Harsher COVID rules in Iceland: further details
Government ministers and civil protection chiefs were this morning careful to emphasise that the harsher rules to prevent COVID-19 infection that will come into effect at midday tomorrow (Friday) are a “pull of the handbrake” and part of the strategy, rather than a sign the situation is out of control. The country is not returning to lockdown and nowhere is being ordered to close down. The rules will, however, affect everybody’s daily lives.
30.07.2020 - 12:29
Iceland re-imposes harsher COVID-19 controls
[UPDATED at 11.24] Three government ministers and civil protection chiefs have just finished a press conference at 11.00 this morning to introduce new measures to combat the new spate of COVID-19 cases in the country.
30.07.2020 - 10:59
Coronavirus outbreak has brand-new “fingerprint”
“What’s interesting is how much [information] sequencing adds. We have four groups and individuals where the contact tracing team has found no links but sequencing of the virus has shown that they have the same variant,” says Kári Stefánsson, director of deCODE genetics. Different variants act like a virus’s fingerprint and are unique.
29.07.2020 - 16:19
One council for one capital city?
Seven out of ten capital city residents believe some or all of the city’s seven or eight municipalities should merge—with the largest number wanting to see them all merge into one single city council, a new poll claims.
29.07.2020 - 15:16
Nursing homes react to coronavirus outbreak
[UPDATED] The number of guests allowed to visit nursing homes is once again being restricted and visitors are asked to avoid common areas after the Directorate of Health called on nursing homes yesterday to re-examine visiting rules as the number of COVID-19 cases in Iceland continues to rise.
29.07.2020 - 14:04
President sworn in this weekend in unusual ceremony
President of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson will start his second term in office on Saturday 1st August, following his election victory this June. He will, however, not be congratulated with the customary handshakes for the first time in the Republic’s history. Only 90 people have been invited to the ceremony this year, while nearly 300 were in attendance four years ago.
29.07.2020 - 12:27
Ólafur Arnalds nominated for Emmy
The Icelandic musician Ólafur Arnalds has been nominated for an Emmy award for his theme music for the television mini-series Defending Jacob. He is nominated alongside four other musicians in the category of original theme tunes. The rapper RZA is nominated in the same category.
29.07.2020 - 11:20
Dozens questioned over fatal fire
Between 20 and 30 witnesses have been questioned over the fire that took three lives and destroyed a house on Bræðraborgarstígur in the Vesturbær area of Reykjavík on 25th June. Among those questioned are people who were inside when the fire started, as well as other residents of the house.
29.07.2020 - 10:27
No COVID decisions today until results are analysed
The civil protection consultation group, representatives of the health minister, chief epidemiologist, and director of health, will meet today after results of contact tracing and viral analysis of positive samples taken from domestic COVID-19 transmission cases in recent days have been released. They may or may not decide to re-impose harsher rules in Iceland.
29.07.2020 - 09:57
Islands prepare for big weekend despite no festival
While there will be no Þjóðhátíð festival this weekend, the Vestmannaeyjar community is preparing for a lot of visitors. There is a waiting list for spaces on the Herjólfur ferry. In the meantime, national authorities are this afternoon discussing whether to re-impose harsher coronavirus restrictions amid the spate of new infections over recent days.
28.07.2020 - 16:57
Chicks congregate in bathroom
Young redwings took over a bathroom in the Vesturbær neighbourhood of Reykjavík after residents rescued them from cats eagerly waiting for them to drop from their nest. The human residents say the inconvenience of having no bathroom was worth it.
28.07.2020 - 15:55
House fire investigated as premeditated killing
The deadly 25th June house fire on Bræðraborgarstígur in Vesturbær, Reykjavík is being investigated as a case of premeditated manslaughter. This is the wording of the latest custodial order from Reykjavík District Court against the man being investigated for allegedly starting the blaze.
