From Iceland — Gathering Ban Potentially Extended Through April

Gathering Ban Potentially Extended Through April

Published April 2, 2020

Sam O'Donnell
Photo by
Vísir / Vilhelm

Epidemiologist Þórólf­ur Guðna­son recommended yesterday to extend the gathering ban through the end of April, MBL reports. This was stated at the Committee of Health and Public Safety’s daily meeting. Currently the gathering ban is set to end April 13th.

“We are about to reach the peak, and hopefully the predictions will come true that we reach it in the first half of April, but given the high pressure on the hospitals, especially in the intensive care units, I think it is inevitable that we should extend the gathering ban,” Þórólf­ur said. He added that they will then review the situation at the end of April.

Speaking of the COVID-19 situation, he said, “I don’t expect it to be finished until after April. Then we will know better, and will understand more clearly how it will be finished, in how many steps, and how long it will take.”

Þórólfur said that this is a real test of the nation’s endurance and consolidation. “That is why I challenge everyone to agree on the current protocols so that we can best prevent the spread of this disease. It is important that we adhere to the guidelines applying to hygiene, infection control, distance limits and meeting restrictions.”

He went on to emphasise the importance that following these restrictions has on vulnerable groups. “It is very important that we continue to protect them. And it is very important that those people who are somewhat ill, with respiratory tract infection, colds, fever and cough, that they isolate, do not touch people, do not touch sensitive groups, notice themselves so that they can take samples and examine them,” he said.

While Þórólfur’s word is not law, it is extremely likely the government will follow his recommendations. Þórólfur concluded by saying that the virus would not respect holidays such as Easter. It is therefore important to continue with these actions. Stay home for Easter. Jesus understands.

As ever, those looking for more information or advice should go to the Icelandic Government’s excellent COVID-19 help page.

Tune into our daily COVID-Cast for a deeper dive into the day’s developments.

Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!

Show Me More!