Traffic heading out of Reykjavík was particularly heavy on Friday afternoon, RÚV reports, as relaxed regulations on travel and gatherings coincided with the Whitsun holiday and the first major travel weekend of the year.
Not unexpectedly, car travel has been down significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a 28% decrease in capital area traffic this April versus the same time the year before. As of Friday afternoon, however, it seems that Icelanders are ready to get back on the road, with bumper to bumper traffic averaging 20-30 km (12-19 mi) per hour heading north out of the city when conditions were at their worst, around rush hour.
One couple on their way out of town told reporters that it had taken them an hour and a half to get from the intersection of Sæbraut and Dalbraut on the east side of Reykjavík to the turn-off for Þingvallavegur, which under normal circumstances takes less than 15 minutes to drive.
With accommodations around Akureyri in North Iceland in particular demand, many travellers are opting to travel in motorhomes and travel trailers. However, variable wind conditions throughout the country mean that travellers should be particularly cautious when embarking in their caravans; prevention counsellors at local insurance companies issued a caution to travellers on Friday evening, urging them not to drive their motorhomes and travel trailers when wind speeds exceed 15 metres/second (34 miles per hour).