From Iceland — COVID-19 In Iceland: 103 Confirmed Cases, Foreign Ministry Responds To US Travel Ban

COVID-19 In Iceland: 103 Confirmed Cases, Foreign Ministry Responds To US Travel Ban

Published March 12, 2020

Photo by
Art Bicnick

There are now a total of 103 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iceland, Vísir reports.

80 of those infected can be directly traced to travel overseas, the vast majority of them returning from ski trips in Italy and Austria, while the other 23 caught the virus from others within the country.

In related news, RÚV reports that Iceland’s Foreign Ministry has reacted strongly the US travel ban issued last night, which prohibits foreign nationals who have been in some Schengen area countries within the last 14 days from entering the US.

“Foreign Minister Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson spoke this morning with the US ambassador, and afterwards with his representatives, to convey objections [to the ban],” a statement from the Ministry states in part. “In these discussions, the Minister strongly emphasised to US authorities that Iceland should be excepted [from the ban] in light of its special geographical position, and in the special steps that Icelandic authorities have taken to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 in Iceland.”

The Minister will meet with the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee soon.

In related news, Icelandair has announced that their flights to the US will remain unchanged for today and tomorrow. Beyond that point, flights to New York (JFK og EWR), Chicago, Seattle and Washington DC will remain unchanged, having in mind that those who have been in the Schengen area 14 days prior to the ban will be in effect, except for US citizens.

The airline asks those who have booked flights or are planning to book flights to the US to contact the airline directly, with the caveat that you can expect long wait times when you call.

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