Minister for Health Svandís Svavarsdóttir has confirmed Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason’s recommendation that the capital area’s bars and clubs will remain closed until next Sunday, September 27.
Þórólfur’s memo will be discussed in today’s cabinet meeting but Svandís has already told Morgunblaðið that she does not believe harsher restrictions are in order at this point. Þórólfur said the same at yesterday’s briefing. He has stated that Iceland’s tracing and quarantine efforts allow health authorities to take more targeted action instead of imposing harsh restrictions on the whole country.
“Meanwhile, we urge everyone to stick to these personal disease preventions, wash their hands and disinfect, ensure social distance, work from home if they can and try to decrease social gatherings. I think that’s our mission while we’re getting a handle on things,” said Svandís.
The city centre was calm last weekend. Bars and clubs were closed last Friday on the Chief Epidemiologist’s suggestion after a spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases was traced to the city’s nightlife the preceding Friday night. Last Friday saw 75 new confimed cases of COVID-19, the highest recorded since April 1, but on Saturday, that number was already lower by half. Þórólfur said in a radio interview this morning that today’s preliminary numbers indicate that Sunday’s numbers are a little lower but the exact numbers will be published at 11 am.