The Minister of Health has decided, based on the recommendations of the Chief Epidemiologist, that Icelandic citizens and residents of Iceland who choose to be tested upon arrival will have to take special precautions during the first five days after arrival in Iceland until they can be tested for the second time for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Experience in Iceland and elsewhere has shown that people with strong local ties, returning from high-risk areas, are much likelier than tourists to spread infections. These precautions are meant to minimize the likelihood of false negative results from border screening leading to cluster infections in Iceland.
During the first five days after arrival in Iceland, Icelanders and residents in Iceland should:
- not attend gatherings of more than ten people,
- avoid close contact with individuals that are at risk of severe illness or otherwise vulnerable to the disease,
- maintain a distance of two meters when interacting with others,
- avoid handshakes and hugs,
- practice good personal hygiene such as thorough handwashing.
However, during this period, Icelanders and residents in Iceland can:
- use public transport to reach their destination,
- go for a drive,
- go grocery shopping,
- meet friends and family with the above-mentioned limitations
Icelandic citizens and residents in Iceland, who choose to be tested upon arrival in Iceland must undergo a second PCR-test, free of charge, four to five days after arrival. Those who test negative are no longer required to take special precautions. Those who test positive must self-isolate.
Although this regulatory change only applies to Icelandic citizens and residents of Iceland, their families and others who have a large network of friends and family in Iceland are encouraged to take the same precautions.
In his memorandum, the Chief Epidemiologist expects border screening to remain unchanged throughout the month of July. Opening hours of bars and night clubs are to remain restricted throughout July and the limit on the size of gatherings (currently set at 500 people) is to remain unchanged throughout August, although this limit is constantly under review.