Vísir reports that there are now 117 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iceland, from those being tested by Landspítali hospital. The vast majority are connected to Icelanders who went on a ski trip in the Alps. As reported, a public gathering ban will go into effect on Monday.
In other news, the Directorate of Health and the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management have launched a helpful and informative website on COVID-19 containing everything you could possible need or want to know about the virus, including how to protect yourself, how Iceland is responding, and special information for tourists. We highly recommend giving it a look.
As reported, deCODE Genetics CEO Kári Stefánsson has been wanting to offer screening to the entire Icelandic population and received the green light to do so earlier this week. Registration for that screening has now been launched. It is entirely in Icelandic, but those who either do not understand Icelandic or are just visiting and want to be screened can still call either 1700 from an Icelandic number, or +354 544 4113 from any other phone.
In response to the travel ban issued by the US against foreign nationals wishing to enter the United States over the next 30 days, which begins tonight at 23:59 EST, Iceland is still seeking to be exempted. Vísir reports that Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir has requested a phone meeting with US President Donald J. Trump to discuss the matter further.
Meanwhile, the Norræna ferry has announced that starting on March 16, they will cease to take any passengers and will only be carrying freight. They “will sail from the Faroe Islands to Denmark on Thursday 12th of March and from Denmark to the Faroe Islands on Saturday 14th of March,” but “[a]nyone who has not started their journey and whose purpose is not to return home, will not be allowed to travel with MS Norröna.” This is due to remain in effect until March 28th.
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