Icelanders Need To Step Up Their Social Distancing Game, Chief Epidemiologist Says

Icelanders Need To Step Up Their Social Distancing Game, Chief Epidemiologist Says

Published August 7, 2020

Photo by
Lögreglan

A spate of domestic infections, some of which have been attributed to people visiting the Westman Islands last weekend, has been spreading rapidly, prompting Icelandic authorities to emphasise the need to practice social distancing and observe other preventative measures now that the second wave appears to be in full swing. There are now 109 people in isolation with the virus, authorities stated at a press conference held just moments ago, and the virus appears to be spreading quickly.

As reported, 17 new domestic cases cropped up yesterday, and a great many of those have been attributed to people visiting the Westman Islands last weekend for the three-day bank holiday weekend; the Westman Islands being a traditional destination for the holiday.

With new domestic cases flourishing, and new cases cropping up at the Icelandic Transport Authority and the Reykjavík area police, and one person in intensive care, there is now little doubt that a second wave in present in Iceland.

For the record, of the 3,500 people who arrived in Iceland yesterday as tourists, only three were determined to have the corona virus. This puts the total infections found from border testing at 32 since June 15th, when the borders began to open again, of the roughly 117,000 who came to the country since then.

Þórólfur Guðnason, Iceland’s chief epidemiologist, emphasised that people must take this virus seriously. He re-stated that people should observe the two-metre social distancing rule, wash their hands frequently, and avoid crowded spaces. The two-metre rule has clearly not been followed well enough, he said, not least of all in restaurants, and that absolutely needs to change. Otherwise, authorities will be forced to take more stricter measures to get the virus under control.

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