Chief Epidemiologist: No New Domestic Restrictions, Border Measures Being Considered

Chief Epidemiologist: No New Domestic Restrictions, Border Measures Being Considered

Published July 15, 2021

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by

Chief epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason held a press conference at 11:00 in the wake of yesterday’s news that two of those who tested positive for the coronavirus, outside of quarantine, had the Delta variant. Five in all were diagnosed outside of quarantine the day before yesterday, three of whom were fully vaccinated. Yesterday, 10 were diagnosed with the coronavirus, five of them outside of quarantine. All of them were vaccinated.

While 246,678 people are now fully vaccinated in Iceland, vaccines greatly reduce the chance of serious illness and transmission, but do not completely eliminate the chance of infection nor transmission (a more detailed explanation can be found here).

At the press conference, Þórólfur, joined by civic defense chief Víðir Reynisson, announced that a new chapter in the pandemic has begun, in the wake of recent new cases. Of the cases diagnosed at border since July 1st, most of them have been carrying the Delta variant.

Þórolfur encouraged the general public to continue to use individual preventative measures—using hand sanitizer and maintaining social distance—for workspaces to use preventative measures, and for nursing homes to protect their most vulnerable residents.

While no other domestic restrictions are being proposed at this time, Þórólfur said that some border restrictions are being considered. This may include requiring a negative PCR test, and to sample test those who are “most likely to cause damage”, but that they do not have the resources to test every single person who arrives in Iceland.

He also emphasised that people should avoid traveling from Iceland to countries where the coronavirus is on the rise.

Þórólfur reminded the public that the pandemic is far from over. Although roughly 70% of the country is now vaccinated, it will still take some time for everyone to be fully vaccinated, and we must continue to exercise caution in our day-to-day behaviour.

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