Border testing rules to change next week

14.08.2020 - 17:31
Katrín Jakobsdóttir á upplýsingafundi 14.08.20
 Mynd: RÚV - Skjáskot
Starting from Wednesday 19th August, all passengers arriving in Iceland will be subject to the double testing scheme that was previously only applicable to Icelandic residents, citizens, and foreigners staying longer than ten days and arriving from ‘unsafe’ countries.

The new rules were announced today by prime minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir: “The reasoning behind this is developments within the country on the one hand, and developments internationally on the other.” Katrín told reporters it is in the national interest to beef up border testing, as a significant proportion of new cases are diagnosed there. She said the statistics at the moment are pushing the authorities more towards these harder border regulations than towards relaxing them. 

All passengers entering Iceland will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival and then have to quarantine for four days before being tested for a second time. The second test will be five days after arrival, if the second test would have fallen on a weekend.  

The list of six ‘safe’ countries from which testing was not necessary will be scrapped. The PM said it has proven difficult to confirm whether arriving passengers had spent all of the past 14 days in safe countries. Outbreaks also in progress in countries previously considered safe—including Germany and the Faroe Islands—have also influenced the decision. By screening all passengers twice, the loophole is being closed, the authorities hope. 

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Alexander Elliott
Project manager
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