From Iceland — Merchant's Weekend Amidst New COVID-19 Restrictions

Merchant’s Weekend Amidst New COVID-19 Restrictions

Published July 31, 2020

Catherine Magnúsdóttir
Photo by
Art Bicnick

In regards to an increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in Iceland, it was announced yesterday that tighter restrictions would be implemented, and the decision is already having an effect on scheduled public events.

A number of events and festivities over Merchant’s weekend have been canceled as a response to the new COVID-19 restrictions in Iceland, such as Einnar með allur in Akureyri, Sæludaga in Vatnaskógur and Innipúkinn in Reykjavík. Pride, the Skjaldborg Festival in Patreksfjörður and Þjóðhátíð, the annual outdoor festival held in Vestmannaeyjar, have likewise been canceled.

Camping sites that had been preparing for Merchant’s weekend, one of the biggest travel weekends in Iceland, now also have to readjust. According to a Vísir report, Tryggvi Marinósson, managing director of Hamri, which operates two camping sites in and around Akureyri, says that the sites will remain open this weekend, but fewer people will be accepted.

A campsite in Egilsstaðir is already preparing to dismiss people should too many arrive. Apparently a number of people are already at the campsite, which is divided into two disease control areas. That means that at most, it will be possible to receive two hundred guests this weekend.

A family festival at the campsite in Þrastaskógur by Þrastarlundur had also been planned this weekend but now had to be canceled as well due to the tighter rules. Pálmi Þór Erlingsson, one of the owners of the camp site in Þrastaskógur, says in an interview with Fréttablaðið that the only advice was to reset the camp site and repay all the tickets, in order to keep the number limit.

“Now it’s just first come first served,” says Pálmi, who also hopes to be able to fill the camp site again, which is currently empty.

Ferðafélag Íslands has likewise canceled all its trips until August 10. In a statement on their website they also announced that participants of canceled trips will be reimbursed in full. All accommodation in the association’s cabins has been further restricted and face masks are now required in cabins and cabin areas.

For more information on Iceland’s COVID-19 outbreak, go to

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