Monday, June 28, 2021

Iceland Abolishes All Its Domestic COVID-19 Restrictions & Testing for Vaccinated Travellers

The Government of Iceland has revealed that in line with the recommendations from the Chief Epidemiologist, all domestic restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic have been lifted since June 25.

At the same time, Iceland’s Minister of Health Svandís Svavarsdóttir announced that the requirements to wear a mask, respect the social distance, and have low-number gatherings have now been fully lifted, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

“Continuous and honest communication between the people and our trusted scientists have contributed mightily to the population’s willingness to take part in the effort to minimize the harms of the pandemic. There has been a focus on maintaining a proper level of vigilance without either downplaying or exaggerating the risk. We are succeeding by trusting the good sense of the Icelandic people,” Svavarsdóttir said.

Previously, the Icelandic authorities announced that border screening for vaccinated persons reaching the country would only be effective until the end of June.

On July 1, the country will announce new rules regarding the testing requirement at the border.

The country had been keeping requirements on social distancing and gatherings since autumn 2020, but the domestic restrictions varied during the COVID-19 pandemic in accordance with the circumstances.

Cultural activities, the gastronomy sector, travel services, educational institutions and many more have been affected by such rules. Nonetheless, most pre-school and primary education institutions have continued on-site learning during the pandemic as it has been considered to be relatively low risk.

In a press release issued by the Government of Iceland, it has been revealed that around 87 per cent of Icelandic citizens who were eligible to undergo the vaccination process have received a single dose of the vaccine, whereas about 60 per cent have been fully vaccinated.

The policy of early testing, contact tracing, self-isolation of suspected contacts and known cases has been effective since the beginning of the pandemic. Consequently, it has been revealed that more than 60 per cent of COVID-19 cases detected in the country were persons who already were self-isolated at the time of diagnosis.

“When we have found sporadic cases, our process has been to test aggressively and ask large groups of likely contacts to quarantine. So far this year, this has been sufficiently effective to suppress small clusters before they can grow into full-blown waves of infection,” the Head of Civil Protection Víðir Reynisson said.

As the restrictions get lifted, Reynisson stated that small clusters of infection may still appear as they continue to detect cases. However, according to him together with the residents of Iceland, they “will prove sufficient to handle any new outbreaks”.

Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, Iceland has identified 6,637 infection cases and 30 deaths.

Iceland has already been successfully connected to the EU DCC gateway and is currently issuing / verifying the certificates.



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