Tighter COVID-19 Restrictions Announced in Iceland

Vala Hafstað

Following a government meeting this morning, tighter COVID-19 restrictions in Iceland were announced, mbl.is reports. The new rules will take effect at midnight and stay in force through February 2.

Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason presented the government with three options regarding restrictions, and the new rules reflect one of those options.

The maximum number of people allowed to gather will be ten instead of 20.

Since December 23, organized events have been allowed if guests present the negative results of rapid antigen tests. With the new rules in force, no such events may be held.

Arcades will be closed.

Bars and night clubs which do not operate as restaurants will be closed.

Swimming pools and fitness centers will remain open and may, as before, admit 50 percent of the number of guests their licenses allow.

Schools will remain open, and PM Katrín Jakobsdóttir emphasized that keeping them open is essential to the government.

Businesses forced to close will receive financial support from the government.

Measures will be taken to meet the needs of healthcare workers in an effort to reduce their heavy workload.

Since the decision was made three days ago to extend disease prevention rules enacted December 23, the COVID situation in Iceland has gotten worse, necessitating stricter rules.

At present, the 14-day incidence rate, domestic and border cases combined, has soared to 4,418 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to covid.is.

A total of 1,133 new domestic cases were confirmed yesterday, in addition to 88 cases at the border.

There are 43 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, eight of them in intensive care.

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