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Ministry of Health

COVID-19: Stricter rules to combat infection in the metropolitan area

Svandís Svavarsdóttir Minister of Health - myndGovernment of Iceland

The Minister of Health has accepted the recommendations of the Chief Epidemiologist for stricter limits on the size of gatherings in the metropolitan area. These take effect on 7 October 2020. The restrictions announced on 5 October remain unchanged in other parts of the country. The restrictions announced here will remain in force until 19 October.  

The metropolitan area includes: Reykjavík, Seltjarnarnesbær, Mosfellsbær, Kjósarhreppur, Hafnarfjarðarkaupstaður, Garðabær and Kópavogur.

Restrictions under the new rules are as follows:

  • Social distance of 2 metres: People not closely related or connected are required to maintain a social distance of 2 metres. This also applies in all schools, though not to pupils born in or after 2005. 
  • Services requiring physical contact or close proximity: Activities and services that call for physical contact, or involve the risk of contact between persons, or close physical proximity, are prohibited. This applies, for example, to hairdressers’ salons, beauty parlours, massage parlours, tattoo parlours and other comparable activities. These restrictions do not apply regarding health service workers when giving their services; however, they are required to use face-masks when doing so.
  • Shops: Where it is not possible to ensure a social distance of 2 metres between persons who are not closely related or connected, the use of face-masks in shops is obligatory. 
  • Swimming pools and bathing establishments: Swimming pools and bathing establishments are closed.
  • Indoor sports and physical fitness activities are prohibited. Fitness training, body-building, sports and comparable activities that involve physical contact or the risk of physical contact, or close proximity, or where the shared use of equipment could entail a risk of infection, may not be pursued indoors. 
  • Outdoor sports: Outdoor sporting activities are permitted, but spectators at outdoor sporting events must be divided into separate groups of not more than 20 persons. They must wear face-masks and sit in numbered seats.  
  • Performing arts: Audiences at performances in venues such as theatres, cinemas, concerts, etc., may not consist of more than 20 persons. They must wear face-masks and sit in numbered seats.
  • Restaurants: Restaurants that are permitted to open (NB bars and night-clubs are to be closed) may not remain open after 9 p.m. (21.00). 

Children born in or after 2005:

  • School swimming lessons: Notwithstanding the general closure of swimming pools, school swimming lessons may go ahead for children born in or after 2005.
    Sports, and youth and leisure activities for children born in or after 2005 are permitted. 
    Competitive events: Competitive events for children born in or after 2005 involving a risk of contact between groups that do not normally meet for practices are not permitted. 
    Social distancing and restrictions on numbers: As before, no social distancing rules or restrictions on gathering sizes apply to children born in or after 2005.



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