Some Easing of Restrictions Expected

Vala Hafstað

Minister of Health Svandís Svavarsdóttir has received a memo from Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason, suggesting some easing of domestic COVID-19 restrictions in Iceland, Morgunblaðið reports. She is expected to present the memo and her decision at a government meeting tomorrow.

In an interview with mbl.is Saturday, Svandís confirmed that the memo includes the easing of restrictions, but declined to go into detail.

Stricter rules took effect at Icelandic borders on Friday, and Þórólfur has stated that those are needed for the easing of restrictions domestically to be able to take place. He has, however, reiterated that this will have to be done very slowly and emphasized that the use of face masks will continue to be mandatory for quite some time.

Only a total of nine domestic cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Iceland this month, and all but one of the people diagnosed were already in quarantine. The 14-day incidence per 100,000 inhabitants stands at 6.8, including cases diagnosed at the border. For the latest updates, see covid.is.

The Ministry of Health published a COVID-19 vaccination schedule on Friday, which assumes that vaccinations in Iceland will be completed by the end of June. The schedule is based on planned deliveries of vaccines. It is intended to give people an indication regarding when to expect vaccination for certain groups to take place. It could change, though, since not all vaccines needed have obtained a marketing license yet, and delivery dates, therefore, have not been confirmed for all of them.

The plan is for everyone aged 16 and older to be offered vaccination. For that to be possible, vaccine will be needed from others than Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca alone – the three vaccine makers that have already shipped vaccine to Iceland.

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