New Restrictions Take Effect in Iceland Tomorrow

Vala Hafstað

At a press conference that just ended, the Icelandic government announced new restrictions on public gatherings, to take effect at noon tomorrow, Friday. They will be in effect for two weeks. The number of new confirmed cases of COVID-19 keeps climbing, now standing at 39. Twenty-eight of them are domestic. One person is hospitalized with the disease, and 215 people are in quarantine.

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir announced that the maximum number of people allowed to gather will be reduced from 500 to 100, excluding children born 2005 or later. The 2-meter social distancing rule will be mandatory. People will be required to wear a face mask when using public transportation.

Stores and public buildings must frequently disinfect all contact surfaces.

Swimming pools and restaurants must make sure the 2-meter rule can be respected.

Any operation where common equipment is used, such as fitness centers and game rooms, must take care of disinfecting all contact surfaces, or else close temporarily.

Bars and restaurants will have to close at 11 pm, as has been the rule for a while.

All visitors arriving from risk areas who plan to stay in Iceland for ten days or more and who test negative for the coronavirus upon arrival will be required to undergo a second testing for the coronavirus four to six days after arrival and take special precautions, previously required solely for Icelanders returning from abroad and all residents of Iceland. 

If this measure proves inadequate to contain the spread of the disease, stricter measures could be introduced.

All visitors to the country must exercise caution and keep to themselves for 24 hours after arrival while waiting for test results.

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