Coronavirus in Iceland

The Icelandic government has announced a ban on gatherings of 20 people or more, starting Tuesday 24 March 2020.

These measures are put in place to halt the spread of COVID-19 infections in Iceland, following recommendations from the Chief Epidemiologist to Svandís Svavarsdóttir Icelands‘s Minister of Health. The advice of the Chief Epidemiologist to the Minister of Health has been to focus the response in Iceland on the swift diagnosis of COVID-19 cases.

The ban is in force until 12 April 2020. The changes today modify the previous 100-person limit, in place since 16 March 2020. Further, people must ensure that they keep a distance of at least two (2) meters between individuals.

This ban does not affect international airports, ports, airplanes or ships. Infection control measures will be taken in all these places to reduce the possibility of infection.

Grocery stores and pharmacies are excluded from this rule and can have up to 100 customers at a time. Common areas shall be organised so that a distance of at least two (2) metres between individuals can be maintained. Grocery stores larger than 1000 sq. meters can add one customer per each additional 10 sq. meters up to a maximum of 200 customers at a time.

Closure of public spaces and certain operations:

All swimming pools, gyms, pubs, clubs, slot machines and museums will be closed for the duration.

Operations and services that require close contact between persons or risk close contact will be prohibited. This includes sport clubs, hairdressers, beauty salons, massage parlours and similar activities. This further includes all sporting activities where the use of equipment is shared between participants (including ski-lifts).

From Monday morning 16. March 2020 the front entrance of buses will be closed.
Strætó´s customers should use the the middle or back doors to enter the bus. Customers are asked to use a bus card or the app to pay the fare if possible and hold up the the card or the phone. Customers do not go to the front to show the card or the app to the busdriver unless they are paying the fare with money or tickets. Similar prevention have been made in Scandinavia. These measures will be in force in parallel with ban on public gatherings.


All information, developments, and advice about Iceland and COVID-19 can be found at the website of the Directorate of Health and https://www.covid.is/english



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