The first COVID-19 tests in the Faroe Islands were conducted on 28 February, and since mid-March, tests have been conducted nearly every day. Lately, thousands of tests have been conducted every day, and now, more than 60.000 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in the Faroe Islands.
This past weekend, the Faroe Islands tested almost 1/5 of its population. On Friday 4.521 tests were conducted, on Saturday 3.462 tests were conducted, and on Sunday the number was 2.269, according to the Ministry of Health.
According to Statistics Faroe Islands, the total population of the Faroe Islands was 52.656 in July – another record for the country – which means that 19,5 percent of the population were tested last weekend.
Long lines outside drop-in test stations
This past week, the lines outside the various drive-through tests stations have been long, and people have waited in their cars for hours to get tested.
On Monday afternoon, the line outside the National Hospital’s new drop-in test station was almost two kilometres long.
Since Monday, people have been able to show up at their local test station without needing a referral from their doctor. Free drop-in test stations have been set up outside each of the three hospitals in Tórshavn, Klaksvík and Suðuroy, and later this week, a test station will also be set up in Runavík.
The private company Thetis, which has been in charge of the testing of travellers, also has test stations in Tórshavn and at Vágar Airport, however, unlike the hospital’s drop in test stations, these stations do not offer free testing.
This past week, Thetis has also been conduction some tests in Runavík and in Suðuroy, and on Wednesday, the company is offering tests on Sandoy.
The Faroese health authorities have also made arrangements for local testings on the smaller, rural islands.
Getting a result can take days
An unfortunate consequence of the increased number of tests being conducted is, that it now takes longer for people to get their result. Lars Fodgaard Møller, chief medical officer of the Faroe Islands, advises everyone to be extra cautious until they get their test result.
Since June, all travellers in the Faroe Islands have had to let themselves get tested upon arrival, but now, all travellers are also advised to let themselves get tested again on the sixth day after their arrival. This second test will also be free of charge. Last week, the free testing of travellers was extended to 31 October.