The general restrictions will go from 10 to 20 persons; sports, swimming and health centre activities will resume, with restrictions; as will stage art activities; and the ski areas can reopen. As for schools, the proximity limits at all school levels will go from 2 metres to 1 metre, and children in preschools and primary schools will again be able to partake in organised sports, youth and recreational activities. This is the gist of the relaxation of the disease prevention rules that were announced by the Minister of Health in the government’s meeting today, in keeping with the recommendations of the Chief Epidemiologist. Regulations on the changes are being drawn up and will be published later today. They are expected to remain in place for 3 weeks.
In light of the Reykjavik District Court’s decision regarding the Chief Epidemiologist’s requirement regarding an obligation for quarantining at a quarantine facility, the Chief Epidemiologist and the Ministry of Health wish to issue the following statement:
The Reykjavik District court has ruled that the provision of Article 5 of Regulation 355/2021 regarding the obligation for passengers arriving from high-risk areas to undergo quarantine at a quarantine hotel lacks a legal basis. The Ministry of Health and the Chief Epidemiologist are now reviewing the ruling. As things currently stand, the response to the ruling will be to inform those who are currently staying in quarantine hotels that they are free to finish their quarantine elsewhere if they have access to a suitable facility. However, the epidemiological authorities wish to respectfully ask those who are in quarantine at quarantine hotels to finish their quarantine there, since this is the best way to limit the spread of Covid-19.
The Ministry of Health has decided to remove mainland Spain from the Chief Epidemiologist´s list of countries identifying the countries defined as risk zones due to high notification rates of new COVID-19 infections. This is done in light of the assessment of the Ministry that the definition does not comply with the applicable regulation of the Minister of Health on quarantine, isolation and testing at the borders of Iceland because of COVID-19 even though data is lacking regarding the number of infections in one district of the country. Passengers from mainland Spain shall be subject to quarantine in private accommodation following the amendment and not in a quarantine facility.
Children born in 2005 or later shall be tested at the borders of Iceland as from the coming 1st of April.
Passengers who submit a vaccination certificate or a certificate of a prior infection will be required to undergo one test upon arrival to the country.
Travellers from certain defined risk zones shall stay in quarantine or isolated in a quarantine facility between the first and the second test.
All travellers shall preregister the date of their departure, if known, before arrival to the country.
As from the 11th of April a fee will be levied on travellers for staying in a quarantine facility.
A stricter regime of measures against the COVID-19 pandemic takes effect throughout Iceland as from midnight tonight, Wednesday 24 March 2021. Most gatherings will be limited to 10 people, not counting children born in or after 2015. Junior schools (age 6 to 16), music schools, senior schools and universities will be closed until the beginning of the Easter holidays. Activities of many types involving more than 10 participants will be prohibited. The decision by the Minister of Health to impose these tougher restrictions was based on proposals from the Chief Epidemiologist for an immediate response in view of group infections that have arisen in the country over the past few days so as to limit the spread of the virus. The new rules will remain in force for 3 weeks.
All the new group infections that have broken out in Iceland involve the ‘British’ strain of the corona virus, which is far more readily transmitted than most other variants and causes rather more serious illness. In the light of the fact that the British strain has been shown to have more serious implications for older children, the Chief Epidemiologist urged that the restrictions apply to children as young as six years old. Apart from this, the rules now taking effect are broadly similar to those imposed on 31 October last year, which proved effective in quelling the third wave of the pandemic in Iceland.
Measures to take effect 1 April and will expire at the end of the month
Iceland’s Minister of Health has decided to impose stricter border measures at the recommendation of the Chief Epidemiologist. Changes will take effect on 1 April and will affect children and those traveling from areas that are classified as dark red or grey by the ECDC (where the 14-day incidence rate exceeds 500 or insufficient data is available).
Children, who have been exempt from border measures until now, will be tested and required to quarantine (with some exceptions, see below). Travelers who have stayed in dark-red areas, in the previous 14 days, will be required to stay in quarantine facilities for the duration of the 5 day quarantine between tests. In case of a positive test, travelers will be required to stay in isolation in managed quarantine facilities.
It is now possible to register electronically for PCR test before travelling abroad where certificates of negative PCR tests for entering are a requirement. Please note that the electronic registration is only for the testing center in Reykjavík, in other areas you must contact your clinic.
You will be charged for the test since they are not a part of necessary epidemic control. Certificates are sent via email, but if a paper-certificate is required you must contact a clinic and will be charged extra.
The Minister of Health has announced changes to the measures against COVID-19 in Iceland taking effect on 18 March; these are based largely on proposals submitted by the Chief Epidemiologist. The changes mainly entail stricter demands regarding the registration of guests attending events and preventive measures to be taken at organised events. More stringent requirements are also made where buffet meals are served. The regulation setting out these changes is to remain in force until 9 April 2021.
If you have recieved a missed call from 444 2505 you can expect to be called back and you are asked to have your phone close by.
This telephone number belongs to the Covid-tracing team (smitrakning) of the Chief Epidemiologist and Civil Protection and it is not possible to call it back.
You have been contacted for one of the two following reasons,
1. The Tracing team (rakningarteymi) needs to contact you urgently to assess the need for quarantine or to provide you with important information.
2. You are in quarantine due to your recent arrival in the country. This phone call to verify that the contact information given by you at the border is correct.
The chat box below is availible for you to post comments or ask questions.
The Government of Iceland announced yesterday new loosening on COVID-19 measures. The general limit on gatherings is raised from 20 to 50, with ongoing emphasis on distancing and other personal precautions.
The new rules allow fans to attend sporting events and higher number of spectators to attend cultural events, where attendees are seated, face in the same direction, wear facemasks and the opportunities for mingling are reduced.
The maximum number of people allowed cultural, religious and sports settings, as well as shops will be 200. Bars and restaurants can stay open until 23:00, and capacity restrictions at public swimming pools and gyms have been loosened.
Those who test positive in first screening may be required to isolate in a managed facility
Temporary measures at border are intended allow speedier loosening of domestic restrictions
Those who provide valid proof of vaccination are not required to provide a PCR-test prior to boarding and are also exempt from screening and quarantine measures at the border
Iceland will implement a new system, based on the ECDC colour scheme on 1 May
No cases of community transmissions have been identified since 20 January
New border measures will come into force on February 19 which requires all arriving passengers in Iceland to present a negative PCR taken within 72 hours of their time of departure to Iceland.
This is in addition to the current system of double screening, that also requires all arriving passengers to submit to a PCR test upon arrival, followed by a 5-day quarantine and a second PCR test. Those who provide valid proof of having been vaccinated against COVID-19 are not required to provide a PCR-test prior to boarding and are also exempt from screening and quarantine measures at the border. The same applies to those who can provide proof of prior infection.
A new regulation on border measures also includes provisions that require individuals to isolate in managed isolation facilities (quarantine hotels) if the first border test is positive and the infected individual is unable to provide credible plans for self-managed isolation. The requirement for isolation in a managed facility may also apply to individuals who are infected with virus strains that are classified by the Chief Epidemiologist as particularly worrisome in terms of contagion and morbidity. These measures were introduced to the Icelandic cabinet by the Minister of Health earlier today. The stricter measures are based on recommendations by the Chief Epidemiologist.
Prime Minister of Iceland, Katrín Jakobsdóttir said: "By requiring every passenger to present a negative PCR test prior to boarding we are reducing the likelihood of a person starting a journey while unknowingly infected by the virus. Many countries in Europe have already introduced similar measures and we have already announced plans to allow travellers from low-risk countries to bypass quarantine measures from 1 May on the condition that they present a negative PCR test prior to boarding. We believe that requiring a negative PCR test prior to boarding is an effective and proportional requirement, especially in light of the fact that people now have good access to such testing in most countries in Europe."
The current levels of COVID-19 in Iceland are low and are being closely monitored, with only one active infection having been diagnosed domestically in a person outside quarantine since 20 January. The domestic 14-day incidence rate stands at 1.9 per 100,000 inhabitants. 24 people are currently in-home isolation with an active infection, none over the age of 60.
Minister of Health, Svandís Svavarsdóttir said: "We view these tighter control measures as a way to allow us to ease the domestic measures sooner and allow us to start taking gradual steps towards normalcy, while maintaining utmost caution. This is a delicate balance, as easing of domestic measures increases the risks associated with imported cases. However, we have had very good experience with our current system of double screening so any additional layer of risk reduction will give us increased confidence."
The Minister of Health, Svandís Svavarsdóttir, has approved proposals from the Chief Epidemiologist regarding cautions relaxations to the restrictions on gathering sizes as from 8 February. The general limit on the number of persons in a gathering will continue to be 20, but with more exceptions than have been allowed up to now. The 2-metre social distancing rule and the obligation to wear face-masks remain in place. Night-clubs, bars, gaming establishments and slot-machines can open again, subject to certain conditions. Audience numbers attending stage performances will rise from 100 to 150, and religious and life-stance associations will be permitted to hold ceremonies, including funerals, attended by a maximum of 150 guests.
The maximum number of customers permitted in shops will be 150, taking account of the floor area; the same will apply to visitors to museums and galleries. Fitness centres will be permitted to open their changing facilities again, and guests will be able to use their exercise equipment, subject to certain restrictions. A new regulation allowing for these changes has been issued and will remain in force until 3 March 2021.