Iceland’s 50-person gathering limit, mask regulations, and restricted opening hours for bars and restaurants will remain in place for an additional two weeks. Minister of Health Willum Þór Þórsson announced the extension of the country’s current domestic restrictions following a cabinet meeting this morning. Willum added that restrictions might be relaxed earlier if the omicron variant proved of less concern than scientists initially predicted.
Iceland identified its first case of COVID-19 caused by the omicron variant on November 30, and has since discovered at least ten. Local authorities are following the variant’s spread closely to determine whether it is more infectious or causes more serious illness than previous strains.
Iceland’s current domestic restrictions include a 50-person gathering limit, one-metre distancing, and mandatory mask use on public transportation, in shops, and wherever distancing cannot be maintained. Events of up to 500 are permitted on the condition that all guests provide a negative rapid antigent or PCR test certificate. Restaurants and bars may admit guests until 10:00 PM and must close by 11:00 PM. Gyms and swimming pools are permitted to operate at 75% capacity. Gathering and mask restrictions do not apply to children born in 2016 or later.
The restrictions will remain in place until December 22.