Tighter COVID-19 Restrictions Announced in Iceland

Vala Hafstað

The Icelandic government has decided to enact tighter COVID-19 restrictions in face of an exponential rise in the number of new confirmed cases in recent days.

A record 313 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Iceland yesterday (domestic and border cases combined), according to covid.is.

A total of 11 COVID-19 patients are in the hospital, two of them in intensive care. The 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 inhabitants has soared to 662.7. On Saturday, a 70-year-old patient died of COVID-19 at Landspítali National University Hospital. His death was the 37th COVID-19 related death in Iceland. 

The new restrictions were just announced by Minister of Health Willum Þór Þórsson, following a government meeting, mbl.is reports.

They take effect tomorrow at midnight and will be in force for three weeks.

They are as follows:

A maximum of 20 people may convene, instead of 50.

A two-meter social distancing rule will replace the one-meter rule.

Events can be held with a maximum of 200 people in each space, provided everyone born 2015 and earlier can present the negative result of a rapid COVID-19 test, taken no more than 48 hours prior.

Swimming pools and fitness centers may receive up to 50 percent of the number of guests their licenses permit (down from 75 percent).

UPDATE: First reports indicated the new rules would take effect at midnight tonight, but that was later corrected by officials.

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