Avoiding infection

You can protect yourself and others from infection by following these recommendations

Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, for at least 20seconds each time. A video has been prepared showing the importance of handwashing as part of infection prevention, longer version and shorter version.
If water and soap are not readily available, a good alternative is to use hand disinfectant if you have used a credit card or touched surfaces that are touched by numerous people, such as door handles and handrails. The website of the Directorate of Health contains useful information on how to protect yourself from infection.
Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose and mouth.
Clean often-used surfaces more often.
If you need to cough or sneeze, do so into your elbow or use a disposable handkerchief. This will prevent droplets on your hands. Take care that you do not cough or sneeze onto others.
Limit close contact with other people, such as handshakes and hugs. Find other means that do not involve touch to greet people.
Use masks where it is difficult to maintain social distancing. Masks are an important addition to personal infection prevention but do not replace hand washing and other infection prevention measures.

Facemasks covering the mouth and nose must be used in instances where social distancing rules between unrelated persons can not be followed. It is important to read the instructions on the use of facemasks. This applies e.g. to public transport, including domestic flights and passenger ferries.

Remember that damp and contaminated masks are useless and can increase the risk of infection. In addition, disposable masks that are used more than once are useless and can also increase the risk of infection. A protective mask that does not cover both nose and mouth and is worn on the forehead or under the chin is useless.

Avoid interacting with people who have flu symptoms.

If you suspect you are infected

Stay at home and contact your healthcare centre, the Læknavaktin (out-of-hours medical assistance service) in phone No.1700 or the online chat site at heilsuvera.is. Healthcare professionals will respond and advise you on what steps to take. It is very important that you do not visit your health centre or the after-hours healthcare in person. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, the RakningC-19 app can help you to remember where you have been. The app is an important tool in the comprehensive work carried out here in Iceland with regard to COVID-19.


Heilsugæsla höfuðborgarsvæðisins (HH) (Reykjavík Area Healthcare Services) and Landspítali University Hospital joined forces and prepared a video that contains detailed instructions onCOVID-19 screening procedures for the public. Book screening appointment.

If you suspect that someone close to you is infected

Take care to avoid close contact with the person in question. Advise such person to contact his/her healthcare centre, phone No. 1700 or Heilsuvera.is to discuss their symptoms and obtain advice on what to do.

Easily readable information on the coronavirus is available. The information was prepared by the National Association of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities.

Main symptoms ofCOVID-19

The symptoms are, for the most part, similar to those of the flu. These include coughing, fever, throat pain, difficulty breathing, bone and muscle pain and tiredness and digestive system symptoms (particularly in children). Sudden loss of the sense of smell and taste has also been reported. COVID-19 can also cause serious illness with lower respiratory system infections and pneumonia, often seen as breathing difficulties on the 4th–8th day of illness.

 

Related content