Iceland Has Tamed Second Wave, Says Chief Epidemiologist Skip to content
Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason
Photo: Golli. Iceland’s Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason.

Iceland Has Tamed Second Wave, Says Chief Epidemiologist

In a COVID-19 briefing in Reykjavík this morning, Iceland’s Chief Epidemiologist said the country had managed to tame the second local wave of the pandemic. Iceland currently has 76 active cases of COVID-19, and the number has been steadily decreasing in recent days. Since June 15, 60% of all who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 virus were already in quarantine.

Less stringent COVID-19 restrictions took effect in Iceland today, allowing gatherings of up to 200 (as compared to the previous 100) and relaxing the two-metre rule to just one metre. There has been no change to measures at the country’s borders, which require all entering travellers to undergo double testing and a five-day quarantine. Þórólfur stated he did not expect to recommend changes to the border testing regulations in the near future.

One Fifth Test Positive in Second Test

Of the 110 travellers that have been diagnosed with an active COVID-19 infection upon arrival to Iceland, 20% tested positive in their second test. Around one third of arriving travellers who are testing positive in the second test are Icelanders that reside in the country. Another third are foreign individuals with a social network in Iceland and the final third are foreign tourists, as per Þórólfur’s statements at the briefing today.

English Footballers Could Face Fine for Quarantine Break

The biggest COVID-19 story in Iceland today concerns two English footballers who broke “working quarantine” regulations last weekend by meeting local women at their hotel. Rögnvaldur Ólafsson, Assistant to the Chief Superintendent, was asked whether the two players would be fined for the violation. Rögnvaldur stated that Capital Area Police were investigating the incident and the case was nearly closed.

Testing Could Shorten Domestic Quarantine

Þórólfur stated he was considering whether testing could be used to shorten quarantine for residents who had been in contact with an infected individual. Those who had been ordered to go into quarantine due to contact with an infected individual could be tested after seven days, and potentially be released from quarantine if they test negative, shortening overall quarantine periods.

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