From Iceland — COVID-19 In Iceland: 11 Confirmed Cases, Fines Or Prison Time For Leaving Quarantine

COVID-19 In Iceland: 11 Confirmed Cases, Fines Or Prison Time For Leaving Quarantine

Published March 3, 2020

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Rebecca Conway

There are now eleven confirmed cases in Iceland of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, RÚV reports.

With the exception of one Icelander, who had returned from Austria, all of them appear to have contracted the virus at the same hotel in Italy. As the Icelander returning from Austria was already showing symptoms there (but opted to return anyway), it is likely that he contracted COVID-19 in Austria.

As reported, there are some 300 Icelanders under 14-day home quarantine, but some of them are ignoring it, venturing out into public anyway.

Journalist Þórdís Arnljótsdóttir pointed out during the noon news that doing this could carry with it a fine or up to three months in prison. Víðir Reynisson, a specialist for the national police, responded by saying that the possibility of jail for breaking quarantine should not even be the main point; rather, people should be more concerned with getting other people sick.

“Let’s stand together in this,” he implored. “If you’re coming from a high-risk area, where you’re advised to go into quarantine, just go into quarantine. Just take part in this. It’s 14 days. This is doing your part for society.”

High risk areas include China, four provinces in Northern Italy (Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, and Piedmont), South-Korea, and Iran.

It is relatively easy to avoid catching coronavirus. To prevent transmission or contact with the virus, the cardinal rule is to wash your hands frequently before eating and after touching common surfaces, and avoid touching your face. If you must sneeze or cough, do so into the crook of your elbow or into a tissue. It also naturally follows that you should avoid contact with sick people.

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