Iceland becomes first country in Europe to lift ALL coronavirus restrictions: Masks and social distancing scrapped from Saturday
- Icelanders will no longer need to wear masks or keep a safe distance from others
- All Covid-19 restrictions will be lifted from Saturday, health minister confirmed
- Government said 87 per cent of Icelanders received first dose of a Covid vaccine
- It has infection incidence of 1.6 per 100,000 inhabitants on two-week average
Iceland will be the first country in Europe to lift all its Covid-19 restrictions as it is set to scrap face masks and social distancing, the country’s health minister said today.
The North Atlantic country will lift all its domestic restrictions on Saturday in accordance with recommendations made by Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason.
Iceland’s current Covid restrictions, which include a 300-person gathering limit, mandatory mask use for selected activities and a one-metre distancing rule, will all be lifted from midnight.
‘We are restoring the society we are used to living in and which we have longed for,’ Minister of Health Svandís Svavarsdóttir said on Friday morning.
All COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted in Iceland on Saturday, the country’s health minister said. Pictured: Tourists with masks walk down Bankastraeti street in Reykjavik, on April 3, 2020
Iceland will likely be the first country in Europe to lift all of its coronavirus restrictions, Svavarsdóttir said, according to news website Kjarninn.
The Nordic island nation has generally combated the Covid pandemic well with a rigorous testing and tracing system, but it has instituted lockdown measures several times in the last year to curb infection spikes.
Rules at the Icelandic borders on quarantine and isolation will still apply, while ‘personal infection prevention measures’, including disinfectant readily available near entrances, are ‘encouraged’.
Information on the suggested prevention measures on Iceland’s Covid website read: ‘Surfaces commonly touched by many people, such as door handles and handrails, should be properly cleaned and disinfected regularly.
‘Offer access to disinfectant at entrances and near surfaces touched by large numbers of people, such as touch keypads, shopping trolleys and cash registers.’
From July 1, travellers with valid Covid vaccination certificates will no longer have to undergo testing at Iceland’s borders, according to Iceland Review.
Iceland’s Covid restrictions, which include a 300-person gathering limit, mandatory mask use and a one-metre distancing rule, will all be lifted from midnight (stock image of Reykjavik)
The same will apply to children born in 2005 or later, meaning they will no longer be required to present a negative PCR test when arriving in Iceland.
Travellers who cannot present a valid certificate of vaccination will still be required to present a negative PCR test, undergo testing and a five-day quarantine. The regulations will be reviewed, and revised if necessary, on August 15.
The government said 87 per cent of Icelanders have received their first dose of a Covid vaccine, which it claims is the highest rate recorded among comparable countries.
The country of 360,000 people has an infection rate of just 1.6 per 100,000 residents on a two-week average.
In total, only 30 people have died out of a total of 6,637 infections, according to official figures.
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