Quarantine is used when a person is possibly infected with a disease but is not yet symptomatic. Isolation is for those who have a confirmed COVID-19 infection but do not need a hospital stay. Special precaution is used when an individual has been informed of possible exposure to COVID-19 but no quarantine is considered necessary.
It is not possible to contact everyone that must be quarantined. It is important that you take action yourself if you know that you have been exposed to an infection (i.e. have had contact with someone infected), because then there is a chance that you will get sick and infect others. Therefore, you should go into quarantine immediately and wait for a message from the Tracing Team that will formally register people in quarantine.
You have come into contact with someone who turned out to be infected.
A child in your care is quarantined.
You’re travelling from abroad and have not been vaccinated or previously infected with COVID-19.
You have come into contact with someone who was later sent to quarantine.
Your neighbour is infected (for example, in the same stairwell), unless you have had significant contact.
You are arriving from abroad and are vaccinated or have a certificate of a previous COVID-19 infection.
Quarantine is 14 days, but it can be shortened by getting tested 7 days after the date of exposure.
You will be sent a bar code for the testing; you do not have to register specifically for it.
If you are in quarantine in the same household as an infected individual, shortening of quarantine is as per the decision of the COVID-19 out-patient service, usually by a screening test the day after the infected individual’s isolation is completed.
It is important to follow the guidelines for quarantining at home. The quarantine site must be suitable for quarantine, and individuals in quarantine must stay there for the duration of the quarantine.
Individuals are permitted to stay in the home with a quarantined individual without having to quarantine themselves.
Contact with other people is prohibited. Therefore, quarantined individuals may need assistance with supplies, etc.
If the home is quarantined, friends or relatives may take care of supplies and leave them at the front door, but they should not have direct contact with the quarantined person.
If delivery of food and other necessities is available in the area, this service can be utilised during quarantine. The quarantined individual should make clear upon ordering that he/she is in quarantine and that the delivery should be left outside the front door.
If a person in quarantine develops symptoms of COVID-19 infection, they must be tested immediately (a private car or taxi may be used, and it must be stated that the individual is in quarantine). Other individuals in the home must then be quarantined immediately and wait for the result of the test.
Keep in mind that people are quarantined because of the possibility that they have been infected with COVID-19. If they get sick, everyone who has had contact with the individual in question will be quarantined. Therefore, close contact with individuals in quarantine is undesirable.
The Directorate of Health has published guidelines for appropriate quarantine accommodation.
Here is a list of accommodations that accommodate guests in quarantine.
In exceptional cases, the Chief Epidemiologist can decide that an individual undergoing quarantine must stay in a public quarantine facility, such as if an individual is unable to isolate in an accommodation on their own account or if it becomes evident that they will not follow the rules on quarantine. It is not permitted to move between accommodation or between parts of Iceland without cause, and it is important to report any movements to the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management, e.g. via the online chat at covid.is.
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. Instructions have been prepared for the guardians of children with special care needs in quarantine.
A parent with a child in quarantine does not need to be registered as being in quarantine and does not need to be tested in order to shorten their quarantine from 14 days to 7. It is sufficient that the child is registered in quarantine and goes for testing.
Individuals must be registered as being in quarantine so that a confirmation/certificate can be issued. The individuals 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 on heilsuvera.is. Those who need to be quarantined can go onto heilsuvera.is and receive a certificate. The certificates are free of charge. An electronic ID is required to sign into Heilsuvera.
You can obtain a certificate for absence from work due to:
Quarantine due to proximity to cases, quarantine instructed by the Chief Epidemiologist’s and Civil Protection Agency’s Tracing Team.
Parents of a child placed in quarantine receive a certificate due to the child.
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.
An assessment quarantine is a quarantine period that is in effect while efforts are made to trace the contagion. In this case, follow the valid guidelines on quarantine while the situation is being assessed. No certificates are issued in regards to absences from work due to assessment quarantines.
Take a short walk around your quarantine accommodation
Use the flybus, private car and taxi when travelling from the airport
Go to the doctor, but call first
Have contact with other people
Be in a crowded place
Use buses, domestic flights or public transport
Go for a drive
Use equipment in public places, such as exercise equipment or in playgrounds
Go shopping or to a restaurant
Stay in a motorhome/caravan
Stay at a hostel
Visit tourist destinations
Go to the site of the volcanic eruption
Everyone should quarantine except passengers who present a vaccination certificate or a certificate of previous infection.
Those who do not present a certificate at the border must quarantine for five days and go for another test at the end of quarantine.
Easily readable information on the coronavirus can be found here. The information was prepared by the National Association of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities.