Quarantine breach button added

14.09.2020 - 14:17
Tilkynning um brot gegn sóttvarnareglum
 Mynd: covid.is - Skjáskot
A button has been added to the covid.is website this weekend that allows people to quickly and easily report COVID-19 quarantine breaches to the police.

Jóhann K. Jóhannsson, the information officer at the State police civil protection agency, says the button is there to simplify the process of letting the authorities know when contagion prevention rules are broken. He says the police have already been dealing with a large number of such reports through email, social media, and on the telephone.

The button, which is currently only on the Icelandic-language version of the covid.is website, leads to a form to describe what happened and how the law has been breached, in the opinion of the informant. The form clearly points out that users agree to be considered witnesses, in the legal sense of the word, and that they could therefore face punishment for lying or misrepresenting the truth. 

Ásgeir Þór Ásgeirsson, capital region police chief, says that the online reporting form is not new, but that it has been under-used until now. He says people have mostly been in touch through social media—especially during the second wave of infection. 

Ásgeir says a majority of reports boil down to misunderstanding: “For example when people think people in quarantine are not allowed to go outside and report them for going out for a walk or a drive. Then there have been some people who think it was against the law for someone to have stood too near to them in a shop, or that the shop was breaking the law by not ensuring gaps between people. But that is something that shops find very difficult to control. Then there have also been some reports about young children, even though children under a certain age are exempt from the assembly limit restrictions.” 

RÚV English is currently waiting for confirmation of whether/when the new button will be added in English and other languages.

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Alexander Elliott
Project manager
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