Happy first day of summer! Reykjavík Grapevine’s Culture Editor, Josie Anne, is in Laugardalur to find out why exactly Icelanders celebrate the arrival of summer in April, as well as to go over the latest Covid updates, and the current discourse surrounding the upcoming elections.
Today, April 21st, is the official first day of summer in Iceland, and a national holiday. The event is always celebrated on the first Thursday after the 18th of April, and is linked to the old calendar which divided the year into only two seasons, summer and winter.
Thanks again to Þorkell and Styrmir from Garðbúar Scout Troop for talking with us!
The Chief Epidemiologist, Þórólfur Guðnason, has announced that a fourth Covid-19 vaccine will be offered to individuals over 80 and those living in care homes. Other than this, all covid restrictions have been lifted in Iceland, including for those arriving from abroad. Read all our Coronavirus reporting here.
An interview with Lenya Rún Taha Karim, a deputy MP for the Pirate Party, has been taken offline after it received numerous racist and abusive responses on social media. The media outlet that conducted the interview, Kjarninn, announced the action would be taken as a result of the number and intensity of the comments made of its Facebook page as a response to the piece. This incident follows the Infrastructure Minister, Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, being accused of violating the Parliamentary Code of Ethics after making a racist remark at a conference.
Voting rules have been relaxed for foreign nationals in Iceland; immigrants from Nordic countries are eligible to vote in local elections as soon as they are registered as residents in Iceland, while foreigners from other countries are eligible after three, rather than five, years.
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