From Iceland — COVID-19 In Iceland: Traveller Diagnosed In Akureyri, Family Quarantined

COVID-19 In Iceland: Traveller Diagnosed In Akureyri, Family Quarantined

Published July 31, 2020

Poppy Askham
Photo by
Art Bicnick

A traveller from abroad has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Akureyri. The individual tested negative for the virus at the border but was diagnosed at a second screening this week. Gylfi Þór Þorsteinsson, an epidemiological centre supervisor confirmed the infection to Fréttablaðið.

Three family members that were travelling with the individual have been quarantined; all four are in a quarantine facility in Akureyri. The traveller’s relatives will be tested for the virus shortly.

The circumstances of the infection are still under investigation. It is not clear how long the individual has been in Iceland or whether they became infected before travelling to the country.

There are currently 50 active infections in Iceland, all of which are located in the south-west of the country with the exception of this one case in Akureyri.

As reported, stricter measures for travellers to Iceland came into effect today in response to the new wave of domestic infections. Those travelling to Iceland for longer than ten days will have to undergo a second screening several days after arrival. Previously only Icelandic citizens and residents had to complete two rounds of testing.

It probably would have been possible to prevent on of the two current group infections if this second round of testing had been brought in earlier, Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason stated in a press briefing earlier today (broadcast by Visir). The cluster seems to be linked to an individual that bypassed the second round of testing for returning Icelandic citizens due to an administrative mix-up, but this is not confirmed.

The second group infection is still under investigation and the origin remains unclear. Þórólfur stated that it is not currently possible to say if this second cluster of cases was also avoidable.

According to Þórólfur, it will take one to two weeks to ascertain whether the new measures are strict enough. “If we do not see results from these actions, we need to be ready to take tougher action”, he warned.

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