London to Reykjavík Flight Passengers Exposed to Measles

Passengers flying from London to Reykjavík on February 14 and on Air Iceland Connect from Reykjavík to Egilsstaðir may have been exposed to the measles during their flights, RÚV reports. Iceland’s Chief of Epidemiology has been in touch with all the passengers who were onboard both flights, and those passengers who show any symptoms of the measles are encouraged to seek medical attention, particularly those who have never been vaccinated against it.

The affected flights were Icelandair FI455 and Air Iceland Connected NY356. Icelandair spokesperson Ásdís Ýr Pétursdóttir has confirmed that one passenger, who was travelling from the Philippines, has been infected with the measles. This discovery then initiated a standard protocol in collaboration with the Chief of Epidemiology regarding passenger notification.

People who may have been exposed to the virus are advised to be on the lookout for fever, cold symptoms, red eyes, and/or a rash. The website for the Directorate of Health advises any passengers on board either of the effected flights to be on the lookout for symptoms until March 7. The announcement also states that individuals with the measles are only contagious after symptoms begin to manifest and are then contagious for 7 – 10 days afterwards. In general, measles symptoms manifest 10 – 14 days after initial infection, but can still do so after as long as three weeks.

People who have already been vaccinated against the measles need not be vaccinated again, but those who have not, may be vaccinated within six days of infection. Measles vaccinations are available at local health clinics.

This is not the only time that a passenger has travelled through Iceland with the measles virus of late. In June, a passenger flying from Ukraine to Toronto via Berlin and Reykjavík was also found to have had the virus, triggering a similar notification from the Chief of Epidemiology and a vaccination advisory.

The Chief of Epidemiology considers it unlikely that there will be an outbreak of the measles in Iceland, as 95% of the Icelandic public is vaccinated against the virus.

Icelandic Tourist Missing in Dublin

An Icelandic tourist has been missing in Ireland since February 9. According to a press release sent to news outlets by his family, Jón Jónsson went missing in the Whitehall neighbourhood of Dublin while on holiday with his girlfriend. His family has now travelled to Dublin to help organize continued search efforts.

Jón Jónsson is 6 ft [1.8 m], of medium build, and was wearing a black padded jacket when he was last seen. In a Missing Persons announcement issued by the Irish Garda, he left the Bonnington Hotel at 11:05am. He was then caught on CCTV at McGettigan’s bar two minutes later, “exiting onto the Swords Road heading northbound towards the airport.” The last he was seen, he was traveling on the same road. Jón has never been to Dublin before, however, and does not know the area.

As of writing, the Garda had not found any clues to give any indication of whether he disappeared under suspicious circumstances. Thus far, police have appealed to the public for assistance, and have also asked taxi drivers to provide dash cam footage from the night that Jón disappeared. His family also organized a search with volunteers from the public in the neighbourhoods of Whitehall, Drumcondra, Marino, Santry, Kilmore, and Beaumont.

Jón’s sister Þórunn has created a Facebook page—Jon Jonsson missing in Dublin (in English)—dedicated to updates on the search for her brother. “My older brother Jón has been missing for 10 days,” she wrote in a post shared on Tuesday morning. “I have been asking myself how a person can just vanish in broad daylight in a city of 2 million people? He went to Dublin for a 10 day trip with his girlfriend, Jana, to participate in a poker festival and look at some castles. And a day and a half into the trip he simply disappeared. I can speculate all day and all night about what happened but it won’t ease my restless mind.”

Anyone with information about Jón’s whereabouts or disappearance are asked to contact Ballymun Garda Station on 01 6664400, The Garda Confidential Telephone Line 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station. People who wish to volunteer by distributing missing persons flyers or to assist with the family’s ongoing search efforts can also be in touch at [email protected].

What soft drinks are popular in Iceland? Are there Icelandic soft drink brands?

Ask Iceland Review - Soft Drinks

You will be able to find most international soft drinks in Iceland, like Coca Cola, Pepsi, Red Bull, Sprite, Mountain Dew, 7 Up, Dr Pepper, Burn, and Fanta. Pepsi is one of the most popular drinks, and Icelanders especially like Pepsi Max. Up until 2017, Coca Cola was produced and bottled in Iceland with Icelandic […]

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If a lot of people have the same first name, like Jón, all their children must have the same surname when using the patronymic system, how does this work?

