From Iceland — Pandemic Restrictions Could Be Loosened Next Week

Pandemic Restrictions Could Be Loosened Next Week

Published November 23, 2020

Photo by
Art Bicnick

Given that Iceland now has the lowest incidence of domestic infections in Europe, it is possible that restrictions will be relaxed soon, RÚV reported last night.

Chief of police Víðir Reynisson thanked the public for their solidarity, but also warned that the low cases over the weekend–there were 5 cases diagnosed on Saturday and 3 on Sunday–can often be misleading.

“As before, these weekend figures need to be taken with some warning. There weren’t many samples taken yesterday. We need to take care of that, but the developments are still positive. Then, of course, we have seen this development in the fourteen-day incidence – it is definitely decreasing,” he said. The incidence of domestic infections is now down to 40.1, compared to 55 yesterday when Víðir spoke on the topic. 

The current restrictions apply until the 1st of December, and the gathering ban limiting meetings of more than 10 people has been in place for three weeks. Víðir acknowledged that this date is “not very far off”, and added that there are currently risk assessments going on to determine what changes can be made.

“Hopefully, if things continues like this, it will be possible to make various changes that will allow us to keep Christmas in a brighter shape than we thought two weeks ago,” said Víðir.

The Office of the Medical Director of Health compiled some statistics showing five-day averages of confirmed infections in the last two coronavirus waves. These showed that it has taken considerably longer to reduce infection rates in the third wave than it did in the first. The third wave has also seen far more cluster infections.

It is not yet clear which restrictions will be relaxed or to what extent.

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