Iceland Lifts All Public COVID Restrictions

Over the weekend, Iceland removed all public restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic—both domestically and at the border.

This means all rules regarding limitations on social gatherings and school operations, as well as the quarantine requirement for those infected by COVID-19 have been removed. Additionally, no disease prevention measures will be in place at the border, regardless of whether individuals are vaccinated or unvaccinated.

At a government meeting that took place last week, Iceland’s Minister of Health Willum Þór Þórsson said, “We can truly rejoice at this turning-point, but nonetheless I encourage people to be careful, practice personal infection prevention measures and not to interact with others if they notice symptoms.”

According to Iceland’s Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason, between 2,100 and 2,800 COVID infections have been diagnosed daily but serious illness has not increased in the same manner in recent weeks. In his opinion, the way out of this pandemic is a wide-spread herd immunity against COVID-19, i.e., an infection of up to 80 percent of the population. About 110,000 individuals have already been diagnosed with COVID-19 but it is estimated from antibody testing that the same number already has been infected without being diagnosed.

The New York Times reports that COVID cases in Iceland are around 3,000 new cases daily—a 71 percent increase in the last two weeks. That said, there is less than one death daily and 80 percent of the population is fully vaccinated.

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