Greenland closes for Christmas | Polarjournal
The Airbus A-330 of Air Greenland on approach to Kangerlussuaq. (Photo: Air Greenland)

Flights from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq will be suspended before Christmas for fear of failing to control the COVID-19 virus. The last time Air Greenland’s Airbus A-330 will take off towards Greenland will be on December 19, 2020. The last flight from Greenland to Denmark is scheduled for December 20. By thinning out the flight schedule, the authorities want to counteract unbridled travel activity.

The A-330 of Air Greenland has just arrived in Kangerlussuaq. Kangerlussuaq Airport is the largest international airport in Greenland. At the same time, the airport is the largest hub of Air Greenland. From here, there are connections to most Greenlandic places. (Photo: Air Greenland)

Greenland’s health authorities are seriously concerned about the health of their population. “The number of travellers is still very high and many of us still have a strong desire to see friends and family at Christmas,” said Health Minister Anna Wangenheim. Health authorities are pushing to abandon Christmas travel plans.

The government in Nuuk has now ordered Air Greenland to cancel flights from December 20 and 22, according to Arctic Today. The airline will therefore fly from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq on December 19. The rules state that only passengers with a negative COVID-19 test are allowed to board the aircraft in Copenhagen. Upon arrival, they must go into self-quarantine for at least 14 days, or take a second negative test, which will be carried out no less than five days after arrival.

Health Minister Anna Wangenheim is concerned about the unbridled desire for Greenlanders to travel. (Photo: Anna Wangeheim Facebook page)

Despite the government’s request to forgo a trip, with 4,000 tickets sold, the desire to visit family and friends over the festive season in Denmark is unbridled, as Arctic Today reports. More than 2,500 people are expected to fly from Copenhagen to Greenland before Christmas. The risk of transmission of the virus is high with this rise of travelers. The government wants to tackle this by thinning out the flight plan. Tickets that have been booked already can be rebooked or refunded. The health authorities is concerned about arrivals from Denmark, in particular about returnees after New Year’s Day.

Because of Greenland’s vast area, the capacity of health services to treat COVID-19 cases is far from adequate and the health service would be overwhelmed by an increase in COVID cases.

Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal

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