Police May Now Issue Fines for Mask-Wearing Violations Skip to content

Police May Now Issue Fines for Mask-Wearing Violations

By Larissa Kyzer

face mask
Photo: Unfolded Face Mask” by NurseTogether is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 .

Police may now fine individuals anywhere from ISK 10,000 – 100,000 [$74 – $737; €62 – €617] for not wearing a mask in a place where mask-wearing is required, Kjarninn reports. Newer, harsher fines for violations of social distancing and quarantine regulations went into effect on August 14.

Per the current regulations (in English, here), face masks must be worn:

  • On all international and domestic flights in Iceland.
  • On passenger ferries, if the 2-metre distance rule cannot be followed. (Note that there is no need for masks if passengers are inside their vehicles, on board the ferry.)
  • On other public transport if there are no measures taken to maintain the 2-metre distance between persons. It is especially important to use masks when travelling by coach from the airport after border screening and during longer travel in coaches. In city/local buses, however, where the journey normally lasts for less than 30 minutes, masks are not required. There primarily vulnerable persons should use a mask.
  • At services provided by hair salons, massage parlours, physical therapists, dentists, optometrists and visiting nurses.
  • In all other circumstances, numerical restrictions and the 2-metre physical distancing rule apply and face masks cannot replace these measures.

The new fining guidelines also allow for business operators and/or company representatives to be fined from ISK 100,000 – 500,000 [$737 – $3,683; €617 – €3,086] for not enforcing mask usage and/or a distance of two metres between clientele who do not share a home on their premises.

Fines remain in place for breaking quarantine and/or isolation regulations. Police may now also fine individuals for being present an event with more attendees than is legally allowed under current gathering restrictions.

As all of these fines are on a sliding scale, police are given discretion to decide how much to charge someone who breaks social distancing, mask, or quarantine regulations, depending on how serious the infraction is.

The first of such fines was levied in April. The individual in question was supposed to be in quarantine after returning to Iceland from abroad, but was discovered to be violating quarantine when he was arrested in downtown Reykjavík after acting belligerently and kicking cars. The man was fined ISK 50,000 [$368; €308].

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