From Iceland — Hundreds Queue At Midnight To Celebrate Public Pools Re-opening

Hundreds Queue At Midnight To Celebrate Public Pools Re-opening

Published May 18, 2020

Poppy Askham
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Public swimming pools in Reykjavik re-opened last night after almost two months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hundreds of Reykjavik residents celebrated greatly anticipated openings with a midnight swim.

Reykjavik’s Mayor, Dagur B. Eggertsson, explained that the pools opened at 00:001 in order to reduce crowds later on in the morning. “Some people will be tired at work on Monday – but they won’t just be tired, first and foremost they’ll be clean and happy,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

According to Morgunblaðið around 300 people enjoyed a night swim in Laugardalslaug, meaning that the pool’s opening was one of the largest gatherings since restrictions were placed on group meetings in March. (It’s worth noting the event did not breech existing restrictions as it was not classed as a gathering).

Pools will be operating at half capacity until June 1st, when this will be increased to 75% and on June 15th the number of swimmers allowed will return to normal.

Swimmers will be trusted to observe the two-metre distancing rule and some small hot tubs and saunas will be closed as a precaution. Staffing will increase at many venues and cleaning will be carried out more regularly and thoroughly.

No new COVID-19 cases were reported over the weekend and there are now just six active infections in the country.

For more information about COVID-19 in Iceland read our latest reporting here or visit the excellent government website.

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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