Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason has submitted two memoranda on COVID-19 to the Minister of Health, mbl.is reports. Þórólfur hopes that the authorities will not need to impose stricter social restrictions within Iceland’s borders again.
Border regulations to be changed on July 1
Just over 15 months since the first social restrictions were imposed in Iceland, Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason is hopeful that the authorities will never again need to resort to such strict measures within Iceland. Þórólfur has submitted two memoranda on COVID-19 – concerning measures within Iceland and at the border respectively – to the Minister of Health but was unwilling to share the contents of the memoranda with reporters until the documents had been formally discussed by the government.
In an interview with mbl.is this morning, Þórólfur struck an optimistic note:
“I hope that we’ve reached the point where we no longer need to tighten measures within the borders. We can expect the occasional infection, which shouldn’t surprise us, for the reason that there are individuals who haven’t been vaccinated, even though we’ve managed to vaccinate the lion’s share of the country and most of those whom we intend to inoculate. Vaccines aren’t 100% effective, but even though they won’t stave off infections in everyone, they are extremely effective in preventing serious illness.”
As reported by Iceland Review this morning, traffic at Keflavík Airport is at an all-time high since the pandemic began, with delays expected among arriving passengers queueing for testing. Procedures at the borders will be altered on July 1, so that arriving passengers who submit a valid vaccination certificate will no longer need to be screened.
No new infections for over a week
There have been no infections within the borders since June 14, RÚV reports, and almost 90% of individuals over the age of 16 have received at least their first dose of the vaccine. 60% of the country is now considered fully vaccinated.
The ongoing vaccination campaign is continuing at pace. This morning, the Ministry of Health announced that the prioritisation of vaccines has been abolished: vaccinations against COVID-19 will now follow the same regulations as vaccines for other infectious diseases. Individuals can now register for vaccines at heilsuvera.is, with three vaccines being offered: Moderna, Pfizer, and Janssen.