Quarantine and containment zones

Quarantine is ordered when a person has potentially come into contact with a disease but displays no symptoms. Isolation applies to patients with symptoms of an infectious disease.

Assessment quarantine

An assessment quarantine is a quarantine period that is in effect while efforts are made to trace the contagion. In such case, follow the instructions that apply to quarantines until you know whether you need to remain in quarantine. Sometimes companies or organisations make the decision to send their employees home if an infection is discovered and request that such employees remain at home while the matter is being investigated and assessed, while sometimes the request is made by the contagion tracing team. No certificates are issued as regards absences from work due to assessment quarantines.

Home quarantine

It is important to follow the Guidelines for quarantining at home. Other members of your household who were exposed to infection at the same time may quarantine with you at the same location.

Children in quarantine

It has been difficult for many of us to be separated from friends and relatives while in quarantine. It is even more difficult for children, particularly young children, who do not really understand why we need these measures. There are guidelines and suggestions for the parents/guardians of children on pastimes during quarantine and how to explain what a quarantine is to children.

Children who are unable to be quarantined alone must be accompanied in the quarantine by an adult, e.g. a parent. The person quarantined with the child does not need to be registered as being in quarantine and does not need to be tested if a 7-day quarantine is selected. If others in the household choose to remain at the home of a quarantined child, care must be taken to maintain social distancing and a proper cleaning and disinfection regime.
Parents of older children in quarantine (after exposure at school or during leisure activities) who are able to keep the appropriate distance from their children during quarantine may continue to work at their workplace.
Children who are developmentally able to remain at home where a member of their family is in quarantine (ensure hygiene and social distancing) may continue to attend school.

If others in the household are quarantined but not you

It is important that you are not in the same premises if someone in your household has been exposed to infection and is quarantined at home, but you are not. If you do not want to or cannot leave your home, it is vital that you ensure infection prevention and maintain social distancing from the person in quarantine.

Confirmation/certification of quarantine

Individuals must be registered as being in quarantine in order to be able to issue a confirmation/certificate thereto. Such persons have either entered quarantine due to travel or been registered in quarantine by their local healthcare centre or the tracing team according to the instructions of the Chief Epidemiologist. A video has been prepared showing how to apply for a certificate and can be accessed on heilsuvera.is. Those who need to be quarantined according to the decision of the health authorities can register information about it on the website heilsuvera.is and receive a certificate. The certificates are free of charge. An electronic ID is required to register into heilsuvera.

Persons with electronic ID can register themselves as being in quarantine at heilsuvera.is (only for quarantine order by the authorities, as stated above, but not for self-imposed quarantine). Persons without electronic ID register themselves as being in quarantine at their healthcare centre.

Once registration is complete, a quarantine certificate can be retrieved from www.heilsuvera.is using electronic ID. Quarantine certificates can be obtained from your family physician.

Instructions for quarantined persons when visiting Iceland / on arrival in Iceland

Those visiting Iceland from risk areas overseas must enter quarantine. The quarantine period as regards COVID-19 is 14 days according to Icelandic rules. Quarantine after a visit to a risk area may be reduced by screening test (PCR test) and COVID-19 analysis on arrival and a second test 6–7 day after arrival. Further information may be found in the instructions on quarantine when visiting Iceland.

Work quarantine

As before, the Chief Epidemiologist may authorise persons, individually or in groups, who are obliged to quarantine and have come to Iceland to work or to conduct specific projects to go into work quarantine instead of home quarantine. Work quarantine means that the person in question may travel to and from their workplace during the quarantine period. The provisions on the arrangements of work quarantines have not been changed.

Division into quarantine compartments

Division into quarantine compartments is a quarantine measure and one of the ways used to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Iceland. Instructions on divisions into quarantine compartments have been issued and apply to all compartment divisions outdoors and indoors. The main rules on divisions into quarantine compartments are:

Restrictions on the size of gatherings depends on the decision of the authorities at any given time.
The social distancing rule of 2 metre between individuals who do not share a home must be followed.
There should be no contact (mixing) between compartments.

In all areas, it is applicable that guests should not enter the area if they:

Are in quarantine.
Are in isolation (also while waiting for testing results).
Have symptoms (cold, cough, fever, headache, bone or muscle aches, fatigue).

Easily readable information on the coronavirus can be found here. The information was prepared by the National Association of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities.

Work quarantine – general instructions


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