COVID-19 shoplifting case raises alarm

15.06.2020 - 15:26
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Kristín Sigurðardóttir - RÚV
A shoplifting case in Selfoss this weekend led South Iceland police to request the help of their capital region colleagues in tracking down and arresting suspects. It quickly transpired that the six had arrived in Iceland recently and should have been in quarantine. They were therefore tested for COVID-19 and two turned out to be active cases.

All six men arrived in Iceland last week. Three were arrested in South Iceland for shoplifting, and two have COVID-19 and are considered infectious. Capital region police were asked to track down the other three men, which they did yesterday. All are now in the quarantine hotel in central Reykjavík which has recently re-opened. A dozen police officers are also in home-quarantine over the case. 

A further twist came up yesterday when police started looking for another group of five who arrived in Iceland a week earlier and who should also have still been in quarantine but were suspected of having contact with the six who arrived last week. Those people contacted the police last night and are also now at the quarantine hotel and are being tested for the coronavirus today. 

The incident has stimulated debate about how many people may be ignoring the quarantine rule and putting public health at risk. The case has also prompted calls from Iceland's thousand-strong Romanian community for the public to remember that the vast majority are law-abiding people. The calls came after it was revealed all the men involved in the case are from Romania.

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Alexander Elliott
Project manager
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