Ask Iceland Review

In Iceland, most people use a patronymic or matronymic name instead of a family name. Surnames are based on the given name of one of their parents, plus the suffix –son for sons and –dóttir for daughters. It’s true that many people can share the same surname because of this system. If a person has […]

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Almost One Registered Vehicle Per Driver

Route 1 Iceland

There have never been more vehicles registered in Iceland than there are now, RÚV reports. In fact, the number of vehicles registered by the Icelandic Transportation Authority increased by 12,494 only last year, which means that there are now .9 cars for every Icelander. If only considering Icelanders old enough to hold a driver’s license (i.e. individuals over 17 years of age), the figure is slightly higher: almost one passenger vehicle per eligible driver in the country.

All total, there were 311,118 vehicles registered in Iceland at the end of 2018. Of these, 267,386 were passenger cars, 3,196 were coaches or passenger buses, 28,054 were delivery vans, and 12,482 were semi-trucks. According to the most recent census numbers, there are 348,450 Icelanders living in the country today; 272,559 are seventeen years or older.

In the past 35 years, the average number of passenger cars in Iceland has increased faster per year than the average number of people in in Iceland. From 1983 – 2018, the number of passenger cars has increased by an average of 3% a year, while the number of people has increased by just over 1%. In just the last five years, however, the number of vehicles in the country has increased by 4.6%. The highest jump was seen among coaches and passenger buses. From 2014 – 2018, the number of coaches in Iceland increased by 8.7% a year.

Although the number of registered vehicles has never been higher in Iceland, new vehicle registrations were down in 2018. Last year, there were 24,602 new cars registered in Iceland. This is roughly 5,000 fewer vehicles than were newly registered in 2017. This is a fairly significant change: since 2009, new registrations have increased every year, except for in 2012.

New Conservation Laws Go Into Effect at Hornstrandir

New land management and conservation regulations around the Hornstrandir nature preserve in the Westfjords went into effect on Friday, RÚV reports. The new regulations now ban camping outside of specially designated areas and put significant restrictions on cruise ship landings, among other measures that have been put in place to keep the preserve as “untouched as possible” for future generations.

Hornstrandir was established as a nature preserve in 1975. The updated Hornstrandir regulations are the result of a collaboration between local land owners, as well as planning authorities and the Environment Agency of Iceland. They reiterate the overall conservation plan for Hornstrandir, and also lay out an action plan for the more pressing concerns related to the preserve and the order in which they need to be prioritized between now and 2023. Travel habits have changed a great deal since the last time these regulations were examined, Kristín Ósk Jónasdóttir, a specialist working with the Environment Agency, points out, which is why it was important to update them now.

Per the new regulations, it is no longer legal for visitors to camp in Hornstrandir except in specifically designated areas where sanitary facilities have been provided. Likewise, visitors may not ride bikes or bring dogs within the preserve (exceptions are made for dog owners who live within the boundaries of the preserve, as well as people with rescue or service dogs). Tour group size will be limited: a maximum of 30 people in the western part of the preserve and 15 in the eastern part. Larger tour groups will need to apply to the Environment Agency for an exception. The landing of cruise ships with 50 passengers or more will also no longer be permitted within the preserve. It’s also requested that the Coast Guard update its navigational chart such that all ship traffic must be at least 115 metres [377 ft] away from all sea bird colonies and require that permission to take videos or photographs be specially obtained from the Environment Agency, as both can have a negative effect not only on other visitors’ experience, but also on the wildlife itself.

Kristín Ósk says that maintaining the tranquility of the preserve is important, which is why helicopter landings and drone operation is also not allowed within its boundaries. Similarly are small aircraft landings only allowed within designated areas in the preserve. “In all reality, we’re trying to keep the preserve as untouched as possible and what we’ve been trying to do in the preceding decades should still be possible for coming generations to do as well.”