COVID-19 vaccinations will move from Laugardalshöll to local health care centres as of Monday, February 28th.
The health care centres will offer primary vaccinations for those 5 years old and older, as well as booster shots for those 16 years old and older. To receive a booster shot, at least 4 months need to have passed since receiving the second dose of the primary vaccination.
Minister of Health, Willum Þór Þórsson has decided that as of Friday 25 February all public restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be lifted, both domestically and at the border. Thereby all rules regarding limitations on social gatherings and school operations as well as the quarantine requirement for those infected by COVID-19 are removed. Additionally, no disease prevention measures will be in place at the border, regardless of whether individuals are vaccinated or unvaccinated.
A regulation has been published providing for the abolition of quarantine due to domestic infections. Those already in quarantine will not have to be tested to be released and this also applies to those who were supposed to undergo testing today. Those who have been exposed to infection will no longer be required to register for special precaution although it remains encouraged, and there will no longer be a testing obligation at the end of the precautionary period. Rules on isolation remain unchanged.
The isolation period for Covid-infected individuals will be shortened from 7 days to 5 days by the Minister of Health’s Regulation which will enter into force on Monday, 7 February. Like before, the isolation period may still be extended if a doctor considers it necessary. From the same time, the requirement for quarantine or special precaution for those who have already had Covid will be lifted. The infection must have been confirmed by a PCR test that is more than 7 days old and not more than 180 days old.
The general assembly limit will be 50 people, the one-metre rule will be in effect, bars and clubs are allowed to open again, and opening times of licenced premises will be extended by two hours. Events for up to 500 seated people will be allowed if certain requirements are met. Restrictions in schools will mostly remain unchanged. This is the substance of the amendments to the regulation on social gatherings that enters into force on January 29 by decision of the Minister of Health.
Individuals who are exercising personal precautions against infection (Special precaution) following contact tracing are no longer obligated to undergo a rapid test at the beginning and end of the precautionary period as of tomorrow but must exercise caution for 7 days and get a PCR test if symptoms emerge. The Minister of Health has approved a regulation to that effect. The regulation gives individuals in isolation limited authorisation to pursue outdoor activities.
The general restrictions on the number of people in the same area will be 10, the authorisation for higher numbers of people with rapid tests is cancelled, the maximum number of people in stores will be 200 people and nightclubs, bars and slot machine halls will be closed. These are the main points of the stricter infection prevention measures decided by the Minister of Health based on the recommendations of the Chief Epidemiologist. Current restrictions on school activities will remain unchanged. The regulation on tightened restrictions in Iceland will apply from January 15 to February 2 2022.
As previously stated, the amended rules came into force yesterday, regarding quarantine for those who have received a booster dose and are exposed to COVID-19. For emphasis, this applies to everyone who is in quarantine, including those who are in the same place as an infected individual.
It is important to keep in mind that those who do not have to meet the previous conditions of quarantine must nevertheless meet certain conditions (see also below) and take a PCR test on the fifth day from the date of exposure.
Due to the heavy workloads at Landspítali's Covid outpatient ward and the Civil Protection's Tracing Team, the Chief Epidemiologist has announced that those who have already completed seven days of isolation, do not experience any symptoms of COVID-19 and have not been able to contact the covid outpatient ward, can and may discharge themselves.
The data received by the Chief Epidemiologist from Registries Iceland about guardianship is incomplete and many children are missing from that data. All children with residency in Iceland are included in the vaccination system, however and it will be clear in the system if no guardian was assigned.
Regulation on COVID-19 measures at the border will remain unchanged until 28 February. Proposals on measures for the spring will be introduced no later than 20 February. This was decided at a cabinet meeting earlier this week.
The process as introduced in the media on 5. January 2022 has unfortunately changed for technical reasons. It will not be possible to identify contact information for legal guardians to send the invitation regardless of availability of electronic ID association.
Legal guardians must decide whether or not to accept vaccination for their children, with as much input from the children as their maturity allows.
The general restriction on numbers will be 20 persons and the distance rule will be 2 metres instead of 1 metre, with certain exceptions. Restaurants and nightclubs, pubs and other places that have an alcohol licence must close no later than 21.00h (9 p.m.). Public swimming pools and spas, gyms and ski areas will be permitted to accept 50% of their maximum allowed capacity. Events requiring rapid tests will be limited to 200 persons. Remote working will be encouraged, to the extent possible. This is the gist of the stricter domestic measures decided by the Minister of Health in keeping with the recommendations of the Chief Epidemiologist to counter the rapid spread of COVID-19 infections. A regulation to that effect will enter into force on Thursday, 23 December, and will remain in force for three weeks.
In light of a surge in COVID-19 infections in many areas of the world, residents of Iceland are advised not to travel unnecessarily to defined risk areas . Currently are all countries and territories of the world except Greenland. Whether countries fall under risk areas is regularly reassessed and the Chief Epidemiologist does not consider it timely to change risk areas presently. A large proportion in many areas is still unvaccinated. Among the unvaccinated, infection is widespread, but vaccinated individuals are also infected and they can infect others, even if vaccination protects the individual against serious illness.
Due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (B.1.2.529) in South Africa and the identification of this variant in countries outside of Africa related to travel from the continent, the Chief Epidemiologist for Iceland recommends that residents of Iceland avoid all unnecessary travel to certain African countries.
