Assembly limit likely to rise to 2000 people

24.06.2020 - 16:02
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 Mynd: Skjáskot - RÚV
None of the three people with COVID-19 identified by border testing yesterday were contagious, chief epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason said at this afternoon’s regular press briefing. Þórólfur said he wants border testing to continue until at least the end of July, as it is not yet timely for Iceland to change its emphasis.

The assembly limit in Iceland was raised to 500 people on 15th June and Þórólfur says he is going to recommend to the health minister that the limit rise to 2,000 people in the middle of July. The minister is very likely to accept the chief epidemiologist’s advice. 

Þórólfur also told reporters that easing restrictions on the opening hours of bars and other licenced premises is on the table. Currently, all establishments selling alcohol have to close by 23.00 each evening. 

The chief epidemiologist spoke about the newly-updated travel advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that no longer recommends against non-essential travel to other European countries. He said travellers should still consider carefully whether measures in place in other European countries could be obstacles to convenient travel. 

Þórólfur continued, saying that his advice comes from a purely medical point-of-view and that he would personally continue to advise against extensive overseas travel to anywhere apart from Greenland and the Faroe Islands, which are the only countries classified as safe. 

Many people in Iceland are waiting for results from antibody testing, but border testing has delayed deCODE genetics in its domestic work. Þórólfur said people will receive their results soon in the Heilsuvera personal web portal. 

Asked whether he recommends opening Iceland to flights from the USA, Þórólfur said he would prefer flight connections to the country remain grounded for the time being. If the authorities decide to allow connections to the USA to start again in July, extra care will be needed when testing arriving passengers at the airport, he said. 

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Alexander Elliott
Project manager
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