The ‘Covid Passport’ regime introduced in early November 2021 is no longer in force in the Faroe Islands, health authorities have announced.
Upon the request of the Faroese Government, the Epidemics Commission reviewed the guidelines for the Covid Passport on January 10th, arriving at the conclusion that there is currently no viable reason for keeping the restrictive arrangement in place.
“I have always said that I would not recommend the use of the Covid Passport any longer than necessary,” Prime Minister Bárður á Steig Nielsen was quoted as saying in a statement released on Monday. “I am therefore pleased that we have dropped it,” he added.
The Prime Minister then cautioned: “At the same time I would also like to remind you that Covid is still spreading, and it is therefore important for people to be careful, to get themselves tested should they not feel well, and to receive a booster vaccine.”
The Epidemics Commission has also discussed a possible exit strategy for the island nation’s Covid response policy; however, with only limited knowledge on the Omicron variant available, there appears to be no detailed plan in that respect.
New Quarantine guidelines
On January 1st, meanwhile, new guidelines for quarantine were released, distinguishing between close contacts and other contacts.
Once a person becomes infected with Covid, accordingly, all ‘close contacts’ are asked to go into quarantine for seven days and to have themselves tested as soon as possible as well as four or six days after contact.
A ‘close contact’ is defined as someone you’ve accompanied physically 48 hours or less prior to that person’s showing symptoms; someone you live with; someone you’re in a relationship with; or someone with whom you’ve slept under the same roof.
Defined as ‘other contacts’ are coworkers, classmates, friends, people with whom you’ve interacted at social events, and people whom you’ve spoken to in public.
The Epidemics Commission has also discussed the quarantine rules, and new guidelines are expected to be released this week, we’re told.
High infection rates, low morbidity
Since December 30th, the Faroe Islands have seen hundreds of new cases on an almost daily basis, with a record-breaking 382 new cases on January 11th. The current number of active cases is 1,666 with the total number of confirmed cases since March 2020 amounting to 7,930. Altogether 15 people have reportedly died with Covid-19 in the Faroe Islands.
Despite the record-breaking infection rates, the number of Covid-related hospitalizations have remained relatively low. Since January 7th, the Health authorities in their daily Covid updates have distinguished between patients admitted to hospital because of Covid and other patients with Covid hospitalized for other medical reasons.
According to most recent statistics, five people infected with Covid are currently in hospital care, three of them for Covid-related medical reasons.