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Government tightens Covid policy guidelines amid reports of rising infection rates

In response to the current infection rate and the emergence of the new Omicron variant in the Faroe Islands, the Government has adjusted its policy guidelines for State 2 (Yellow), Prime Minister Bárður á Steig Nielsen announced at a press conference on December 9th.

Since December 1st, a total of 586 Covid cases have been reported in the island nation with the average number of daily cases over the past week currently at 66; this has the country remaining on State 2 (Yellow) for daily numbers between 15 and 75.

There were reports earlier this week of an an outbreak of Covid 19 at the National Hospital in Tórshavn and 28 staff members had tested positive as of Thursday, among them several with the Omicron variant, which appears to be spreading even faster than previous variants. The hospital has responded by putting new measures in place and, citing staff shortages, non-emergency surgeries have been postponed.

According to the latest official statistics, there are 519 so-called active cases in Faroe, with ten people admitted to hospital however none to intensive care. A total of 13 people have thus far died with Covid 19 in the Faroe Islands. A total 4,212 cases have up until now been registered in the country.

Over 92 percent of the Faroese population (aged 12 and up) have been vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid vaccine. Over 89 percent have received two jabs while 16,3 percent have received their first booster.

Here are the new official anti-Covid guidelines:

  • Up to 100 people can gather with the use of Covid passports; without passports, this limit has been lowered to 20.
  • Public school students will be sent home on Wednesday, December 15th; this also applies to the after-school clubs, however younger students who cannot stay home will be looked after.
  • It is advised that bars, night clubs and restaurants close not later than 11 PM; the Government is set to pass a new relief package to compensate affected businesses.
  • Holiday lunches should be limited to 20 people and only people who are already dealing with each other on a daily basis.
  • When shopping, people are advised to be extra careful and to try to pick times when stores are less crowded. People are also encouraged to wear masks and stores should make sure hand sanitizers are available and that maintaining the proper distance is possible.
  • Expatriates and those traveling abroad are welcomed to return to the Faroe Islands for the holidays; however everyone is urged to show caution upon arrival and stay in isolation until having received the result from their 2nd-day Covid test.

The standard quarantine period, meanwhile, has been shortened from 10 to seven days, it was announced on December 3rd.

According to Prime Minister Nielsen more measures could be announced if deemed necessary in light of the current situation.


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