Covid Governance: A Transition from Democracy to Bureaucracy



Emneord (Nøkkelord):

COVID, Crisis management, equality, implementaion, legality, proportionality


Although a general lockdown was never implemented in Iceland during the pandemic of SARS-COV-2 some lenient versions of lockdowns were put in place. Restrictions on gatherings, restrictions on businesses, testing and house arrests of people entering Iceland and prohibition of entry into Iceland of citizens of non-EEA/EFTA countries were among the measures put into effect by the authorities. These measures were never debated in parliament. Instead, they were stipulated in regulations issued by the respective government ministers, referring to legislation in force, mainly the very general broad terms of the Act on Health Security and Communicable Diseases. 

Almost one year into the period of these restrictive measures the parliament approved amendments to the Act on Health Security and Communicable Diseases, addressing some of the main restrictive measures that had been in force for many months and defining concepts that had become key ingredients in the numerous decrees of the executive branch.

In one incident a court has ruled unlawful a regulation of the Minister of Health that ordered a forced confinement of travellers in a special facility by the State and demanded their immediate release. Other measures stipulated in regulations of the executive branch are not beyond reproach.



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