Coronavirus information

Corona virus image

9 March 2020
Press release from UNIS

The coronavirus outbreak in mainland Norway and globally is a concern for Longyearbyen and Svalbard. Longyearbyen is particularly vulnerable with just one emergency hospital, and the local authorities work continuously to prevent the virus from spreading to Svalbard. Thus, it is of vital importance that there are preventive measures in place and it is very important that sick people do not travel to Svalbard.

UNIS monitors the coronavirus situation and is continuously assessing possible measurements. UNIS follows the advice from the Norwegian health authorities and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (see links below).

Measurements in place at UNIS and the Svalbard Science Centre
UNIS has updated the pandemic plan for the institution. Employees will find this plan on the intranet.

There is enhanced hygiene preparedness in the Svalbard Science Centre. Dispensers with Antibac for hand hygiene have been deployed all over the building.

At present, the advice from the health authorities is to maintain normal activities and to follow general advice on infection hygiene.

What the individual student and staff member should do:

  • Stay home if ill (any sickness) – report to the Study Administration or HR
  • Be particular about personal hygiene
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Use Antibac
  • Avoid handshaking and hugging
  • Cough or sneeze in paper towel (discard in waste bin after use) or in arm hook.

If you feel ill, do not hesitate to contact the health service by phone (Longyearbyen hospital: +47 79 02 42 00).

Travel measurements

  • UNIS employees shall not travel to high risk areas as defined by Institute of Public Health (FHI).
  • Guests, students and employees coming from a high-risk area are not to come to UNIS. This is to avoid quarantine in Longyearbyen.
  • UNIS follows recommendations from:


Students, staff or visitors in affected areas:

  • Follow instructions provided by local authorities.
  • Follow the Norwegian Foreign Ministry’s travel advice and check this frequently for updates.
  • If you feel ill, have a low threshold to contact the health service on the phone.
  • Follow common hygiene measures.


Whom do you contact?

  • For general information: Health Care Information Phone +47 815 55 015.
  • If you think you are infected with coronavirus: Call your GP or the emergency ward at 79 02 42 00. Important: Do not visit your doctor or the emergency ward, but stay home and contact them by telephone.
  • In case of acute injury or illness: If you or someone close to you is seriously ill or injured, call medical emergency at 113.

Contact points at UNIS:
Students: Contact Study Administration;
Staff: Contact HR;
HSE director Fred Skancke Hansen,, phone +47 79 02 33 40/917 07 640.
UNIS on-duty phone: +47 95 28 35 11.


Antibac dispensers are deployed all over the Svalbard Science Centre. Photo: UNIS.
Coronavirus Press releases