Yesterday the UK government introduced a dated plan for the relaxation of public health restrictions in England. Although the plan applies to England alone, other parts of the UK – Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland – are likely to follow suit. The part of the plan that probably has the strongest short-run impact on the Icelandic economy centres on travel, with restrictions on international travel set to be eased significantly in mid-May, although the British prime minister stressed that the relaxation would be based on “data, not dates”.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been receding rapidly in the UK recently, and inoculation efforts are proceeding apace. As of yesterday, over one-fourth of all Britons had received at least one shot. The share who have been fully inoculated is much smaller, however, at around 1%, as the UK is taking a different path than most other countries that have begun inoculating in earnest. By way of comparison, just over 3% of Icelanders have been fully inoculated, and about 5% have received at least one shot.