From Iceland — Domestic Pandemic Restrictions Relaxed

Domestic Pandemic Restrictions Relaxed

Published February 5, 2021

John Pearson
Photo by
Art Bicnick

The Minister of Health today announced a relaxation of domestic pandemic measures in Iceland, following advice from the nation’s chief epidemiologist.

The minister, Svandís Svavarsdóttir, revealed a revised set of regulations following a government meeting, Vísir reports.

The two-metre rule and mask obligations remain, as does the default gathering limit of 20 people. However, from Monday 8th February, exceptions to the gathering limit, and allowable business operating hours, have been widened.

Pubs, clubs, cafes, restaurants and video slots arcades can all open until 22:00, although last guests will be admitted at 21:00 and will have to be seated to be served.

Venues for the performing arts, shops and museums will see the limits on their gatherings raised from 100 to 150—provided that their premises are large enough—and the same will apply to religious services and funerals.

Gyms can operate at 50% of their licenced capacity, subject to a maximum of 20 people per room and provided that equipment is disinfected between uses. There must be no movement between rooms, and all participants must book in advance.

The new regulations, which are due to expire on 3rd March, have been introduced in recognition of the progress Iceland has made in reducing domestic infections.

“These are cautious steps, not big, but we think it reflects the fact that Iceland is green,” Svandís said, referring to a report by the European Centre For Disease Prevention And Control.

Chief epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason urges a continued cautious approach, at least until vaccination against Covid-19 has become more widespread among Icelanders.

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