28.07.2020 - 14:36
Petitions urge Trump to remove ambassador to Iceland
American citizens living in Iceland have launched a petition calling on Donald Trump to remove Jeffrey Ross Gunter from the post of US ambassador to Iceland.
28.07.2020 - 12:19
No relaxed assembly ban next week
[UPDATED] The government decided at its cabinet meeting this morning that plans to increase the assembly limit to 1,000 people and allow licensed premises to stay open until midnight instead of 23.00 each night will be delayed by two weeks, and will now happen on 18th August instead of the 4th. Civil protection chiefs will hold a press conference this afternoon to discuss the group outbreak that saw seven new infections in Iceland over the weekend and yesterday.
28.07.2020 - 11:39
Cabin crew accept Icelandair deal with immediate effect
Members of the FFÍ Icelandic Cabin Crew Association have voted to accept the wage and conditions contract signed between their Association and the SA Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise on behalf of Icelandair ehf.
28.07.2020 - 10:59
US ambassador “wants gun and stab vest”
Backlash from a recent tweet from the American ambassador to Iceland, in which he called COVID-19 "the Invisible China Virus", was not the only controversy he has been courting recently, it emerged this weekend. Ambassador Jeffrey Ross Gunter reportedly fears for his safety, wants an armed guard, and wanted to apply for special permission to carry a personal firearm in Iceland.
27.07.2020 - 16:22
Registration error led to COVID-19 outbreak
An error in the registration form for people entering Iceland has meant that an individual who lives in the country was not called for a second COVID-19 test four to six days after returning, and turned out to have the coronavirus. Residents filling out the form in English have not needed to register their kennitala (ID number), while it has been compulsory on the Icelandic form. “This will be looked at this week,” a disease prevention specialist at the Directorate of Health said.
27.07.2020 - 14:45
The Week in Iceland, 27 July 2020
The weekly news programme from RÚV English: an entertaining look at what's been going on in Iceland over the past seven days.
27.07.2020 - 12:20
Polish ambassador critical of RÚV LGBTQ coverage
Poland’s ambassador to Iceland has sent a statement of complaint about RÚV’s news coverage of the recent presidential election in connection to the status of LGBTQ rights in Poland. LGBTQ rights in Poland are ranked lower than any other EU member state.
24.07.2020 - 16:50
PM wants September election next year
Katrín Jakobsdóttir, prime minister of Iceland, says she is going to propose holding the next Alþingi election on 25th September 2021. The last election was on 28th October 2017 and the current coalition government was formed in its wake. That election was just one year after the previous one on 29th October 2016 and Iceland’s shortest-lived government to date.
24.07.2020 - 15:57
Fatal traffic accident near Kópasker
The driver of a car that crashed yesterday evening was already deceased when emergency services reached the scene, northeast Iceland police confirmed in a statement this afternoon.
24.07.2020 - 15:38
Consumer price index in surprise rise
The consumer price index rose by 0.15 percent between months, during a period when it had been predicted to go down. The annualised inflation rate in July is three percent and it was 2.6 percent in June. The effect of summer sales has been smaller than expected, according to the latest report from the Landsbankinn economics department.
24.07.2020 - 15:26
Bullying and conduct complaints against police heads
The Suðurnes regional police force is in internal crisis after two staff members complained about the conduct of the head of the force, and two different staff complained about bullying by two other senior figures.
24.07.2020 - 14:03
Icelandic vegetables back on the menu
Helgi Jóhannesson, from Iceland’s agricultural advice service, says the first outdoor-grown Icelandic produce of the season has now been harvested, and that the news is always something of a special occasion each year. Icelandic produce grown outdoors will start to hit the supermarket shelves in significant quantities from the start of August. The first harvest is described as promising for the rest of the season.
24.07.2020 - 13:18
Puffin saved by lucky chance
A group on a glacier expedition on Langjökull yesterday stumbled across a puffin lying in the snow. According to group leader Martha Jónasdóttir, the bird was found right at the centre of the glacier—Iceland's second-largest.
24.07.2020 - 12:44