Curfew could become legal in pandemics
The health minister of the day would have the ability to impose curfews if deemed strictly necessary for contagion prevention reasons, if a new bill on changes to the infectious diseases act passes Alþingi. The bill also further clarifies the appeals process for quarantine and isolation decisions.
24.11.2020 - 12:22
“Tourism sector must be able to plan ahead”
Bjarnheiður Hallsdóttir, director of the Icelandic Travel Industry Association, believes the government should have broadened the scope of the system of top-up benefits currently helping workers on reduced hours, and believes that changes to border testing procedures cannot wait much longer than February if the tourism industry is expected to contribute significantly to the economy next summer. Ásdís Kristjánsdóttir, the Association’s deputy director, says every week counts now.
24.11.2020 - 11:10
Report claims dust killing 60 Icelanders per year
The European Environment Agency estimates that an average of 60 premature deaths in Iceland per year can be traced to road traffic pollution. Fine dust particles in the air are said to be the main cause, while nitrogen dioxide and ozone at ground level are becoming less prevalent problems.
24.11.2020 - 10:06
Víðir in quarantine again
Víðir Reynisson, State police civil protection head, has been placed into seven-day precautionary quarantine after COVID-19 was diagnosed close to him.
24.11.2020 - 09:26
December payment to international protection applicants
The government has decided to pay applicants for international protection in Iceland a set extra sum in December of 10,000 krónur for adults and 5,000 krónur for children. The extra payments are anticipated to cost 4.5 million krónur. Applicants for international protection have received some sort of December bonus, as are the norm in Iceland, since 2017—though there is no law requiring them.
23.11.2020 - 15:59
EEA and UK agree on trade after December
A temporary trade agreement has been signed between Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and the UK. The deal lasts from 1st January, when the Brexit transition period ends, until a formal free trade agreement is signed between the countries.
23.11.2020 - 15:17
Hospital faces large deficit
Landspítali national university hospital currently needs to balance its deficit next year to the tune of 4.3 billion krónur. It has asked for permission to work off the deficit over three years. It already appears likely some patient services will face cuts. Ólafur Darri Andrason, head of finance at the hospital, says the budget saving demand reduces the hospital’s ability to deal with challenging projects.
23.11.2020 - 14:32
Civil protection chiefs set positive COVID tone
Three new COVID-19 cases were diagnosed domestically within Iceland yesterday, including two who were already in quarantine.
23.11.2020 - 13:32
The Week in Iceland, 23 November 2020
The weekly news programme from RÚV English: an entertaining look at what's been going on in Iceland over the past seven days.
23.11.2020 - 11:59
Ministers announce new raft of economic measures
Government ministers have this afternoon announced a new raft of support measures to help individuals and businesses through the ongoing pandemic crisis.
20.11.2020 - 15:46
Border testing rules extended
The current procedure for entry into Iceland will remain unchanged after 1st December and until 1st February. The government approved the prime minister’s recommendation to keep the double testing procedure unchanged at its cabinet meeting today.
20.11.2020 - 14:44
Food price hikes criticised
Prices have risen at Icelandic supermarkets, even though sales are up and interest rates are down.
20.11.2020 - 14:06
Infection rate dips below 50 per 100,000
Ten new COVID-19 cases were diagnosed domestically yesterday, including six who were already in quarantine. The 14-day infection rate per 100,000 people has dropped rapidly in recent days and now stands at 48.5. It is at its lowest rate since mid-September, when the third wave was just starting.
20.11.2020 - 12:05
No COVID infection found in Icelandic mink
No mink tested in Iceland by MAST (the food and veterinary authority) has been found to carry COVID-19. Tests have been taken at all mink farms in the country in recent days. The farms are under strict extra contagion containment rules.
20.11.2020 - 11:09
Two more women to be named Supreme Court judges
The justice minister this week announced she is going to call on the President of Iceland to appoint Ása Ólafsdóttir and Björg Thorarensen as Supreme Court judges. The minister says the appointments will be an important step in the direction of equality. Three of the Supreme Court’s seven judges will be women after the appointments.
20.11.2020 - 10:41
Crisis-hit cruise industry makes record bookings
The cruise industry is in disarray and only seven of the 200 ships booked to visit Iceland this year kept their bookings. Despite this, an all-time record number of cruise ships are already booked to visit Iceland in 2021.
20.11.2020 - 09:46
Iceland relegated in Nations League
Iceland has dropped out of the top tier for the next UEFA Nations League. The unsurprising news comes after the national men’s football team lost all its games in the League this year; most recently against Denmark on Sunday and a 4-0 thrashing by England at Wembley last night. It was coach Erik Hamrén’s last game in charge of the Icelandic side.
19.11.2020 - 15:16
People urged to stay alert during festive period
Chief epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason says that while the current wave of COVID-19 infection in Iceland is receding quickly, it is still necessary to remove restrictions slowly. He worries people will forget themselves in December, during Christmas social events.
19.11.2020 - 14:17
MP wants ministers’ answers on possible spying
Andrés Ingi Jónsson, an independent Member of Alþingi, has submitted questions to the prime minister, and the foreign and transport ministers about Iceland’s monitoring and response to possible American spying through fibre optics networks in the country.
19.11.2020 - 13:30
Vaccines and Boeing news brighten Icelandair spirits
The director of Icelandair, Bogi Nils Bogason, says he is more optimistic than before that the airline can turn its fortunes around next summer. News of the coronavirus vaccines and the imminent return of Boeing 737 MAX planes to the skies is good for Icelandair, he says. Icelandair plans to fly six of its new 737 MAX 8s next year, but Bogi says it will be important to make sure passengers trust the planes.
19.11.2020 - 12:21
Iceland's increasingly famous basement teen
Ouse is a 19-year-old Icelander making music in his basement. He has tens of millions of listeners. Maybe you've heard of him?
19.11.2020 - 11:05
Iceland in second Eurovision semi-final
The song has not yet been written, but Daði Freyr and his Gagnamagnið colleagues already know that they will perform for Iceland in the first half of the second Eurovision Song Contest semi-final in Rotterdam on 20th May 2021.
18.11.2020 - 15:05
Iceland records 26th COVID death
A COVID-19 patient has died during the past 24 hours at Landspítali national university hospital, it has been confirmed. Iceland's coronavirus death toll now stands at 26: ten during the first wave this spring and 16 during the current third wave of infection.
18.11.2020 - 14:22
Traffic accident victims remembered
1,587 people have lost their lives in road traffic accidents in Iceland since the first fatality was recorded 105 years ago. All of them were commemorated this weekend in locations around the country on the UN’s World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.
18.11.2020 - 13:59
Hamrén’s last game as Iceland coach
Erik Hamrén will lead the Icelandic national men’s football team for the final time as head coach this evening as they clash with England at Wembley in Iceland’s final UEFA Nations League match.
18.11.2020 - 13:36