26.02.20

The Chief Epidemiologist advices against unnecessary trips

The Chief Epidemiologist now advices against unnecessary trips to South-Korea and Iran, as well as China and four provinces in Northern Italy. Special caution is advised when travelling to other regions of Italy, Tenerife in Spain, Japan, and Hong Kong.

Travel recommendations with regards to the COVID-19 have now been updated. Two categories of risk areas have been defined, areas with high risk of infection and areas with low risk of infection. The Chief Epidemiologist advices against travels to the first mentioned areas and those coming from areas with low risk are advised to pay special attention to hygiene and contact 1700 (+354 544 4113) if symptoms arise. It should be kept in mind that the It should be kept in mind that the situation in Europe with regards to the COVID-19 changes rapidly and therefore these recommendations could change with a short notice.
The Consular Affairs Unit of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has now opened a specific database for Icelanders abroad that wish to register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to be informed on travel recommendations regarding the COVID-19 during their stay abroad.

Areas with high risk of infection

The Chief Epidemiologist has defined high-risk areas as areas where likelihood of infection is considered high, those are; Chine, four provinces in Northern Italy (Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, and Piedmont), South-Korea, and Iran. The Chief Epidemiologist advices against unnecessary trips to these areas and recommends those that have recently been there to stay in quarantine for 14 days and contact Laeknavaktin – on call doctors at 1700 (+354 544 4113 for foreign numbers). Additionally, those that have stayed at the H10 Costa Adeje Palace Hotel in Tenerife, Spain from February 17th are asked to stay in quarantine for 14 days after leaving the hotel and to contact 1700 (+354 544 4113 for foreign numbers) or their primary health care. See further instructions on home-based quarantine.

Areas with low risk of infection

Areas with low risk of infection are those areas where the number of confirmed cases has increased recently, but the likelihood of infection. These areas include other areas in Italy, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Tenerife (other than the H10 Costa Adejo Palace hotel). Travelers already in these areas and those who have recently arrived from these areas are asked to pay special attention to hygiene and infection control. Including frequent hand washing, using a paper towel/cloth when sneezing/coughing or sneeze/cough in the elbow pit, and use hand sanitizer. Quarantine is not necessary for individuals travelling from these areas. The risk of infection can be easily decreased by taking good care of personal hygiene. Hand washing, avoiding touching of eyes, nose, and mouth and avoiding of hand shaking are key factors in reducing risk of infection.

If infection is suspected contact 1700 (+354 544-4113 for foreign numbers)

The COVID-19 is similar to the influenza in the sense that the symptoms and pathways of infection are similar. Symptoms resemble influenza infection, coughing, fever, bone and muscle pain, fatigue, etc. The virus can cause serious illness in those with underlying conditions, characterized by lower respiratory tract infections and pneumonia, which often appear as difficulties with breathing on day 4 to 8 of illness.

If individuals start to feel symptoms, they are recommended to call 1700 (+354 544-4113 for foreign numbers) regarding how to approach the health care system. These individual are specifically asked not to attend any emergency units or clinics without receiving telephone advise.