Ban on Public Gatherings in Effect in Iceland

Taking it easy at home seems like the best option …

Taking it easy at home seems like the best option right now. mbl.is/Kristinn Magnússon

Vala Hafstað

A four-week ban on public gatherings of more than 100 people took effect in Iceland at midnight.

The ban, which applies to the whole country, has a wide-ranging effect in society. It applies to conferences, seminars, sporting events, dances, theater events, movie theaters, private parties, church services, funerals, weddings and confirmations, as listed on covid.is .

All confirmations , which normally take place around Easter, have been postponed until summer or fall. All church services have been canceled during the ban.

All universities and secondary schools are closed, having to rely on online learning, but preschools and grade schools are to remain open with restrictions in terms of number of students per class, group sizes, and such.

Víðir Reynisson, chief superintendent, and Þórólfur Guðnason, chief epidemiologist.

Víðir Reynisson, chief superintendent, and Þórólfur Guðnason, chief epidemiologist. mbl.is/Kristinn Magnússon

Wherever a hundred people or less gather, the accommodations must be large enough to allow people to keep a distance of two meters from one another. This applies to workplaces, institutions, clubs, restaurants, cafés, fitness centers, public swimming pools, museums, stores and other public venues where more than 100 people gather. At smaller sites, a minimum distance of two meters must be kept between individuals. These measures apply to public transportation as well.

Swimming pools and fitness centers in the capital area are closed today while plans are made regarding how to comply with the ban.

At a press conference Friday, it was explained that stores will do a head count of customers, making sure no more than 100 people are inside each store at a time. In shopping malls, each store is responsible for keeping count of its customers.

The National Theatre of Iceland , Þjóðleikhúsið, announced last week that it has canceled all performances indefinitely.

Reykjavík City Theatre , Borgarleikhúsið, kept its schedule unchanged over the weekend, but announced yesterday that it is canceling all performances during the ban.

At meetings, workplaces and in all other activities where fewer than 100 people gather, a distance of at least two meters must be kept between individuals.

International harbors and airports, as well as airplanes and ships, are excluded from the ban. Infection control measures in these places will be increased and every effort made to reduce the possibility of infection.

For further information, visit covid.is .

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