Despite the high vaccination rate, the island nation has seen a rapid increase in the incidence of the Delta strain since then, with a significant proportion of new infections occurring in fully vaccinated people.
While the vast majority of Iceland's adult population is vaccinated, chief epidemiologist Torolfur Gudnason said he cannot rule out that the recently reintroduced restrictions on COVID-19 may become necessary for up to 15 years.
"This can happen, no one knows what awaits us in the future. This is what we have been talking about all this time, that there is no predictability in this," he said in an interview with the Morgunbladid newspaper.
Thorolfour Goodnason stressed that the COVID-19 epidemic will not end in this country until it is over globally.
He also acknowledged that the vaccine's protection against infection has decreased, but says that protection against serious cases of the disease is still estimated at 90 percent.
On June 26, Icelandic authorities decided to lift all internal restrictions, as a result of which media outlets around the world called this country the country that defeated the coronavirus. At that time, not a single case of COVID-19 had been reported in a few weeks, and there had not been a single death since December last year. At the same time, the vast majority of Iceland's adult population has been vaccinated. Among people over 50, this figure is close to 100 percent.
However, the country has seen a rapid increase in the incidence of the Delta strain since then, with a significant proportion of new infections occurring in fully vaccinated people. This week, the spread of infection has reached its highest level to date, with 131 cases daily.
A new wave of infections has prompted Icelandic authorities to reintroduce restrictions such as requiring masks to be used indoors.
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in its latest report on the epidemiological situation of COVID-19 in the world has designated Iceland as "orange". Earlier this week, the Morgunbladid newspaper reported that Iceland could be classified as "red" in light of the recent surge in COVID-19 notification rates, which surpassed 200 per 100,000 this week.
To date, Iceland, a country of 330,000 people, has recorded 7,676 cases and 30 deaths.