Major Changes to Quarantine Rules in Iceland

Minister of Health Willum Þór Þórsson.

Minister of Health Willum Þór Þórsson. mbl.is/Eggert Jóhannesson

Vala Hafstað

New rules regarding quarantine took effect in Iceland at midnight, mbl.is reports. A regulation to that effect was approved at a government meeting yesterday.

With the new rules in place, those exposed to COVID-19 outside the home will no longer have to quarantine, but must instead take personal precautions.

Children and youth are entirely exempt from rules regarding personal precautions.

Everyone exposed to COVID-19 in the home , be they children or adults, must quarantine.

Willum Þór Þórsson, speaking with a reporter.

Willum Þór Þórsson, speaking with a reporter. mbl.is/Eggert Jóhannesson

Yesterday, more than 13,000 people were in quarantine in Iceland, but the new rules enable all those who were exposed to COVID-19 outside the home to get out of quarantine.

No announcements have yet been made regarding changes to limits on public gatherings, but Minister of Health Willum Þór Þórsson stated he would present a plan tomorrow, Friday, regarding the easing of restrictions.

  • Quarantine is required for those exposed to COVID-19 in the home.

People in quarantine must, as before, remain separated from others for five days, after which they must present the negative result of a PCR test to be free from quarantine.

If family members do not remain separated from the infected individual in the home, then their quarantine ends with a PCR test the day after the infected individual is free from quarantine.

Those in the home who have been vaccinated three times (having been infected counts as one vaccination) are only required to take personal precautions and to take a PCR test on day five.

  • Personal precautions are for those exposed to COVID-19 outside the home.

That means wearing a mask in a crowded area and where the two-meter social distancing rule cannot be respected — inside or outside. Crowded places should be avoided, as well as being around people susceptible to infection.

Personal precautions need to be taken for five days, and no PCR test is needed by the end of that time.

Preschool and grade school students are exempt from personal precautions in those instances, but are required to quarantine if exposed to COVID-19 in the home.

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