From Iceland — Pubs To Close Over Weekend Due To Covid Rise

Pubs To Close Over Weekend Due To Covid Rise

Published September 18, 2020

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A huge rise in Covid-19 cases over the last few days has prompted epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason to propose the closure of all bars and clubs in Reykjavík over the coming weekend, Vísir reports.

Þórólfur says that the closure will not apply to restaurants that have a liquor licence, and the situation will be reassessed after the weekend.

In the last three days, 53 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus, with 21 diagnosed yesterday alone. Only 14 of those diagnosed were in quarantine at the time.

Twelve of these cases have been linked to the Irishman Pub and it is believed that many were exposed on September 11th. Although not all of these individuals were interconnected, in some cases there are connections between individuals, and the Civil Defence is urging everyone who was at the Irishman between 16:00 and 23:00 on that day to register for sampling as soon as they can today:

“It should be noted that there is no indication that there was a lack of infection control at the venue in question. There is always a risk of infection where a large number of people congregate. It is necessary to track down those who were there to prevent further spread of the virus. Those who visited the above-mentioned place on the day in question between 16:00 and 23:00 are therefore invited to attend the sampling. Today, Friday 18 September, those who were there can go to this website and register for sampling.”

The Chief Epidemiologist and the Civil Defense are asking those who visited the Irishman Pub on the day in question to be extra careful until they have been tested and a negative result has been obtained.

Pubs and entertainment venues will shut

The Minister of Health, Svandís Svavarsdóttir, has agreed to Þórólfur’s proposal, and entertainment venues and pubs in the capital area will be closed for four days from today until Monday 21 September. The closure covers pubs and entertainment venues in Reykjavík, Mosfellsbær, Hafnarfjörður, Garðabær, Kópavogur, Kjósarhreppur and Seltjarnarnes.

The epidemiologist’s recommendations for keeping Covid under control also include:

  • School and business administrators should be encouraged to step up infection control in accordance with existing guidelines.
  • The protection of vulnerable groups will continue to be encouraged.
  • Individuals will be encouraged to wear face masks according to the available guidelines in situations where it is not possible to maintain a one meter proximity rule and / or air quality is poor.
  • Individuals will be especially encouraged to use individual infection control in their daily lives.
  • Individuals with symptoms indicative of COVID-19 should take a break and seek medical attention at the healthcare facility.
  • It is not recommended to change the number limits or the one meter proximity rule this time.
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