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Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Stricter measures enforced in Iceland: Ban on gatherings of more than 20 people

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. No changes are made to the organisation of schools at this point. 

The ban also affects public places such as swimming pools, gyms, pubs and museums, which should remain closed for the duration of the ban.

The Minister of Health will publish an advertisement in the official government gazette, setting out the measures in details. The measures will be in place until the 12 Apri 2020 and apply to all parts of the country. The Government can and may revise them. 

These targeted measures have been taken to reduce the rate of infection and active communication with the public, institutions and businesses has reinforced those actions. Special consideration will continue to be given to the protection of vulnerable groups. 

A ban on public gathering and events is taken to reinforce the measures already taken to reduce the rate of infection of COVID-19 and maintain the capacity of the health system during the epidemic.

All information on COVID-19 response in Iceland

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