Welcome back to RVK Newscast! Today Grapevine journalist Josie Anne dips her toe into the latest news from Iceland: an end to Covid restrictions, updates in the ’Fishrot Files’ case, and the Icelandic response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
It has been announced that all restrictions regarding Covid-19 will be lifted as of the midnight on the 15th of February. This covers mask wearing, border entry and restrictions on gatherings. The lifting comes despite continued high case numbers of the Omicron variant in Iceland. Minister of Health Willum Þór Þorsson has warned that any changes to the disease may result in restrictions being reimposed in the future, and both he and the Chief epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason have encouraged people to continue to stay at home and wear a mask if they feel unwell. Read our latest Coronavirus roundup here.
Please check covid.is for up-to-date information on Coronavirus in Iceland.
There has been a further strange twist in the so-called ‘Fishrot Files’ case. It was initially reported that police were seeking to question four journalists in regards to their reporting on emails that were possibly obtained from a phone stolen from a Samherji ship captain. However, Gunnar Ingi Jóhannsson, lawyer for Stundin journalist Aðalsteinn Kjartansson, has announced that the journalists are being questioned over a separate violation of privacy laws, based on other data within this phone that is not connected to Samherji. Read all of our coverage of the case here.
And finally, there has been quick and widespread condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by Icelandic politicians. Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir called the attack “an unacceptable breach of international law,” and expressed concern for the civilian population of Ukraine. A protest has been organised by Russian nationals living in Iceland to take place at the Russian embassy this evening. Read more here.
We at Reykjavík Grapevine would like to express or deep support for the residents of Ukraine, in particular for our journalist colleagues who are braving grave danger in order to educate, document and inform.
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