Growing disregard for social distancing

13.06.2020 - 08:04
Growing disregard for social distancing
The police chief expresses his concerns ahead of Monday’s reopening measures as people are starting to slack on social distancing
Police chief Michael Boolsen, who chairs the Epidemic Commission

On Monday, the Faroese borders reopen to travellers from five countries.

To prevent this from resulting in the virus being reintroduced into the country, it is crucial that we all respect the social distancing and hygiene guidelines, says police chief Michael Boolsen.

But this does not appear to be the case now.

“We are witnessing a slide into complacency as people are starting to slack on social distancing,” he says, citing football matches as an example, where hundreds of people sit together blatantly flouting the one-metre social distancing guideline.

 >> SEE ALSO Travellers to be tested on arrival

Unfortunately, this is perfectly understandable behaviour, he adds.

“It’s summer, and we all want to live after having been locked inside for months. And from Monday, we will be seeing lots of tourists again, which will add to the Faroese summer image we have grown accustomed to.

“We have introduced some precautionary measures with regards to incoming travellers, but none of this will make a difference unless each and every one of us continues to respect the social distancing and hygiene guidelines and generally act responsibly. I cannot stress that enough.”

 >> SEE ALSO Here are the revised travel rules

This view is echoed by public health professor Pál Weihe, who said yesterday that a sudden influx of foreign tourists presents an obvious risk, despite all the precautions.

Weihe’s main concern, however, is that the new guidelines do not require Faroese residents returning home from abroad to provide a negative test result.

“This means that any Faroese citizen can, in principle, go abroad and upon return go directly into an old people’s home to visit their grandparents,” he said.


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