COVID-19 positive individuals who are in isolation in Iceland are permitted to take up to two walks per day, according to new regulations that have been implemented by the country’s health authorities. Individuals who are in special infection precaution (a lighter version of quarantine) are no longer required to undergo testing at the start and end of the precaution period.
Special precaution (smitgát) is an infection prevention measure imposed by authorities when an individual has been possibly exposed to COVID-19 but quarantine is not considered necessary. According to current regulations, people who have received three doses of COVID-19 vaccine, or who have received two doses and have recovered from COVID-19, are not required to quarantine following potential COVID-19 exposure, rather only take special precaution. Individuals in special precaution may leave their place of residence to attend work and school and to run necessary errands. They are, however, asked to skip events and avoid crowds as well people in high-risk groups.
Only 1% have tested positive in special precaution
Of the 16,488 people who were placed in special infection precaution between December 1, 2021 and January 16, 2022, only around 1% tested positive for COVID-19. In light of that data, Iceland’s Chief Epidemiologist recommended lifting the testing requirements for people in special precaution, and the Health Minister has now implemented this change. The measure is hoped to alleviate strain on Iceland’s COVID-19 testing centres.
The new regulations also permit individuals in COVID isolation to leave their place of isolation for walks within their neighbourhood, health permitting. They must maintain a distance of two metres from others and may not visit crowded areas. Those in isolation can take up to two walks per day, at a maximum length of 30 minutes each. According to a government notice, it is not possible to offer adults isolating in government quarantine facilities daily outdoor exercise, but children isolating in such facilities will be offered outdoor time.