COVID-19 in Iceland: Tightened Restrictions Have Taken Effect Skip to content
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Photo: Golli. Sundhöll swimming pool in Reykjavík.

COVID-19 in Iceland: Tightened Restrictions Have Taken Effect

Gatherings must be limited to 20 people in Iceland and gyms, bars, and clubs are closed as of midnight last night. Tightened restrictions took effect in the country today and will remain in effect until at least October 19. The Department of Civil Protection declared a national state of emergency yesterday due to the current spread of SARS-CoV-2. Iceland has reported 630 new domestic cases of COVID-19 between September 15 and October 4.

Bars, clubs, slot machine parlours, and gyms have been closed under the new regulations. Pools will be allowed to remain open but must operate at half capacity.

Only 20 people are allowed to assemble at once, down from the previous 200. Nevertheless, the updated regulations outline several exceptions to this limit. Secondary schools and colleges may have up to 30 students together in each classroom. Funerals are permitted to have 50 guests in attendance, and larger stores are allowed to admit 100 customers at once. Parliament, courts, and emergency response teams (police, firefighters, search and rescue, and healthcare workers), are also exempt from the 20-person limit.

Regarding cultural events, theatre performances will be allowed to continue in spaces with a maximum of 100 audience members and mandatory mask usage. Spectators will be allowed at outdoor (but not indoor) athletic events as well. In both cases, seats must be numbered. Up to 50 can take part in competitive sports, subject to guidelines.

The general distancing guideline remains at 1 metre. Masks are required whenever it isn’t possible to maintain that distance between people who do not share a household, including on public transport.

Children born in 2005 or later are exempt from distancing and assembly limits. There will be no restrictions placed on preschool or primary school operations.

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