Icelanders Adjust to Indoor Travel

Vala Hafstað

A common question, asked jokingly these days, is this: “So, are you planning to travel indoors this summer?”

A ban on public gatherings, thousands of people in home-based quarantine and hundreds in isolation - all these measures, intended to slow the spread of COVID-19, have changed our daily lives in a major way in recent days, Morgunblaðið reports.

Many people work from home, study at home and find recreational activities at home.

The use of cell phones has doubled, counted in minutes, according to information from Síminn and Vodafone. The amount of data used in homes has increased substantially. Use of landlines has gone up considerably, and people are spending a record number of hours in front of the TV.

“The week was comparable to a Christmas vacation or Easter holiday, and we expect this week to surpass it,” states Bryndís Þóra Þórðardóttir, product manager for Síminn, speaking of the viewership of Síminn’s TV.

People are increasingly online, but at 2 pm, most of them take a break from the Internet to watch the daily press conference, broadcast on RÚV, on COVID-19.

A change is apparent, too, in traffic, which is down by 15 percent, compared to the same period last year, and down by 42 percent on the Ring Road. Income from the use of parking spots and garages in downtown Reykjavík is down 70-80 percent from a month ago.

Air traffic has decreased in a major way. Yesterday, departures and arrivals at Keflavík International Airport were only 11. A total of 55 flights were canceled.


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