Capital-area bars and clubs will be closed from Friday to Monday, RÚV reports. The Minister of Health took the step of temporarily closing these venues on the advice of Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason, who has urged swift action in order to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. There’s been an uptick in COVID-19 cases this week, many of which can be traced to bars and clubs in Reykjavík.
Bars and clubs in Reykjavík, Mosfellsbær, Hafnarfjörður, Garðabær, Kópavogur, Kjósarhreppur and Seltjarnarnes will be subject to the four-day closure. Venues that have licenses to operate in capacities beyond just serving alcohol are allowed to remain open.
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Thirty-eight cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in the last three days. Roughly a quarter of those diagnosed were patrons of bars and/or clubs in the capital about a week ago.
In addition to recommending these temporary closures, Þórólfur also encouraged company managers and school directors to be more stringent in their infection prevention measures. This comes after several employees of the University of Iceland, including rector Jón Atli Benediktsson, had to go into quarantine after an employee who works in the university’s main building was diagnosed with COVID-19.
Þórólfur also urged individuals to take appropriate precautions and preventative measures, such as wearing a mask when it is not possible to maintain a one-metre distance between people who do not share the same household, frequently washing and/or sanitizing hands, and being tested for COVID-19 if one begins to show symptoms of the virus.