Around 500 to 600 US and Canadian soldiers are expected in Iceland over the next few weeks, due to COVID quarantine regulations, Fréttablðið reports.
There are currently 250 US Air Force personnel in the country, who arrived in early October for NATO airspace surveillance, and 300 members of the Canadian Air Force who are in Iceland for submarine control. The Danish Air Force has also spent the last few weeks in Keflavik Airport, carrying out regular inspections of the Air Force helicopter located on board the Danish Navy’s warships off the Greenland coast.
The Coast Guard’s information officer, Ásgeir Erlendsson, says that the large number of troops in the country is partly down to the fact that the disease control regulations are now much stricter and, in addition to border screening, all personnel has to go on a two week quarantine. “They also quarantine for fourteen days in their home country before arriving in Iceland. There’s currently a crew change, and so the double crews on site are temporary but the turn around is now three to four weeks.”
There is no connection between the US/Canadian project and the Danish project, and Ásgeir comments that it is an unusual coincidence that they were both implemented at the same time.
Stricter measures have been taken with the arrival of the soldiers than is generally taken for tourists arriving in the country. Personnel who have quarantined, screened and complied with regulations of the respective countries are allowed to travel outside of the security zone.
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