Space Iceland offers assistance to space sector workers who want to work remotely from Iceland through COVID-19.

Please help us to raise awareness of this opportunity among your clients, staff, freelancers or friends and direct them to Space Iceland. Have any questions or want to look into the option of living in Iceland for a few months to [email protected]. We will set up a meeting once we have more detailed information on the practicalities of the announced measure.

The Government of Iceland has put in place measures simplifying the process for non-EEA nationals and their family to reside in Iceland for up to six months while remote working for foreign entities. Space Iceland has noticed an uptake in enquiries for remote workers during the pandemic. The new measure, announced 27.10.2020, allows foreign citizens, who are generally exempt from visa requirements for visits, to bring their families without having to move their legal domicile to the country or obtain Icelandic ID numbers. The Government also announced that further work is ongoing looking at the possibility to extend stays or apply for residence. As of yet, there are no guarantees what will come out of that work.

Space Iceland will assist space sector workers and their families

Due to the new measure Space Iceland is offering assistance and support for space sector employers and their employees looking at the option of working from Iceland. Space sector workers in our eyes include but are not limited to: upstream, downstream and space derived tech transfer. We make no distinction internally between scientists, freelancers, civil servants, students, startups or national agencies. Space Iceland is a service entity for space activities. However, the new measure criteria are set by the government. Space Iceland will help those interested to understand how this scheme applies to them.
 

Space Iceland is gathering further information on the effect of this change. We urge those interested to know more to let us know of their interest so we can send you an invite to an information meeting. Space Iceland will assist space sector workers at a minimal fee to cover the costs of our support. Employees of those partners that have formalized their partnership with Space Iceland will in some cases have this service included in their employer’s membership to Space Iceland. This is subject to approval by your employer. 

We will assist those who come here with practical items, such as housing and ensuring that children and family members of those who come to have access to leisure and a strong community network, in addition to other assistance to facilitate transport and operations from Iceland. This can include but is not limited to access to specialized equipment, IT assistance, transport and introduction to daily life in Iceland.

Iceland has attracted attention for infection control through COVID-19. It should be noted that at present, Iceland is at a usually high level of restriction due to the second wave (domestically referred to as the third wave). 

Despite strict measures for Iceland, daily life is quite normal and free. Relative to a global pandemic, of course. It is important to note that the Icelandic model for COVID-19 prevention is based on strong social cohesion and a high level of trust. Disease prevention is both a societal responsibility and down to every individual. The three most important rules to maintain relative normalcy are frequent hand wash, social distancing and limiting social interactions when possible. Every individual must take personal responsibility to limit social interaction as much as suitable to avoid strict all-encompassing CODIV19 restrictions.

In effect, this means that cafes and restaurants are open, so are cinemas and other activities, but with restrictions. Many offices and workspaces continue to be open but with care and restrictions fitting each situation. Should you live and work in Iceland during the next few months, we will assist with access to information and advice, but it cannot be stressed too much how important common sense and socially responsible thinking at an individual level is to Icelands pandemic policies. As with any targeted measures they are subject to rapid change so Space Iceland will update workers on changes as announced.

Currently, Iceland and particularly the capital region is under greater restrictions than usual. This means that masks are used in limited situations. Mask usage is targeted so not to create a false sense of security undermining everyone’s need to be strategic in the fight against COVID. Some jobs require masks and users of public transport must now wear masks. Some stores ask people to wear masks while at their premises. This is neither law nor punishable regulation but a request. Space Iceland emphasizes again the importance of consideration and choosing to do the right thing as a quintessential part of Iceland’s strategy. In general, masks are to be used where social distancing cannot be upheld – This means common sense in every situation. They must also be used correctly in order to be efficient. 

COVID-19 prevention is by ask not by force in most cases. Although some measures are obligatory and not following them comes with a penalty. This policy works exactly because of the high level of trust and social responsibility shown by the public. Consideration for one’s neighbour yields in your neighbour looking out for your wellbeing. This method has yielded some results in the fight against the virus and especially in maintaining a fairly free and safe daily life. Space Iceland will place great emphasis on communication and information sharing on these issues with those who choose to come here. 

To read the Government’s announcement. See link. https://www.government.is/news/article/2020/10/27/-Foreign-experts-can-work-remotely-in-Iceland/
 

This is a government initiative. Space Iceland’s will assist space sector workers wanting to take advantage of it.
Space Iceland is not a government agency and has no involvement in the design of these measures.

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