From Iceland — BREAKING: Government Announces New Domestic Pandemic Restrictions

BREAKING: Government Announces New Domestic Pandemic Restrictions

Published July 23, 2021

Photo by
Art Bicnick

At a press conference held just moment ago, following a meeting of government ministers who discussed recommendations from Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason, new pandemic restrictions were announced.

Government ministers met today in Egilsstaðir to discuss the recommendations. There have reportedly been major differences of opinion within the government; Minister of Health Svandís Svavarsdóttir has by and large almost always abided by Þórólfur’s recommendations, but members of the Independence Party have been critical of even minor restrictions at the border, their concerns being that any restrictions will further damage Iceland’s fragile tourism industry.

Following the meeting, Minister of Health Svandís Svavarsdóttir told reporters the following domestic restrictions go into effect tomorrow at midnight, and will last until August 13th.

There will be a gathering ban of no more than 200 people. Masks will be required in indoor spaces. People will be required to maintain a distance of one metre between one another. Opening hours for restaurants, clubs and pubs will have to end at 23:00, with the last person required to leave at midnight. Pools and gyms will be limited to 75% of their maximum capacity.

The news comes as two major outdoor festivals—the Merchant’s Holiday Weekend and Reykjavík Pride—are coming up, both of which will fall within these three weeks.

As reported, the recent spike in Delta variant cases amongst the vaccinated has worried Þórólfur considerably, and prompted him to draft a memo of recommendations for the government yesterday.

It has only been four weeks since all domestic restrictions were lifted. 236 people have been diagnosed with the virus since the beginning of July, 213 of whom were diagnosed in the past week alone.

Please bear in mind that while being vaccinated is not a 100% guarantee that you will not get infection nor transmit the coronavirus, it will drastically reduce your chances of both, and is also very likely to prevent you from contracting debilitating symptoms that the virus is known for. Get yourself screened, and get yourself vaccinated.

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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