PM does not want to close border following court ruling

07.04.2021 - 11:02
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 Mynd: RÚV
Prime minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir told RÚV’s Kastljós programme last night that the Reykjavík District Court decision that the compulsory use of quarantine hotels for people arriving from high-risk countries is not legal came as a disappointment. If the Landsréttur appeals court confirms that verdict, a change to anti-contagion laws or regulations may be needed so that the rule will become legal, she said.

Katrín says she is not convinced that the solution would be to simply close the border until a majority of the population has been vaccinated.

She described Monday’s court verdict as disappointing, but said the issue will become clearer today when the appeals court makes its decision. If the court sides with the previous verdict, there will be two ways to boost coronavirus protection at the border:

"In order to achieve that goal, I see two options. One is to look at the law and make it clearer, or go over the organisation of these matters within the existing legal framework and see whether we can do it better.” 

Katrín says she is convinced the existing arrangement of requiring travellers to present a negative PCR test certificate on arrival and take two tests within Iceland with five days’ quarantine in between is working well, but that it is unfortunately not a hundred percent effective. 

Th most important thing, she says, is to remain steadfast until the summer when 240,000 of the 280,000 people eligible for vaccination will have received their injections. In the meantime, she does not want to follow New Zealand’s example in closing the border. 

“That would of course be a much, much more sweeping measure than the one taken by the authorities in suggesting that travellers from dark-red countries spend five days in a quarantine hotel. And, as I say, I have not been adequately convinced that we should go that far.” 

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