Iceland Lifts Coronavirus Restrictions, Encourages People To Get Infected

Iceland Lifts Coronavirus Restrictions, Encourages People To Get Infected

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We’re increasingly seeing countries learn to live with coronavirus, recognizing that the situation we’re in now is likely the new normal. Iceland is the latest country to lift all coronavirus related restrictions, including for travel. But Iceland is taking it a step further than other countries.

Iceland lifts all COVID-19 restrictions on Friday

Iceland’s Minister of Health has announced that the country will be lifting all COVID-19 pandemic restrictions as of Friday, February 25, 2022. This includes both restrictions within the country and at the border, meaning that it’ll be just like pre-coronavirus in terms of rules and restrictions.

All rules regarding limitations on social gatherings and school operations, as well as quarantine requirements for those infected by COVID-19, are being removed. Additionally, no disease prevention measures will be in place at the border, regardless of vaccination status.

As the Minister of Health describes this:

“We can truly rejoice at this turning-point, but nonetheless I encourage people to be careful, practice personal infection prevention measures and not to interact with others if they notice symptoms.”

This decision is based on a recommendation from the country’s Chief Epidemiologist, who explains that there have been between 2,100 and 2,800 infections diagnosed daily, but serious illness has not increased proportionally.

Iceland has a population of around 368,000 people. 110,000 people are confirmed to have already tested positive for coronavirus, and based on antibody testing it’s estimated that another 110,000 people have been infected without being diagnosed.

Iceland is lifting all coronavirus restrictions

Iceland encourages people to get infected

Nope, this isn’t clickbait. As Iceland’s government explains in a statement, the way to get widespread resistance to COVID-19 is through having as many people as possible be infected with the virus, since vaccines aren’t enough:

“Widespread societal resistance to COVID-19 is the main route out of the epidemic. To achieve this, as many people as possible need to be infected with the virus as the vaccines are not enough, even though they provide good protection against serious illness.”

I don’t think they’re literally suggesting having someone you know with COVID-19 cough all over you. However, the country’s position is basically that you should live your life and get infected, because that gets us out of this mess. Of course presumably those most vulnerable should avoid getting infected, given the risk of serious illness.

I think it’s important to recognize that Iceland’s government has been highly respected during the pandemic in terms of managing the virus. Throughout the pandemic the country has taken a responsible, science-based approach toward reopening borders.

And while the concept of the government saying “as many people as possible need to be infected with the virus as the vaccines aren’t enough” might sound strange, I’m also not really in a position to judge that.

I will say that in general I’m thrilled to see more countries lifting restrictions. Is coronavirus serious? Of course. But it’s also here to stay, and I think we’ve learned in the past two years that the virus isn’t going anywhere.

Iceland wants more people to be infected with COVID-19

Bottom line

Iceland is not only lifting all travel restrictions as of Friday, but the country is also saying that “as many people as possible need to be infected with the virus as the vaccines aren’t enough.” We’ve seen quite a few countries lift coronavirus-related restrictions, but Iceland is taking it a step further with its statement about getting infected.

What do you make of Iceland’s approach to lifting all restrictions?

Conversations (23)
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  1. UA Guest

    This comes from an understanding of immunology.

    The currently available vaccines develop immune memory, IgG and IgM responses. Exposure to the virus develops an IgA response, which is in one's saliva and airways, enabling better neutralisation of the virus at the point of entry.

  2. PJ Guest

    BOTTOM LINE: Anyone who is worried can wear 3 N95 surgical masks, and a plastic face guard that measures from the top of their skull to below their chin. Don't forget your enough sanitizer to bathe in. Or better yet, STAY HOME and only venture out to pick up your groceries curbside. Good Lord, ENOUGH.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      They can also wear 3 condoms just like what their father did 14 years before they were born.

  3. Ian Guest

    "What do you make of Iceland’s approach to lifting all restrictions?"

    Glad to see some country aside from Mexico be so completely reasonable about things.

  4. rrapynot Guest

    It’s all about freedom and personal choice unless the choice is to wear a mask or get vaccinated. What an idiot.

  5. Icarus Guest

    Good, then shop online, move to a farm and grow your own produce, so sensible people can go about their business without Karen and Kens ranting about their rights.

  6. MichaelT Member

    Too bad the US refuses to drop the (at this point ridiculous) testing requirements for vaccinated folks.

    1. Vero Guest

      There is no difference between vaccinated and nonvaccinated regarding the possibility of infection. Check the data of an countries where vaccinated and non vaccinated are tested alike.

    2. Vv Guest

      @Vero

      False. Vaccinated and boosted people have much lower chance of getting infected by any variant, and have much shorter duration of illness (and so the spread it less).

  7. JoePro Guest

    "Vax not effective after 4 months" - no, the Vax is simply *less* effective after 4 months.

    But take your chances without it, I guess Better be unsafe than sorry.

    1. Joshua Guest

      Although to be fair, if the person in question is under 40 and healthy their risk of severe illness and death is extremely low. Like lower than being involved in a car crash, being murdered, or drowning in a pool.

      If the person in question is also male then the risk of myocarditis must also be considered. Especially with two or three doses, even more so with Moderna vs Pfizer.

      So in some situations I can ubderstand a person’s choice to not be vaccinated.

