Former Reykjavik mayor may have caught Covid-19 at airport

Icelandic comedian Jón Gnarr has been diagnosed with Covid-19. Mr. Gnarr, who was mayor of Reykjavik from 2010 to 2014 and leader of the anti-establishment “Best Party“ from 2009 to 2014, made the news last week when he complained on social media about the long lines of people waiting to have their Covid-19 papers verified at Keflavik Airport

Mr. Gnarr, returning from a trip to Europe, remarked at the time that there was little social distancing between travellers at the airport and that it wouldn’t be difficult for the SARS-CoV-2 virus to spread among the crowd.

In an interview with Mbl.is today Mr. Gnarr said that he is not aware of having been in contact with a person with Covid-19. "We can‘t trace the transmission to a specific individual, so it's likely I caught the virus while on the road."

As Mbl.is and Iceland Monitor have reported travellers going through Keflavik Airport have at times experienced long queues as bottlenecks can form where airport staff verify the Covid-19 papers of passengers both when arriving and departing.

"Like everyone else I have taken measures to minimize the risk of transmission by avoiding touching surfaces and by trying to stay at least three meters away from people, with antibacterial gel handy at all times," said Mr. Gnarr. "If people are worried that the virus spreads easily where crowds of people gather, the only crowded place I have been in recently was the airport terminal."

Authorities in Iceland are seeking ways to remove the bottlenecks at the airport by simplifying the checklists that airport workers use when making sure travellers’ papers are in order. Airport management also aims to find ways to minimize the risk of transmission between passengers as they wait in line. ai@mbl.is

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