Vaccinated individuals who have spent 24 hrs. or longer in any of these countries in the 14 days prior to arrival in Iceland are encouraged to pay careful attention to infection control measures and to undergo PCR testing for COVID-19 5 days after arrival in Iceland in addition to any testing that may have been done upon arrival. Vaccinated individuals who arrive in Iceland on or after 26 November 2021 are encouraged to undergo PCR upon arrival and after 5 days, observing quarantine until a negative result is obtained from the second PCR. Unvaccinated individuals are required to quarantine and be tested per current regulation.
The Minister of Health has, in keeping with the recommendations of the Chief Epidemiologist, decided to implement much stricter disease-prevention measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 infections. These measures will enter into force at midnight. The common restrictions on numbers will be 50 persons, but events with up to 500 participants in each disease prevention compartment may be held if rapid tests are used. The opening hours of restaurants will be shortened by one hour. The maximum number of visitors allowed at public swimming pools, spas, gyms and ski areas will be 75% of their maximum allowed capacity as stated in their operating licences. The regulation on these measures will remain in force through 8 December.
Masks will be required when the one-metre social distancing rule can not be observed, the maximum number of persons allowed in the same location will be 500, and restaurants that have an alcohol licence will be required to close two hours earlier than the case is now. Events with up to 1500 participants will be allowed subject to rapid tests. The Minister of Health has decided to take these measures in keeping with the recommendation of the Chief Epidemiologist, who has expressed concern over the rapid increase in infections, the increase in serious illness and the growing strain on the health care system. The requirement to wear a mask will enter into force tomorrow, and the other changes will apply as of Wednesday, 10 November, and will remain in force for four weeks, until Tuesday 8 December.
The Minister of Health has decided to extend the application of the regulation on COVID-19 quarantine measures at the border in line with the recommendation of the Chief Epidemiologist. The regulation will remain in force until 15 January 2022. The reason is the recent severe increase in infections in the country. The Chief Epidemiologist has pointed out that the epidemic is growing fast, the number of people falling severely ill is increasing, and the epidemic is beginning to have adverse effects on the daily operations of the National University Hospital. Around 2% of those diagnosed with COVID-19 need to be hospitalised.
General restrictions on numbers will be 2,000 persons, the mask requirement will be lifted, the opening hours of restaurants will be extended by one hour and the registration obligation for guests will be lifted while 1-metre distance rule will continue to apply. These are the main amendments to the regulation on social gatherings that have entered into force by decision of the Minister of Health. The aim is to abolish all restrictions on social gatherings due to COVID-19 in Iceland as of November 18.
The requirement that individuals with ties to Iceland must present a certificate of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival in Iceland will be abolished. Connecting passengers who do not leave the border station will also be exempt from presenting such a certificate. Individuals with ties to Iceland, except children born in 2005 or later, will still have to undergo testing after arrival.
This is the main content of the changes made to the COVID-19 restrictions at the border that were determined by the Minister of Health in line with the recommendations of the Chief Epidemiologist. These restrictions are expected to be in force until 6 November.
The restrictions on the number of people who are allowed to gather in one location will in principle continue to be 200 and the rules requiring social distancing of at least one metre and mask wearing are unchanged. However, public swimming pools and health and fitness facilities are permitted to run at maximum capacity subject to the conditions of their operating licenses. The requirement of maintaining a distance of at least one metre is abolished at sports events and stage art events in addition to further relaxations detailed below. The Minister of Health presented these changes at a government meeting this morning and they are in keeping with the Chief Epidemiologist’s recommendations. A corresponding regulation takes effect on the 28th of August and is applicable until the 17th of September.
On the 16th of August a new regulation came into effect which stipulates that travellers with ties to Iceland must, despite presenting a certificate of vaccination against COVID-19 or a certificate of previous infection, undergo either a rapid antigen test or a PCR test to diagnose COVID-19 in the next two days from arrival in the country. This also applies to children born in 2015 and earlier with ties to Iceland, whether they travel alone or with others. This test is free of charge. Travellers with connections to Iceland are e.g. Icelandic citizens or residents with a residence or work permit in Iceland, incl. applicants for such permits and their families, applicants for international protection and individuals who come to the country to work or study for longer than seven days, and their families.
All travellers must pre-register before arrival and in the pre-registration, the traveller specifies whether he has ties to Iceland and then receives a bar code for testing. You can choose between a PCR test at Keflavík airport or an antigen test with the primary care service at Suðurlandsbraut 34 or certain testing centers outside the capital area.
Booster vaccinations for COVID-19 for individuals who have been vaccinated with the Janssen vaccine without a history of previous COVID infection.
The goal of vaccinating individuals 16 years and older against COVID-19, which was set when the vaccination campaign began at the end of December 2020, has been achieved, as almost 90% of individuals of this age in Iceland have been vaccinated. Primary vaccination continues for those who have not already received the vaccination and those who move to the country unvaccinated or reach the age to receive vaccination according to marketing authorisation and the recommendation of the Chief Epidemiologist. The supply of vaccines according to delivery plans based on agreements made on behalf of the nation allows for consideration to be given to enhancing the response of certain groups through booster vaccination.
In week 33 the aim is to vaccinate the following groups:
Second vaccination for those who received a first dose of Pfizer in July.
Booster doses for those who were vaccinated with Janssen at least 28 days ago. Those who have antibodies after recovering from COVID-19 infection and have received a Janssen booster dose do not need to show up for another Pfizer booster dose.
Invitations will be sent out for these groups, and people are kindly requested to wait to show up at the time specified in the invitation.
Iceland’s Minister of Health has decided, in accordance with the recommendations of the Chief Epidemiologist, to extend the current regulation on restrictions on gatherings due to COVID-19 by two weeks. The general limit of gatherings will be 200 persons and one metre social distance rule will remain in place.