COVID Roundup: No New Domestic Cases, A Closer Look At New Border Policy

COVID Roundup: No New Domestic Cases, A Closer Look At New Border Policy

Published March 17, 2021

Photo by
Pixabay/HelenJank

No new domestic cases of the coronavirus were detected yesterday, according to the latest data from covid.is. This person was in quarantine at the time of diagnosis.

As reported, people from outside the Schengen Area will, starting tomorrow, be able to visit Iceland provided they show either a certificate of vaccination or certificates of previous coronavirus infection, which will dramatically change current restrictions. Such visitors will not be required to undergo border screening nor quarantine.

Numerous tourism industry actors have expressed delight at this announcement, with many pointing out the visitors from the UK and the US have traditionally been a large part of Iceland’s tourism market. Stocks in Icelandair rose dramatically shortly after the announcement as well.

Adding to this was Minister of Health Svandís Svavarsdóttir confirming that Iceland will adopt the European colour-coding system on May 1st in determining who may enter the country without having to undergo border screening or quarantine. The decision to do so was made by the government last January, and as things stand now, authorities still plan to adopt the system about six weeks from now.

For his part, chief epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason told Vísir that he had suggested to the government in his own proposals that Iceland take a more nuanced approach; examining how the pandemic is being handled in individual countries and at the border. He added that the government is clearly very decided on the matter, however, and that “this is the kind of predictability that the tourism industry is aiming for”.

In other news, no people are currently hospitalised with the virus. 24 people are currently in quarantine, with another 30 in isolation. The 14-day incidence of infection per 100,000 people is now 2.2, where it was yesterday, while incidence at border screening is now at 6.3, down from 6.8 yesterday.

13,522 people have so far been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, with 23,253 vaccinations underway. 36,775 people have received at least the first dose.

The schedule of which demographics are getting the vaccine and when can be found here (available only in Icelandic for now).

More statistics and information can be found at covid.is or below.

Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.

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