COVID-19 – status and steps taken in Iceland
Icelandic authorities, in cooperation with health officials, have taken important steps to contain the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus and minimize the effects on the country. Promote Iceland is liaising with stakeholders and relevant authorities on a constant basis, watching the situation closely and taking measures where appropriate. Latest updates as well as useful information can always be found on the website www.covid.is.
Update 12th May: Eased travel restrictions from 15th June (testing upon entry), and modified quarantee for professionals,
effective from 15th May
UPDATE 22nd April: 14-day quarantine obligatory for all international arrivals, effective between April 24 until 15th May
UPDATE 16th April: Schengen and EU Travel restrictions extended until 15th May
UPDATE 14th April: Restrictions on gatherings in Iceland to be gradually lifted starting 4th May.
UPDATE 20th March: Iceland implements Schengen and EU travel restrictions
Iceland has implemented the travel restrictions imposed for the Schengen Area and the European Union. As of 16th April the restrictions in place have been extended until 15th May 2020. Further to that 14-day quarantine is obligatory for all international arrivals between 24th April and 15th May.
Icelandic authorities have been well equipped to handle the situation and emphasis has been put on keeping flow of information of latest development clear and available to the public. This has e.g been done via daily press conferences with health and national security officials via news channels.
Iceland has few entry points and the lowest population density in Europe. As a result, health authorities have been able to move swiftly to identify, communicate with and, where necessary, quarantine Icelandic residents. In the light of the country being an island, special emphasis has been put on identifying residents and travellers returning from high-risk areas in preventive actions as well as those who have been in contact with infected individuals, to contain spread of the virus. A proportionally high number of samples have this way been taken from arriving passengers to achieve early detection of infections. The latest data on number of cases diagnosed and more can be found on covid.is here (updated daily at 1pm).
Nationwide screening underway
Icelandic authorities are in cooperation with an Icelandic biotech company, deCode Genetics, about carrying out a nationwide screening of the spread of the virus - with the aim of facilitating future actions to curb the spread of the virus.
As of 13th March deCODE started carrying out a large scale testing of the general population in Iceland - for COVID-19. The purpose of the screening is meant to inform those who have symptoms whether they have the virus, in conjunction with the Directorate of Health, in order to assist already ongoing efforts. The initiative has been well received from the start and thousands of Icelanders signed up for the initiative.
For more useful links on Covid-19 and Iceland see the Inspired by Iceland website here.