When to Use Face Masks in Iceland

Vala Hafstað

Among new requirements taking effect in Iceland today, aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19, is the use of face masks when using public transportation.

This new requirement, introduced in Iceland for the first time, has now been explained by authorities in more detail, mbl.is reports.

Such masks, coving the mouth and nose, should be worn under the following circumstances:

-during all scheduled flights - domestic and international

-on board passenger ferries where the 2-meter social distancing rule can’t be observed

-when using other public transportation, if you cannot observe the 2-meter rule

[PLEASE NOTE: Strætó bus company has just announced it will require all passengers to wear face masks - during short local rides as well as longer ones. The company states that the number of its customers has increased to 30,000 a day, making it impossible to ensure a 2-meter distance between passengers.]

[UPDATE August 3: Strætó bus company has retracted its previous statement. It now states it does not require the use of masks on board buses in the capital area, but recommends it if buses are crowded and the 2-meter rule cannot be observed. Furthermore, it recommends that sensitive groups use masks during bus rides. Please note that masks are required on board buses in rural areas.]

-when receiving service that requires proximity to other people, such as in beauty salons, hair salons, massage centers, during physical therapy, ophthalmology, and more.

Children born 2005 or later are not required to wear a face mask. 

A list of the new restrictions has now been published in English on government websites.

Detailed information for tourists traveling to Iceland is listed on covid.is

A list of the latest measures can be viewed on the government’s website

Finally, precautionary measures are listed on the website of the Directory of Health.

The new restrictions take effect at noon and will be in effect for two weeks. The situation, however, is constantly being reassessed, and the government has indicated that if these measures prove inadequate, restrictions could be tightened even further. 

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