Majority of Icelanders In Favor of Bars Closing Earlier

bar beer alcohol

The majority of Icelanders are in favor of bars and nightclubs closing earlier—even after COVID restrictions are lifted, Vísir reports. A recent survey conducted by Maskína showed that 63% of respondents were “very in favor” or “moderately in favor” of significantly reduced hours, while only 18% reported being “very opposed” or “moderately opposed” to tighter restrictions.

The opening hours of bars and clubs have fluctuated a lot since March 2020, but even after infections levels dropped recently, there has been some question as to whether permanently reduced hours might be for the better. Under normal circumstances, bars and clubs are permitted to stay open until 4:30 AM on weekends and 1:00 AM on weeknights.

Age had a significant impact on respondents’ feelings on the matter. Only 29.9% of people aged 18-29 were strongly in favor of shorter opening hours, and 18.9% were moderately in favor of it. Perhaps more surprising is that only 8.7% of respondents in this demographic reported being strongly opposed to shortening opening hours.

Partnered status also impacted responses: around 48% of single people support shorter bar and club hours, versus 66% of respondents who cohabitat with a partner.

Customers of “The Icelandic Bar” from April 9 Invited for COVID-19 Testing

Íslenski barinn the Icelandic Bar

All customers of the Icelandic Bar on Ingólfsstræti in Reykjavík on April 9 have been invited to undergo a COVID-19 test. A COVID-positive individual went to the bar on that day. Bar guests do not have to go into quarantine but are asked to keep to themselves until they receive their test results.

Over 20 people tested positive yesterday, a spike compared to case numbers in recent days. Most of the cases are linked to a group outbreak at a Reykjavík preschool. It has yet to be confirmed how many of the cases were in quarantine at the time of diagnosis.

Icelandic health authorities will hold a COVID-19 briefing at 11.03am UTC today, which Iceland Review will live-tweet here.