Steep Fines for Gathering, Quarantine Violations Skip to content
Director of the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management, Víðir Reynisson
Photo: Golli. Víðir Reynisson.

Steep Fines for Gathering, Quarantine Violations

Violations of Iceland’s current quarantine and gathering ban regulations will now be punishable with fines of ISK 50,000-500,000 ($360-3,590/€320-3,240). The new penalties were announced on Friday in an order issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions. The fines will be levied throughout Iceland “for violations of the Minister of Health’s rules related to the gathering ban, the closure of public meeting places and activities, as well as on the isolation of those infected [with COVID-19] and quarantine.”

The amount of the fines issued will depend on the severity of the infractions. Fines for those who are supposed to go into or stay in quarantine but do not can range from ISK 50,000-250,000 ($360-1,790/€320-1,620), while those who do not abide by isolation mandates can be fined as much as ISK 500,000 ($3,590/€3,240). Anyone who attends a gathering of 20 or more people can be fined ISK 50,000 ($360/€320), while the organiser of the event can be fined up to ISK 500,000 ($3,590/€3,240).

“We’re just going to have to have bad hair for the next few weeks”

While the regulations on large gatherings have mostly been observed, police say not everyone is taking them seriously enough. “There are way too many reports about people in quarantine who are going out to the shops,” remarked Víðir Reynisson, the Manager of the Police Commissioner’s Civil Protection and Emergency Management Division, during a press conference on Friday. Proper distancing protocols are not always being followed in shops, either, he continued, and they have indication that individuals in certain service professions, such as hairdressers, have continued to cut hair from their homes.

“Come on – we haven’t put this ban in place for no reason,” Víðir sighed. “We’re just going to have to have bad hair for the next few weeks. We just have to live with it.”

“Society’s on hold for now”

Víðir closed the press conference by urging people to really consider the circumstances before applying for an exemption from the gathering ban. “This gathering ban and these limitations are in place to save lives,” he said. “We see the situation in the intensive care unit right now. This is why we’re doing this. Don’t apply for exemptions for activities that can wait. We all know that society is basically on hold for now and will be even more so in the up-and-coming. We just have to adjust to the circumstances. There’s a better time ahead, summer’s coming – we just have to work together until then.”

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