Due to rising infection numbers, Iceland has decided to roll back a series of corona easing measures. Starting tomorrow, everyone on the island must keep at least one meter away and a mouth cap will also apply in covered public spaces. Bars, clubs and restaurants close at 11 p.m. and meetings are limited to 200 people. In any case, the measures apply until 13 August.
Just four weeks ago, Iceland had withdrawn all corona measures. They had held the island for fifteen months and the relief was great when the masks no longer had to be worn. But now the Icelandic government has decided to reintroduce restrictions because the number of corona infections is rising too quickly. And that while almost 90 percent of the population over the age of 16 has been fully vaccinated.
Nevertheless, several thousand new cases of infection have been registered in recent days, which is a cause for concern in a country of only 360,000 inhabitants. More than a thousand people have been quarantined since yesterday. Three quarters of the new infections concern people who have already been vaccinated. This mainly concerns the delta variant. Leading Icelandic epidemiologist Pórólfur Gudason speaks of a new wave. “Fortunately, we have not seen any serious cases so far, thanks to the vaccinations. But you don’t know what will happen if the infections increase rapidly. Vulnerable groups are then at extra risk.”
We do not foresee a huge impact on the tourism industry, except for the hospitality industry and for events planned in the coming weeks
Infections have been reported in all parts of the country, but most are in and around Reykjavik. Nearly 500 people were quarantined there yesterday and that number is expected to rise in the coming days. Few people really suffer from symptoms of disease and just keep seeing (and infecting) others instead of having themselves tested once, according to a medical complaint. Epidemiologist Gudason told local media that if not so many Icelanders had been vaccinated already, much more drastic restrictions would have been needed.
Bjarnheiour Hallsdóttir, chairman of the Icelandic Tourist Board, is not happy with the new measures but expects the consequences for her industry to be less than expected. “We do not foresee a huge impact on the tourism industry, except for the hospitality industry and for events planned in the coming weeks,” Hallsdóttir told the local newspaper. morgunbladid. It is unclear what the impact will be on group travel, now that a meter distance applies again.
The new infections are a setback for the country that had approximately a model status in tackling corona. ‘Only’ thirty Icelanders died from it. The approach was partly successful, because Iceland is a remote island with relatively few inhabitants (370,000) who, moreover, almost all participated in all prevention measures. In this way, Iceland was then the first country in Europe to receive large-scale tourists again. In June alone, that generated 42,000 travelers. This is very important, because 16 percent of Icelanders are employed in the tourism industry.
For arriving travelers to Iceland, the new measures mean that they must be able to present a negative test certificate of up to 72 hours old or proof of full vaccination by July 27. Children born in 2005 or later are excluded from this.
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Vaccinated Iceland reverses series of corona easing due to delta variant | Abroad
Source link Vaccinated Iceland reverses series of corona easing due to delta variant | Abroad