Up to 150 people will be able to gather come next Tuesday and the first step towards lifting mask requirements will be taken, Minister of Health Svandís Svavarsdóttir confirmed after the government’s meeting earlier today. Border regulations on testing and quarantine will be extended until June 15 but mandatory stays at quarantine facilities and bans on unnecessary travel from high-risk areas will be lifted on June 1.
The new restrictions will take effect next Tuesday, May 25 and will be in effect until June 16 at the earliest. The first steps to lift mask requirements means that mask will only be required at seated events such as during concerts, as well as in the theatre, beauty and hair salons. People won’t need to wear masks to shops or at workplaces.
In seated events, gathering limits will be raised to 300 people and swimming pools, gyms and ski resorts will be allowed to operate at full capacity. People will still have to register for sessions but that will be the only limits to operations.
Restaurants and bars will be able to admit new patrons until eleven’ o clock and all guests must have left the premises by midnight. Patrons will still have to register their personal information for contact tracing purposes.
At the border, changes to regulations will take effect June 1, when the ban on unnecessary travel from high-risk areas for unvaccinated individuals will be lifted. Additionally, travellers from high-risk areas will no longer be required to spend their quarantine at the government’s quarantine facilities. Border testing, quarantine and isolation regulations will be extended until June 15 when authorities expect 60% of the nation to have received at least their first shot of the vaccine.
The anticipated colour-coding system for border restrictions will not take effect as the current plan is to lift border restrictions for all regions relatively quickly.
Changes to restrictions taking effect May 25
Gathering limit – raised from 50 to 150, not including children born in 2015 or later.
Proximity – two-metre social distance to remain rule of thumb except at restaurants, seated events, schools and swimming pools, where people are to keep a distance of one metr.
Mask requirements – Mask requirements lifted in stores and workplaces. masks required at seated events such as the theatre, cinema, religious ceremonies, sporting events and the like. services requiring close proximity such as beauty, hair, and massage salons will still require mask use and healthcare facilities are free to make greater demands of mask use.
Swimming pools and spas, campsites, ski resorts and museums – Currently allowed to operate at 75%, these facilities will now be able to operate at full capacity.
Gyms – Will be allowed to operate at full capacity, although admitting no more than 150 people to each quarantine compartment.
Seated events – An audience of 300 in each quarantine compartment instead of 150. Refreshments can be served at intermission again but masks are required during the events.
Shops – No gathering limit but regulations on the maximum number of customer per square footage will still be in effect.
Restaurants – Restaurant opening hours extended from 22 to 23. Patrons will have to have left the premises by midnight.
Schools – all exceptional restrictions lifted, schools will now be subject only to general infection prevention restrictions.