“Don’t travel overseas,” Þórólfur reminds

08.04.2021 - 12:32
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Vilhjálmur Þór Guðmundsson - RÚV
Chief epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason had reiterated official advice calling on residents of Iceland to avoid all non-essential overseas travel to high-risk countries. All countries apart from Greenland are currently categorised as high-risk. Meanwhile, four new domestic coronavirus cases were diagnosed yesterday and all were in quarantine already.

“During the more-than-year-long COVID-19 pandemic, over 130 million people have become sick because of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in more than 200 countries, and there have been around three million deaths, including over 900,000 deaths in Europe,” Þórólfur wrote in a statement. He adds that all countries apart from Greenland are currently classified as high-risk and that the Icelandic risk assessment is carried out in consultation with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. 

Þórólfur points out that the infection rate remains high or very high in many parts of Europe, with more contagious variants—especially the British one—circulating widely. “Vaccination has still not come very far in many states, and so there are various travel restrictions in place, as well as domestic restrictions in most countries which often change at short notice.” 

Þórólfur has been vocal this week with his concern that another new wave of infection could be triggered by people entering Iceland and not being identified in border testing. He is calling for stricter measures to make sure people do not breach quarantine rules—pointing out that the country’s major third wave this autumn and winter was triggered by just two individuals who did not respect quarantine rules after entering Iceland. 

Four new domestic cases were confirmed in Iceland yesterday and all were already in quarantine. Three people tested positive in border testing. The 14-day infection rate per 100,000 people has dropped slightly to 21.5 and the number of people in quarantine and isolation has also gone down. 110 are now in isolation with active infection, down from 132 yesterday, and 101 are in quarantine, down from 127. 

Click to follow RÚV English on Facebook.