Iceland unites against COVID-19
Updated: September 14, 2020
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, many countries are experiencing some rough turbulence, and Iceland is no exception. Confronting this health crisis has revealed new challenges, and has led to new ways of thinking and looking for solutions.
Iceland has been navigating these demanding times with the guidance of the Directorate of Health, the Chief Epidemiologist, and the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management. The wellbeing of the whole nation is a common goal, and official institutions are uniting with individuals in their efforts to achieve it.
In this video from May 12, Icelandic Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir tells Christine Amanpour of CNN how the country got the first wave of the virus under control, and what this means for the future of tourism in Iceland.
The effects of the pandemic are serious, but there are ways to navigate through this situation and come out on the other side, more united and stronger. There will come a time when we can again enjoy the world as we know it.
Iceland is a place that has space for everyone and where the nature is as unique as the people. Today in Iceland we are uniting our efforts to overcome this crisis, and when you are ready to travel again, we will be ready to welcome you back. We miss you in Iceland.
In an attempt to control the outbreak and minimize the strain on the healthcare system, Iceland is implementing various measures. Iceland's reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic has been widely covered in the media. Find out more below.
As in many other countries, Iceland has introduced a ban on gatherings. From March 24, a ban was placed on gatherings of 20 people or more. This meant that many activities common to Icelandic daily life were closed (including swimming pools, gyms, libraries, and museums).
In response to a steady drop in the rate of new infections, restrictions in Iceland were gradually relaxed throughout May and June, and businesses reopened. Rules for larger public gatherings went from a limit of 20 to 50 people, and then to 200 people. On June 15, limits were lifted to 500.
Service providers such as hair salons and dentists have opened their doors again. Museums have reopened. As of May 18, swimming pools have reopened, and gyms reopened on May 25. Bars and clubs also reopened on May 25, but may not be open later than 11pm.
Update: Due to increases in new COVID-19 cases, the 500-person assembly ban was reduced to 100 people from July 31. On September 7, the limit was increased to 200.