A new advertisement issued by the Minister of Health setting out restrictions on the size of gatherings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic takes effect on 28 August 2020 and will remain in effect until and including 10 September. This will involve only minor changes to the restrictions already in force, which is in accordance with the proposals submitted to the minister by the Chief Epidemiologist. The changes in question are described below.
The advertisement does not apply to the functioning of schools; restrictions in force in schools were covered by the Advertisement of 21 August 2020, which is to remain in force until 29 September. That advertisement is also in accordance with the proposals from the Chief Epidemiologist and was prepared in consultation with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Its aim was to introduce minimum interference with the work of the schools, while at the same time applying measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The principal changes are as follows:
- The 2-metre rule: The provision on general social distancing has been changed. As the current requirement is that operational entities are required to ensure that it is possible to guarantee a distance of at least 2 metres between individuals who do not share the same home, the requirement will now be that they ensure that it is possible to guarantee a distance of at least 2 metres between individuals who are not closely associated.
- Sports: Sporting activities will generally be permitted under the new advertisement. Those sporting activities that do not come under the National Olympic and Sports Association of Iceland (Íþrótta- og Ólympíusamband Íslands; ÍSÍ) are to set themselves guidelines or else follow the same guidelines as apply to comparable activities within the association.
- Stage performances, music and filming: Contact between individuals during rehearsals and musical performances will be permitted in the same way as in sporting activities.The same shall apply to filming.
- Fitness centres: The restrictions applying due to the special infection risks will be the same in fitness centres as those applying in swimming pools and saunas. The number of guests at any one time may never exceed one half of the number permitted under the centre’s operating licence.
As is stated above, the new advertisement concerning restrictions on the size of gatherings takes effect on 28 August 2020 and will remain in force until and including 10 September.