From Iceland — Epidemiologist Plans To Allow Gatherings Of Up To 2000 From July 13th

Epidemiologist Plans To Allow Gatherings Of Up To 2000 From July 13th

Published June 25, 2020

Photo by
Visir / Vilhelm

Gatherings of up to 2000 people and later opening hours for bars could be permitted from July 13th, according to the Chief Epidemiologist, Þórólfur Guðnason.

Þórólfur will soon submit his recommendations for the next phase of relaxing COVID-19 restrictions to the Health Minister, Vísir reports. In a press conference on June 24th, he stated that he intends to propose a loosening of the gathering ban and that he is also considering changes to rules surrounding bars’ opening hours.

Although these changes are just recommendations at this point, the Health Minister has a good track record for accepting Þórólfur’s proposals so they are very likely to be passed in the coming weeks.

As of June 15th, gatherings of up to than 500 people are permitted and venues serving alcohol are allowed to open until 23:00. Thus far the COVID-19 measures have been altered on a three-weekly basis, but Þórólfur has signalled that the next phase will come into effect a month after the last changes. According to Þórólfur, this slow-down is necessary due to the extra-pressure put on the Icelandic health system by the re-opening of the country to tourists.

In related news, the government has updated its travel advice for Icelanders. The government no longer warns against inessential to European states that have re-opened their borders, but still advises Icelanders not to travel outside the Schengen zone. It’s worth noting that all foreign regions, except the Faroe Islands and Greenland, are classed as high-risk destinations by the Chief Epidemiologist, but this will soon be reviewed.

There are currently eight active COVID-19 infections in Iceland and 279 individuals are in quarantine. For more information visit covid.is.

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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