COVID-19 in Iceland: Case Numbers Drop Domestically, Rise at the Border Skip to content

COVID-19 in Iceland: Case Numbers Drop Domestically, Rise at the Border

By Yelena

keflavik airport COVID-19 testing
Photo: A screenshot from RÚV. Border testing drills at Keflavík Airport, 2020..

Today’s COVID-19 briefing was led by Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason, Director of Health Alma Möller, and Rögnvaldur Ólafsson, Assistant to Chief Superintendent Víðir Reynisson. Iceland reported four new domestic cases of COVID-19 yesterday, two of which were in quarantine at the time of diagnosis. There are currently 75 in isolation and 233 in quarantine, and both figures have been decreasing slowly but surely.

Border Case Rate Increases Tenfold

The same is not true for the rate of cases at the border, however. Þórólfur stated that the proportion of arriving travellers testing positive for COVID-19 has been rising. While in June and July, the percentage of arriving travellers testing positive was 0.03%, in recent weeks it has averaged 0.3%. Sixty percent of those testing positive at the border are residents of Iceland, Þórólfur stated.

Current domestic restrictions will remain in place until September 27. Þórólfur hopes to ease restrictions in stages from that date, each lasting 2-3 weeks. Authorities are also looking into the possibility of shortening quarantine from 14 days to 7, with a test administered on the seventh day.

Suicide Prevention Programs Strengthened

Director of Health Alma Möller focused on a different important issue in today’s briefing. September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day, and Alma emphasised the importance of support and co-operation in ensuring early intervention for those at risk of suicide. Alma reported a slight increase in suicides and calls to suicide hotlines since the pandemic began. Authorities have responded by strengthening existing prevention programs, such as the Pieta organisation.

Iceland’s official COVID-19 website has also updated its (Icelandic language) statistics page. The number of individuals in quarantine due to travel is now visible, and data from Iceland’s first wave this spring has been consolidated into the case numbers graph.

Iceland Review live-tweeted today’s briefing and will live-tweet the next one, scheduled for Monday, September 14 at 2.00pm UTC.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get news from Iceland, photos, and in-depth stories delivered to your inbox every week!

* indicates required

Subscribe to Iceland Review

In-depth stories and high-quality photography showcasing life in Iceland!