Second COVID-19 Case Confirmed in Iceland

Keflavík airport COVID-19

A second Icelander has tested positive for COVID-19 in a case unrelated to the country’s first. The man flew home to Iceland from Verona, Italy yesterday, according to a notice from the Icelandic Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management. While Icelandic authorities had previously designated certain regions of Italy as high-risk zones for COVID-19, that assessment has now been extended to the entire country.

The first Icelander to test positive for COVID-19 was quarantined in the Infectious Diseases ward at the National University Hospital of Iceland last week. The man had recently returned from a skiing trip to Northern Italy.

The second man to be diagnosed with COVID-19 in Iceland is in his 50s, and according to authorities only presented mild symptoms yesterday and even milder ones today.

Quarantine for all travellers coming from Italy

The Chief Epidemiologist has directed all of his fellow passengers, 180 in total, to quarantine themselves at home for 14 days, as well as all travellers coming from Italy from February 29 onward. All those in quarantine should telephone 1700 if they experience symptoms such as cough, fever, or body aches, even if the symptoms are mild.

“Civil Protection and the staff of the Chief Epidemiologist will being tracing all possible pathways of infection in connection with this newly confirmed case,” the aforementioned notice stated. The individuals in question will receive directions tonight regarding quarantine but are asked not to call 1700 unless they experience symptoms.

Authorities request passengers to show patience, as it may take some time to contact everyone.

Which languages are most closely related to Icelandic?

Icelandic is an Indo-European language, belonging to the group of North Germanic languages, to be specific. This group also includes Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, and Faroese. Of those languages, Norwegian and Faroese (spoken in the Faroe Islands) are the most closely related to Icelandic.

Icelanders and Faroese people may be able to understand each other’s languages on the page, as their writing systems and spelling are quite similar. Speaking is another matter, however: the pronunciation differs significantly, and the two languages are not mutually intelligible without study. 

Icelanders receive some help from their schooling when it comes to understanding the other North Germanic languages. Danish is a compulsory subject in schools, and learning it helps with the comprehension of Norwegian and Swedish as well.