Þórólfur Guðnason, the country’s chief epidemiologist, has submitted a new proposal to the Minister of Health regarding measures at the border. He also disclosed that tens of thousands more vaccines would be coming to Iceland by late March.
Þórólfur spoke with Bítin á Bylgjan this morning saying he did not want to comment on the exact details of the proposal but various suggestions were made at last week’s civil defence information meeting.
Stricter procedures needed to keep COVID out.
Various procedures at the border will need to be sharpened if the country wants to remain as open as it is.
There have been calls for further verification on passengers contact details upon arrival as currently, it may be too easy to provide incorrect details.
Þórólfur told Bítin á Bylgjan that “People can be asked for a certificate [of health] before they come, as is the case in many European countries. Then, if there is any doubt that, for example, people will be quarantined, it is possible to oblige people to stay in an quarantine during the epidemic. These are the main points that could be used.”
A dose of good news.
The chief epidemiologist announced that 70,000 doses of the vaccine are expected by the end of March.
This was announced at the civil defence information meeting this morning. Many of the vaccines are coming from AstraZeneca.
More vaccines have been produced than expected which has allowed for Iceland to receive this care package.
Þórólfur stated that because of this “I think we can be hopeful that we will get vaccinated faster than we have thought so far.”
Unlikely that domestic measures will be relaxed.
Many have hoped that with the tightening of border control, domestic measures could be relaxed.
Þórólfur has been keen to stress that this will not be the case, as there is still potential for the virus to sneak into the country.
In the interview on Bítin á Bylgjan, Þórólfur stated that the double screening with quarantine has been successful.
However, when people do not follow the rules, there is a high risk of infection.
“No, I think it is very important that we try to address the shortcomings at the border before we start to relax more here in Iceland,” said Þórólfur.
He went on to remind people that it has only been a week since we last saw relaxations. He predicts that it will be a further two to three weeks until we see results.
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