From Iceland — Health Minister Announces Changes To Quarantine Regulations

Health Minister Announces Changes To Quarantine Regulations

Published January 25, 2022

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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From midnight tonight, those who have potentially been exposed to the coronavirus outside of their homes do not need to go into quarantine, but will instead need to exercise what is known as “special precaution” (smitgát), Vísir reports.

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This decision was made by Minister of Health Willum Þór Þorsson, and announced today. Those with a confirmed infection in their homes will still need to quarantine, unless they are triple vaccinated, in which case they will follow special precautions that will end with a sample-taking. Children of preschool through primary school age–i.e., up to around the age of 16–are exempted from having to enact special precautions if they made potential contact with the virus outside their homes, but will still need to quarantine if there is a confirmed infection in their homes.

Willum had intimated yesterday that he might relax some coronavirus restrictions by the end of the week. outlines that measures regarding special precaution are that it is preferable to “pay special attention to personal infection control, avoid crowded places unnecessarily and skip crowded events, be alert for symptoms and go for a PCR test if they are noticed,” and “let the workplace or school know that you are in special precaution.”

They add further that is preferable not to “have contact with vulnerable individuals, including the elderly and people with underlying diseases” or “be in crowded places unnecessarily or attend crowded events.”

In an announcement from the Ministry, they state that this decision was taken in cooperation with the recommendations of the chief epidemiologist.

The primary motivating factors for this decision include the fact that many people have been absent from work and school due to being quarantined, which has caused significant social disruption. As reported, there are currently over 13,000 people in quarantine today. How many of these people will subsequently end up in isolation with the virus following these changes remains to be seen.

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