Delays to and from Keflavík Airport Next Week

Taxis at the airport

Travellers are recommended to expect delays to and from Keflavík Airport next week due to the Council of Europe Summit on May 16 and 17. Getting to the flight gate may take longer than usual as well: RÚV reports that passport control will be tightened and passengers on domestic flights will be searched for weapons. In Reykjavík, a large part of the city centre will be closed to vehicular traffic.

Most of the state heads who will be attending the summit will be travelling by private jet. They will receive police escorts to and from Keflavík Airport, which is expected to cause delays in traffic along Route 41 (Reykjanesbraut). For security reasons, the flying of drones along Route 41 and in the centre of Reykjavík will also be banned from 8:00 AM on May 15 to 12:00 PM on May 18.

Read More: Armed Police and Snipers in Reykjavík for Council of Europe Summit

The periods with the most delays will be on Tuesday next week between 2:00 PM and 5:00 PM and from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM on Wednesday, when leaders will travel to and from the airport with police escorts. As the escorts pass, roads will be closed to the public temporarily, then reopened. Travellers can expect delays to last up to one hour.

The area in light pink below will be closed to motor vehicles, while the area marked in bright pink will be fully closed to the public throughout the summit.


Hverfisgata to Reopen in November After Two-Month Delay

According to an announcement on Reykjavík City’s website, construction on Hverfisgata – one of Reykjavík’s main streets – will be completed in November. Car traffic on Hverfisgata, between Smiðjustígur to Ingólfsstræti, has been stopped since May. Wooden platforms have served as makeshift sidewalks for pedestrians.

A Two-Month Delay

Construction on Hverfisgata was initially scheduled to be completed in September. The two-month delay has tested the patience of business owners, some of whom have reported a 40% decline in business. Five restaurants have closed since this summer and others are struggling, RÚV reports. In a recent post on Facebook, Ásmundur Helgason, owner of the coffeehouse Grái Kötturinn on Hverfisgata, demanded compensation from the City of Reykjavík.

“Surely, this delay calls for compensation from the contractor and my question is this: Who will receive this compensation? Has the City of Reykjavík suffered a loss from these delays? The answer, most likely, is No. We, the small-business owners, however, have suffered great losses.”

Construction to Be Completed Mid-November

This weekend, the cobbling of the square on the corner of Hverfisgata and Ingólfsstræti will be completed, the aforementioned announcement states. Next week, the finishing touches will be placed on a bike lane and sidewalk on the northern side of Hverfisgata, by the Culture House and the National Theatre. A cobbled square in front of the National Theatre will be finished at the end of the first week in November. The road itself will subsequently be opened. Construction of bike lanes and sidewalks on the southern side of Hverfisgata will be finished in mid-November.