From Iceland — Chief Epidemiologist Says Social Restrictions May Be Lifted Sooner

Chief Epidemiologist Says Social Restrictions May Be Lifted Sooner

Published January 28, 2021

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason said at a press conference today that lifting some social restrictions sooner than February 17th might be possible, but caution must nonetheless be exercised, RÚV reports.

The current pandemic restrictions on the domestic front include limiting crowd sizes, where face masks must be used, and limitations on certain cultural institutions such as concerts and clubs. Recent weeks in Iceland have shown a steadily declining rate of domestic case incidence, with daily reported cases numbering in the single digits.

“It is certainly possible,” Þórólfur said of lifting these restrictions sooner. “I’d say that soon, for example next week, if we’re seeing low numbers it wouldn’t be an issue to think about further relaxations.”

That said, caution must be exercised, he said, adding: “I want to emphasise that we need to proceed very carefully if we don’t want to have a backlash,” and referred to how numbers of cases climbed last autumn.

Restrictions at the border are unlikely to be relaxed any time soon, given the spread of the virus and its mutations in Europe and North America.

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