If you have symptoms that could indicate COVID-19 you should get tested, even if you are fully vaccinated, says Iceland’s Chief Epidemiologist. Four fully vaccinated tourists tested positive for COVID-19 in Iceland between Thursday and Monday. So far there is no evidence the infections have spread to others.
Many tourists go get tested for COVID-19 toward the end of their trip in Iceland due to entry requirements in other countries. Four such tests revealed positive results for four vaccinated tourists in recent days. Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason told RÚV it is unlikely that the tourists infected others. He added that vaccinated individuals are also less likely to spread the SARS-CoV-2 virus when carrying it. “It is most likely that they were infected on their way to [Iceland] and I base that on the fact that we have almost no virus in the country,” Þórólfur stated.
Iceland currently has 23 active cases of COVID-19 and an incidence rate of 1.9 per 100,000 residents. Over 70% of the population has received one or both doses of COVID-19 vaccine while 49.1% are fully vaccinated. All domestic restrictions were lifted in the country last Friday though restrictions at the border remain, including testing of all arriving travellers and mandatory quarantine for those without vaccine or antibody certificates.
Þórólfur stressed the importance of continued testing within Iceland, despite the country’s high rate of vaccination. “We need to encourage people with symptoms to get tested. That’s declined quite a bit recently but I know there are a lot of respiratory infections in the community. So we still want to encourage people to go get tested whether they are vaccinated or not if they get symptoms that could point to COVID-19.”