Athugið þessi frétt er meira en 4 mánaða gömul.

Quarantine rules relax, more to come on Friday

25.01.2022 - 13:28
Mynd: Grímur Jón Sigurðsson / RÚV
People exposed to possible COVID-19 infection outside their home or place of residence will no longer have to quarantine from midnight, the government decided at this morning’s cabinet meeting. Instead, they will go into “smitgát”, which means they must be cautious but can go to work/school and participate in daily life. Pre- and primary-school age children are exempt from the new rules entirely.

Individuals exposed to possible COVID-19 infection within their home or place of residence will still need to quarantine, unless they have received their booster shot. If they are boosted, they, too, can go into smitgát and carry on most aspects of daily life. These people will need to go for a covid test in order to end their period of smitgát.

What is smitgát? All the details can be found here. 

According to the health ministry, the changes are in accordance with advice from the chief epidemiologist in his last memo of recommendations, where he addressed the great impact current measures are having on society—especially the operation of schools and workplaces. 

“On the 24th January, there were over 11,000 people in isolation, including more than 4,000 children. As well as this, there were nearly 14,000 people in quarantine and 6,900 of them were children. But a large proportion of the adults registered in quarantine are triple-vaccinated and could therefore have gone to work,” a statement from the ministry says. 

Big change for schools and employers 

Willum Þór Þórsson, Minister of Health, told RÚV news the change will hopefully make life easier in the workplace. 

“Here, we are lightening significantly the contact tracing in schools, we are relieving testing facilities, where healthcare workers who have been working on testing can now perform other tasks. This is a major change to anti-contagion measures,” Willum says. 

The authorities will announce further relaxations of Friday, the minister says; adding that the aim is to remove all restrictions over the coming two months, as long as the pandemic develops as current forecasts indicate. 

“We must be look at this in a rational manner: we still have a great many infections and we have hospital and civil protection services on an emergency footing. We have thankfully dealt with the situation up until now and there are various things working in our favour with this weaker variant. So, we are looking towards presenting a timetable for removing restrictions on Friday,” Willum says. 

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