to work as nor­mal.

Test or no test, that is the ques­ti­on

The ques­ti­on keeps com­ing up wether or not coro­na tes­ting is requi­red on a trip to Spits­ber­gen. The cur­rent situa­ti­on is that immu­nis­ed tra­vel­lers (ful­ly vac­ci­na­ted or recent­ly reco­ve­r­ed, docu­men­ted with an ack­now­led­ged docu­ment such as a digi­tal Euro­pean vac­ci­na­ti­on cer­ti­fi­ca­te) do not have to show a cer­ti­fi­ca­te for a nega­ti­ve test upon ent­e­ring Nor­way or che­cking in on a flight to Spits­ber­gen. That may chan­ge at any time, as ever­ything the­se days; aut­ho­ri­ties inclu­ding the Sys­sel­mes­ter have alrea­dy deman­ded to re-intro­du­ce the test obli­ga­ti­on.

In my expe­ri­ence, it is an incre­a­sing risk that you can’t necessa­ri­ly rely on gover­nemt decisi­ons espe­cial­ly when things are chan­ging more or less every week. Then it’s wha­te­ver the air­port offi­cial you are dealing with thinks. What use is in being right if you don’t get any fur­ther with is? An non-Coro­na-examp­le: legal­ly, as a EU citi­zen you don’t need a pass­port to tra­vel from Nor­way to Spits­ber­gen, an ID card will do. But at the air­port they demand a pass­port from non-Nor­we­gi­ans. Addi­tio­nal­ly, machi­nes like auto­ma­tic check-in machi­nes or auto­ma­ted pass­port con­trol machi­nes can only read pass­ports and not ID cards, so you are well advi­sed to bring your pass­port any­way.

Digital EU-vaccination certificate, Oslo Gardermoen

Digi­tal EU-vac­ci­na­ti­on cer­ti­fi­ca­te: makes the pro­cess more effi­ci­ent in Oslo Gar­der­mo­en.
But not necessa­ri­ly effi­ci­ent.

So, back to the initi­al ques­ti­on: cur­r­ent­ly, tes­ting is not requi­red under the abo­ve-men­tio­ned con­di­ti­ons. But it may still be a good idea to have enought time to get one, just in case. The­re are tes­ting faci­li­ties at Oslo Gar­der­mo­en air­port, but you may need a cou­p­le of hours until you get the cer­ti­fi­ca­te, depen­ding on traf­fic. And, accord­ing to Sval­bard­pos­ten, the coro­na test sta­ti­on at Trom­sø air­port accepts only tra­vel­lers com­ing in from inter­na­tio­nal flights, but not out­go­ing ones desti­ned for Sval­bard. Tho­se have to use equi­va­lent ser­vices in Trom­sø cent­re. Next to the extra time, expect cos­ts of 1500 kro­ner (plus trans­por­ta­ti­on) unless you are a regis­tered resi­dent in Spits­ber­gen, then it is free.

Adven­ture Oslo air­port: tra­vel infor­ma­ti­on

The usu­al two hours from arri­val at Oslo Gar­der­mo­en air­port until depar­tu­re may be enough when it’s ear­ly in the morning. Or may­be not. It is bizar­re how rapidly the queu­es are get­ting lon­ger and lon­ger until they reach ama­zing dimen­si­ons. Last wee­kend, one could get the impres­si­on that they are dis­cus­sing tes­ting requi­re­ments in detail with every sin­gle pas­sen­ger befo­re you could con­ti­nue to the actu­al check-in area. For us, with desti­na­ti­on Lon­gye­ar­by­en and ful­ly vac­ci­na­ted, it was a very short con­ver­sa­ti­on – “have a good trip” was the only com­ment as soon as we had pro­vi­ded our infor­ma­ti­on. But get­ting that far is the point, and it takes much, much lon­ger for many other flight pas­sen­gers, and you may have hund­reds in the queue ahead of you. From then on, the pro­cess was actual­ly rea­son­ab­ly effi­ci­ent (secu­ri­ty check, pass­port con­trol). Luck­i­ly.

Oslo Gardermoen Airport

An empty air­port Oslo Gar­der­mo­en: that’s histo­ry!

Accord­ing to Nor­we­gi­an media, tra­vel­lers have recent­ly spent up to 8 hours queu­ing up in the air­port of Oslo Gar­der­mo­en, mis­sing their flights and ever­ything that comes with that (for­get about social distancing!). In the inte­rest of all tra­vel­lers, we can only hope that they impro­ve the logistics signi­fi­cant­ly soo­nest. Any­way, if you plan to tra­vel through Oslo at any time soon, make sure to have extra time.

And make sure to have even more time if you are not ful­ly vac­ci­na­ted or don’t have an accep­ted docu­ment for this.

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last modification: 2021-07-15 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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