23. 03. 2020
Those who are quarantined by order of the healthcare authorities can now enter their personal information on the website heilsuvera.is and receive a certificate confirming their quarantine status. The certificates are provided free of charge. It should be noted that in order to register on heilsuvera.is, the user must have a so-called digital certificate (e-ID).
Those who do not have an e-ID and cannot use the heilsuvera.is website should contact their healthcare centre. The healthcare centre will then forward information on the quarantined individual to the Chief Epidemiologist. In order to receive confirmation of quarantine, those who need such confirmation can request it by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line: Confirmation of quarantine.
The Icelandic government has announced a ban on gatherings of 20 people or more, starting Tuesday 24 March 2020. These measures are put in place to halt the spread of COVID-19 infections in Iceland, following recommendations from the Chief Epidemiologist to Svandís Svavarsdóttir Icelands‘s Minister of Health. The advice of the Chief Epidemiologist to the Minister of Health has been to focus the response in Iceland on the swift diagnosis of COVID-19 cases.
The ban is in force until 12 April 2020. The changes today modify the previous 100-person limit, in place since 16 March 2020. Further, people must ensure that they keep a distance of at least two (2) meters between individuals. No changes are made to the organisation of schools at this point.
All gatherings where more than 20 people are in attendance are prohibited for the duration. This includes public and private spaces.
People must ensure that they keep a distance of at least two (2) meters between individuals.
In all businesses and places of work no more than 20 people should share a space. This includes public transport and similar operations.
Grocery stores and pharmacies are excluded from this rule and can have up to 100 customers at a time. Common areas shall be organised so that a distance of at least two (2) metres between individuals can be maintained. Grocery stores larger than 1000 sq. meters can add one customer per each additional 10 sq. meters up to a maximum of 200 customers at a time.
Closure of public spaces and certain operations
Swimming pools, gyms, pubs and dance halls, slot machines and museums will be closed for the duration.
Operations and services that require close contact between persons or risk close contact will be prohibited. This includes sport clubs, hairdressers, beauty salons, massage parlours and similar activities. This further includes all sporting activities where the use of equipment is shared between participants (including ski-lifts).
Cleaning and disinfecting of public places
All stores, public buildings and other frequented indoor spaces must be cleaned as often as possible, especially surfaces.
Hand disinfectant must be available at all entrances and in more frequented spaces such as at checkouts in stores.
Measures regarding school on all levels in Iceland remain unchanged from the measures in place since 16 March 2020.
The measures do not affect those who seek urgent or necessary medical attention.
The measures do not affect international airports, ports or to plains or ships.
The Minster of Health can grant exemptions from these restrictions in cases of public service or for security reasons, as well as for the protection of human and animal health.
The Chief Epidemiologist may grant exemptions from quarantine due to socially indispensable infrastructures. These include: electricity, telecommunications, transport, health care, law enforcement, ambulances services and fire brigades.
All previous exemptions for quarantine are now void and those who have received such in the past must apply again.
The Minister of Health will publish an advertisement in the official government gazette, setting out the measures in details. The measures will be in place until the 12 April 2020 and apply to all parts of the country. The Government can and may revise them.
These targeted measures have been taken to reduce the rate of infection and active communication with the public, institutions and businesses has reinforced those actions. Special consideration will continue to be given to the protection of vulnerable groups.
A ban on public gathering and events is taken to reinforce the measures already taken to reduce the rate of infection of COVID-19 and maintain the capacity of the health system during the epidemic.
Children and the ban on gatherings
Schools, pre-schools, and athletic organisations have carefully organised their schedules for the days and weeks to come in order to comply with the Minister of Health and Social Security’s instructions restricting school activities and gatherings.
It is extremely important that children’s parents and guardians simultaneously reduce the number of people in their children’s contact network outside of school in order to avoid working against these measures. It is helpful to bear the following in mind:
Schoolmates who are not in the same group in school (the same class) should not interact closely outside of school.
If the children are mature enough to obey instructions on reduced contact with friends, it is possible to permit them to play together. If they do so, they must not engage in any play that involves touching one another physically, or sharing toys or equipment that they touch with their bare hands.
Children and young people should always wash their hands thoroughly, both before they meet their friends and after they come home.
Families should bear in mind that if children interact frequently with friends or relatives from other schools or school groups, there will be contact between groups that would otherwise remain separate. Such contact should be avoided as much as possible.
Families are encouraged to use technology to maintain good contact with loved ones who are at increased risk of catching COVID-19 — particularly elderly people and those with underlying illnesses.
This is also a good opportunity to teach children to write letters, which will help them to practise handwriting and spelling, use their imagination, and think in “problem-solving mode” about interactions with loved ones.
Concerning households where some members are in quarantine and others are not:
Children who have the maturity and capacity to take care of their own hygiene and keep the required distance from quarantined parents and from their schoolmates may continue to attend school. It is very important to observe proper hygiene; for instance, to use bathroom facilities.
Parents of older children who are in quarantine and can maintain the required distance from children during their quarantine may continue to go to work if remote working is not an option.
The entire household must quarantine itself if the children do not have the maturity or capacity to follow the instructions that apply to quarantine measures. Another solution in such cases would be for the household members who are not in quarantine to move elsewhere during the quarantine period.
The Chief Epidemiologist has decided to extend further defined areas with high risk of infection of COVID-19.
As of March 19, 2020 all residents in Iceland that enter the country are obligated to go in to 14 days of quarantine regardless of where they come from. This also applies to Icelanders living abroad who are coming to Iceland.
Excluded are crews of transportation as airlines and freighters.
For further information see here: https://www.covid.is/categories/how-does-quarantine-work