From Iceland — Plans To Relax COVID-19 Restrictions Announced

Plans To Relax COVID-19 Restrictions Announced

Published April 14, 2020

Photo by
Art Bicnick

The Icelandic government has released new details on its plans to ease COVID-19 response measures from May 4th. Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir and the Ministers for Health and Justice staged a press conference to announce imminent changes to the gathering ban, business and school closures, and restrictions on sport and medical services, Vísir reports.

From May 4th, gatherings of over 20 people will no longer be prohibited, but a ban on groups of over 50 will remain in place. Two-metre distancing will also continue to be required at all mass gatherings.

There will also be changes to Iceland’s education system. Kindergartens and elementary schools will return to normal and it will be possible for secondary schools to reopen, although some restrictions on class sizes will remain. Sports activities for preschool and elementary school pupils will also be allowed.

Organised sports activities will be permitted provided that no more than four people are participating, players maintain a two-metre distance from each other, and the use of common equipment is limited.

Various businesses and services will also be affected. Hairdressers, beauty salons and other businesses providing services involving close physical contact may be reopened in May, but two-metre distancing will be required wherever possible. Health services, including dentistry, will also resume, with the exception of optional surgical or invasive procedures.

Several measures will not change: a maximum of 100 people is allowed in supermarkets at any one time, swimming pools and fitness centres will remain closed, and restrictions on places of entertainment including pubs and cinemas will also continue.

The government will to continue to remove restrictions gradually over the coming months as long as the number of COVID-19 cases in Iceland keeps falling. The need for a carefully phased roll-back of measures was highlighted to prevent the virus making a comeback later in the year.

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.

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