Rest if needed, arrivals told
People arriving at Keflavík who stay or live outside the southwest of Iceland have until now been told they need to reach their quarantine location as quickly as possible, regardless of tiredness, time of day, weather, or length of journey. This is now changing.
The family involved in the fatal accident in Skötufjörður fjord on Saturday had just arrived in Iceland and were travelling home to Flateyri to quarantine. The woman in the car has died from her injuries. Jóhann Sigurjónsson, a doctor in Ísafjörður, was part of the emergency response at the scene this weekend and says he has also travelled abroad since the current border testing and quarantine rules came into force.
“The message people are getting, and I have got three times during my travels to the country, is that one must get to one’s final quarantine destination without delay,” Jóhann says.
The cause of the accident remains under investigation and the road conditions were extremely slippery on Saturday, but Jóhann says it did make him stop and think. He says it is only possible to register one quarantine address when entering Iceland and that people outside the southwest often have long journeys in store to reach them. People are often tired after flights—especially ones late at night—and stopping is only permitted if strictly necessary.
“It is even not good enough for it to be necessary; it has to be strictly necessary. And that prompts some head-scratching in the interpretation.”
Jóhann wrote online that, when he asked, he was specifically told that tiredness, time of day, length of journey, and poor road conditions do not count as strictly necessary reasons to stop.
Jóhann aired his opinions online last night and heard from the civil protection agency this morning: “What I’ve heard from representatives of the civil protection agency this morning is that this will immediately be reviewed and the procedure changed,” he says.
From now on, people arriving in Iceland with a long journey ahead of them will be encouraged to rest before setting off.