From Iceland — Ninth COVID-19 Death In Iceland; Tourist Quarantine Explored; Border Closure Extended

Ninth COVID-19 Death In Iceland; Tourist Quarantine Explored; Border Closure Extended

Published April 17, 2020

Photo by
Art Bicnick

Fréttablaðið reports that a patient at Landspítali hospital has passed away from COVID-19 within the past 24 hours. This marks the ninth death from COVID-19 in Iceland to date; seven at Landspítali, one in Húsavík and one in Bolungarvík.

In all, 1,739 Icelanders have contracted COVID-19, the condition caused by the coronavirus, although reported infections have dropped considerably in recent days. 1,114 have made a full recovery, while 587 are still showing symptoms.

In related news, chief epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason announced yesterday that the possibility is being explored of having tourists visiting Iceland go into an immediate 2-week quarantine. This measure is already required of Icelanders returning home from abroad.

Jóhannes Þór Skúlason, the managing director of the Icelandic Tourist Board, expressed misgivings at the idea telling reporters that this would effectively make the country as good as closed, as no one visits Iceland just to go straight into quarantine.

In point of fact, no one will be visiting Iceland if they hail from outside the EEA or EFTA area anyway—at least not until May 15th, according to an announcement from the Icelandic government stating that the borders will remain closed to such visitors for at least that long. Schengen Area citizens, however, will still be welcome to visit unhindered.

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