From Iceland — New COVID-19 Cases Traced Back To Parties

New COVID-19 Cases Traced Back To Parties

Published November 26, 2020

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There are indications that the spread of COVID-19 in Iceland is on the rise again, with community infections being linked to large shopping centres. RUV and Vísir report.

Despite mask duty being in place in shops, chief epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason says that too many people are being allowed into stores at one time.

Infections have also been traced back to parties over the past weekend. Rögnvaldur Ólafsson, head of the Civil Protection Department of the National Commissioner of Police, said at the last information meeting of the Civil Defence that the parties were not overcrowded, but in some cases people were going to several small parties with different groups of people. He also suggested that this behaviour was a sign that people are losing patience with disease control measures, despite being so close to the end of the tighter restrictions. “It would be bad to lose our grip on [the pandemic] with it not even being December yet,” he says.

Þórólfur says that he is concerned that cases are hitting double figures again, and that so few people have been in quarantine at the time of diagnosis. “We are at a crossroads now, where there is a great call for further lifting of restrictions, but at the same time we see signs that the epidemic may be starting again” he says. A new proposal has been sent to the Minister of Health, that will be introduced at the beginning of December. However, Þórólfur said that the new restrictions will not be announced yet, and if the spread continues to grow, the proposals will be reviewed before then.

Correction: This article originally stated that some infections had been traced back to the Kringlan shopping centre. However, this was an error by Civil Protection—there were two infections in Kringlan’s offices; not in any store or restaurant. The article has been updated.

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