Pools, Gyms, and Bars to Reopen, Within Limits Skip to content

Pools, Gyms, and Bars to Reopen, Within Limits

By Larissa Kyzer

Photo: Photo: Golli. Sundhöll swimming pool in Reykjavík.

Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason has proposed a series of relaxations to the current gathering bans and closures of public spaces to the Minister of Health. His recommendations include relaxed provisions for swimming pools on May 18, as well as gyms and bars and restaurants on May 25.

When swimming pools reopen this coming Monday, they will be subject to capped capacity of 200 people at a time, or half the regular capacity. In so far as it is possible, guests are asked to maintain a distance of two meters from one another.

Gyms will reopen a week later and will also be subject to half-capacity caps. Guests are similarly asked to maintain a two-meter distance from one another when possible. It is hoped that pools and gyms will be able to return to full capacity by June 15, the date on which Iceland hopes to open its borders to travellers again, but Þórolfur emphasizes that this will very much depend on there not being a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the country. During Thursday’s press conference, Þórolfur noted that there are currently no patients being hospitalized for COVID-19 in Iceland, and May has only seen four new confirmed cases of COVID-19, despite extensive testing.

In addition to gyms reopening on May 25, Þórolfur has also recommended that bars, restaurants, and other social spaces be reopened at the same time. These places would be subject to the same two-meter distancing rules, as much as possible. May 25 would also see the gathering ban be relaxed and would allow 200 people to gather in the same place. Currently, a max of 50 people can be in the same place at the same time; at the height of the crisis, gatherings were limited to 20 or fewer.



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