At this point, Covid-19 has affected almost everyone in the world. The pandemic has closed borders and reduced flight schedules as citizens across the globe have sheltered in place to avoid transmission. But we have good news—Iceland´s effective and swift response has nearly eliminated all cases of Covid-19 in our country. We are feeling positive and are looking forward as the country eases restrictions and reopens to travelers in the coming weeks.
How did Iceland flatten the curve?
The Icelandic government first began targeted testing for Covid-19 prior to any cases being officially diagnosed in the country. Passengers arriving from high-risk areas were screened, and both infected patients and persons in contact with infected patients were placed into quarantine. As cases started appearing in Iceland, the government placed a ban on gatherings and high schools and universities. Elementary schools and preschools remained open, with precautionary measures taken to ensure children´s safety. Iceland´s borders were put under strict controls—travelers were able to enter the country but only under the condition that they would participate in a 14-day quarantine.
Working Together to Prevent Transmission
From the beginning, Icelanders banded together to reduce the transmission of the virus. Though many residents sheltered in place, most Icelanders kept on working. Essential employees went into the office, while others were able to work from home. Daily life did not change too drastically, and there was never a full lockdown. Many shops remained open under the condition that all persons must be separated by 2 meters. Healthcare workers were tireless in treating those patients that did fall ill, and other essential workers showed up despite the risks. Thanks to everyone´s teamwork, Iceland was one of the first countries to flatten the curve and keep infections lower nationwide.
Nearly 40% of Icelanders downloaded the Covid-19 tracking app to help analyze individuals' travel and trace their movements when cases of infection arise.
Learning from the Leaders
During the emergence of the virus, Icelanders kept informed with daily reports from Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason, Chief Superintendent of Icelandic police Víðir Reynisson, and Director of Health Alma Möller. These leaders gave updates every day about the status of the virus in Iceland, delivering both important data and encouragement to all Icelandic residents. As the weeks progressed, the Icelandic government and health authorities worked tirelessly to provide effective strategies to reduce transmissions. An app was created by the Icelandic government to track the movements of users, thus creating a way to track potential transmissions. The Icelandic government also worked with Decode Genetics to provide free voluntary testing to all residents.
A Safe Reopening
As almost all cases of Covid-19 have been eliminated in Iceland, the government has announced a reopening plan that will begin on June 15. To ensure everyone´s safety, all travelers will be asked to take a test upon arrival at Keflavík Airport. The ongoing situation will also be continually monitored. Iceland´s wide-open landscape is a wonderful option for travelers looking to see something new. Self-drive tours are a perfect opportunity to explore the beautiful countryside, as you can stop to see stunning waterfalls, awe-inspiring glaciers, and vast black sand beaches.
We are so excited to welcome you to Hotel Rangá and offer you our warmest hospitality.