    2. Jeffrey Chang Guest

      Do you wear body armor everyday? How about wearing a bicycle helmet constantly?

  8. tipsyinmadras Gold

    Was this worded to attract as many troll comments as possible?

    What's not mentioned here is that Iceland very percentage of their population already fully vaccinated/boosted and thus unlikely to get severely ill from an infection. I sincerely doubt they'd make this recommendation to an unvaccinated population.

  9. Ralph4878 Guest

    Fortunately, we have people like you, Another Lump, to show us what idiots we all are. Thank you for being such a superior, empathic human - glad to share a society with you!

  10. BT Guest

    I’m excited because I have a trip to Iceland planned for later this year, and this makes me feel more confident that it will actually happen!

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Don't forget to spend $100 to swim in a Blue Covid cesspool Lagoon.

  11. Pete Diamond

    For such a useless ineffective piece of fabric, folks like you seem pretty triggered by other people using it.
    Are you as mortified when people wear striped socks?

  12. David Diamond

    I've been fully vaccinated and boosted, and that brings the chance of serious illness to flu like levels, but even then anyone who has ever caught the flu (not a cold) knows it sucks, so thanks but no thanks!

    1. Ralph4878 Guest

      Agreed! I was an extremely healthy (according to my doctor, at least...) 41 year old when I caught the flu traveling back to Bangkok (where I lived at the time) from the States with a stopover in Paris for a few days. By the time I landed at BKK, I had a 104 degree fever, difficulty breathing, and uncontrollable shaking. I immediately went to Bumrungrad Hospital, where I stayed for 4 days. People are so...

      Agreed! I was an extremely healthy (according to my doctor, at least...) 41 year old when I caught the flu traveling back to Bangkok (where I lived at the time) from the States with a stopover in Paris for a few days. By the time I landed at BKK, I had a 104 degree fever, difficulty breathing, and uncontrollable shaking. I immediately went to Bumrungrad Hospital, where I stayed for 4 days. People are so cavalier about this disease - like they are about the flu - so if they want to get it and not help curb the spread, so be it...just don't expect sympathy or go to the hospital and clog up medical care systems.

    2. Joshua Guest

      Not just flu like levels - assuming you’re a relatively healthy adult, your risk of severe illness (defined as hospitalization and/or death) is damn near floored.

      Then factor in that everyone is going to catch Covid, not if, but when, for the overwhelming majority of people life can return to pre-pandemic normal.

      Now, if you’re in a situation where your health may markedly improve in the next 4-6 months (finishing chemo, losing weight,...

      Not just flu like levels - assuming you’re a relatively healthy adult, your risk of severe illness (defined as hospitalization and/or death) is damn near floored.

      Then factor in that everyone is going to catch Covid, not if, but when, for the overwhelming majority of people life can return to pre-pandemic normal.

      Now, if you’re in a situation where your health may markedly improve in the next 4-6 months (finishing chemo, losing weight, better treating a chronic condition, electing to get vaccinated) then avoidance makes sense.

      However, since it’s been proven that one way masking with an N95 works, there is no need for society at large to make wide sweeping changes for that very small portion of the population.

      In other words, at this point, the pandemic is over when we say it’s over.

    3. Eskimo Guest

      @Joshua

      While I don't disagree. You forgot 2 things, not everyone wants to get Covid or vaccinated, and you just can't cut loss people with high risk.

      But if society is totally fine with letting high risk people die, then hospitals won't be overwhelmed. If you can force society to get vaccinated or infected, by now we would have herd immunity.

      Life isn't about the society at large, but the whole society.
      You can...

      @Joshua

      While I don't disagree. You forgot 2 things, not everyone wants to get Covid or vaccinated, and you just can't cut loss people with high risk.

      But if society is totally fine with letting high risk people die, then hospitals won't be overwhelmed. If you can force society to get vaccinated or infected, by now we would have herd immunity.

      Life isn't about the society at large, but the whole society.
      You can kill off every person with mental health problems and 'according to NRA', we wouldn't have mass shootings anymore.
      You can kill off every human and animals with HIV, we would eradicate HIV.

      The question is are you ruthless and autocratic enough to take away civil rights and end the pandemic?

  13. David Guest

    No thanks. I've been fully vaccinated and boosted, and that brings the chance of serious illness to flu like levels, but even then anyone who has ever caught the flu (not a cold) knows it sucks.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Pete Diamond

For such a useless ineffective piece of fabric, folks like you seem pretty triggered by other people using it. Are you as mortified when people wear striped socks?

6
Ralph4878 Guest

Fortunately, we have people like you, Another Lump, to show us what idiots we all are. Thank you for being such a superior, empathic human - glad to share a society with you!

4
Ralph4878 Guest

Agreed! I was an extremely healthy (according to my doctor, at least...) 41 year old when I caught the flu traveling back to Bangkok (where I lived at the time) from the States with a stopover in Paris for a few days. By the time I landed at BKK, I had a 104 degree fever, difficulty breathing, and uncontrollable shaking. I immediately went to Bumrungrad Hospital, where I stayed for 4 days. People are so cavalier about this disease - like they are about the flu - so if they want to get it and not help curb the spread, so be it...just don't expect sympathy or go to the hospital and clog up medical care systems.

4
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