Who can apply for modified quarantine?

No exemptions are given from quarantine in Iceland when quarantine is indicated, for travel related reasons or known or probable exposure.

Individuals cannot request an exemption from quarantine for personal reasons, such as funerals or illness in the family. For individuals who travel to Iceland specifically to attend funerals of loved ones may do so but must follow instructions to reduce risk of spread to others should they be infected.

Tourists visiting Iceland from risk areas must follow the rules for quarantine. No exemptions or modifications are permitted for recreational purposes, neither for tourists nor inhabitants.

Modifications of travel related quarantine to include the workplace

Companies and institutions who are in need of specialist workers for specific projects can request an exemption from home-quarantine. The Chief Epidemiologist assesses each application and approves the modification if the hygiene conditions in the workplace are adequate and that all material needs of quarantined workers will be provided for by the employer. This means that quarantine is expanded to include the workplace. The company or institution must follow instructions on infection control measures and it is recommended that the company require all workers in such a workplace to familiarize themselves with the instructions to reduce the risk of an outbreak if a worker in quarantine falls ill. A list of non-quarantined workers who will unavoidably be in contact with quarantined workers must be submitted with the application, to aid in tracing efforts if illness comes up during quarantine. Outside of the workplace all rules of home-quarantine apply to workers in this situation.

Individuals in Iceland who have contracted foreign workers for short-term assignments such as construction of pre-fabricated housing may also apply for the same type of exemption but will be personally responsible for providing for material needs for those in workplace quarantine on their premises and ensuring that the infection control conditions are appropriate for the workers, sufficient cleaning materials and hygiene facilities etc.

Researchers who are engaged in studies in Iceland can apply for modification of quarantine if the conditions of their project can accommodate the required hygiene measures.

If COVID-19 infection occurs in a workplace quarantine setting the modification will be nullified, the infected individual must be isolated and the contacts enter quarantine confined to the home/accommodations.

If violations of quarantine occur in this setting, the exemption will be rescinded and fines may be applied.

Contexts for which specialized rules and instructions apply

  • If a certain project requires a steady stream of workers from abroad, as of 19.5.2020 it is possible to apply for a workplace quarantine modification for the project with lists of staff returning to work sent for registration regularly.
  • As of 14.5.2020 it is possible to apply for modified quarantine for film production projects if specific instructions are followed. During the preparations of such projects visits by smaller groups may be necessary to evaluate conditions and choose locations. For such trips the Chief Epidemiologist recommends that instructions for journalists are used for guidance.
  • As of 7.5.2020 journalists on assignment in Iceland can apply for modified quarantine with specific limitations and criteria, but apart from the tasks that are part of their assignment to which the modification applies, they must observe the general rules for quarantine outside of working hours.


Modifications of quarantine due to contact with COVID-19

Companies and institutions that are defined as vital infrastructure who lose key staff into quarantine and are unable to continue providing their vital services without those key staff can also apply for a similar exemption although the risk of an outbreak is higher in this scenario. This type of exemption has primarily be used by health care providers and welfare agencies who receive special instructions and use personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers in quarantine who must interact with patients or welfare clients who are also in quarantine or in isolation. On rare occasions workers in quarantine have unavoidably been responsible for care of individuals not in quarantine or isolation, but every effort has been made to reduce risk of transmission in this setting with adequate PPE and institutions and agencies have most often sought support from the backup lists kept by the Ministries of Health and Welfare instead of using personnel in quarantine in this manner. A list of known contacts, both co-workers and patients/clients has been kept by the chief epidemiologist where possible to monitor for transmission in this setting. Outside of the workplace all rules of home-quarantine apply to workers in this situation.

Fyrst birt 07.05.2020
Síðast uppfært 20.05.2020

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