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Ministry of Health

Modified rules on restrictions on public gatherings take effect on 14 August

Rules on social distancing will be eased for colleges, universities, and sports, according to a new announcement issued by Svandís Svavarsdóttir, Minister of Health. Otherwise, the general rule of the two-meter social distancing between individuals still applies. In circumstances where the two-meter distance cannot be maintained and on public transport journeys lasting more than 30 minutes, face masks should be worn.

Nursing homes, other health care institutions, and other similar agencies are required to set rules for their activities, e.g. regarding external visits to care homes and other institutions. A 100-person limit of larger gatherings still applies.

As stated in the Minister of Health's announcement, great emphasis is placed on personal hygienic measures and individual responsibility with frequent and regular cleaning where people come together. 

The changes announced by the Minister of Health on restrictions on public gatherings are in accordance with recommendations proposed by Chief Epidemiologist to the Minister on 11 August. 

Social distancing in colleges and universities

Colleges and universities will be allowed to maintain one-meter social distance between individuals without face masks. Common equipment and surfaces shall be disinfected at least once a day and emphasis placed on personal hygienic measures and individual responsibility.

Social distancing in sports

Notwithstanding the general rule of two-meter social distance, contact between athletes will be allowed during training and competitions. However, the two-meter rule must be respected in changing rooms and other areas outside competition and training. Others, including coaches, staff, and volunteers, must always respect the two-meter principle. The National Sports and Olympic Association of Iceland shall set further rules for its national federations in consultation with the Chief Epidemiologist, including personal hygienic measures, disinfection of equipment, implementation of exercises and competitions.


Masks are generally not recommended except where the two-meter distance cannot be maintained and on public transport journeys lasting more than 30 minutes, as outlined in the guidelines from the Chief Epidemiologist. Under those circumstances, only masks that meet CEN requirements should be used.


Children born in 2005 or later are exempt from limits on larger gatherings and rules on social distancing. 

These changes come into effect on 14 August 2020 and only apply to domestic restrictions. Border screening measures already in effect will remain in effect until 15 September. 


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