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Source: Government of Iceland

New regulations have taken effect laying down restrictions on the size of gatherings and certain school activities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The regulations will remain in force until 10 November (inclusive), with the exception of interim provisions applying to the metropolitan area, which will apply until 3 November 2020. The changes introduced by the new regulations are summarised below.

As hitherto, more stringent restrictions apply in the metropolitan area than elsewhere in the country. Outside the metropolitan area, the main change now taking effect is that the ‘social distance’ to be maintained between persons who do not share the same home has been increased from 1 m to 2 m.

Restrictions applying outside the metropolitan area – principal changes:

  • The social distance between individuals is increased to 2 metres.
  • The use of face masks is compulsory in places where the 2-m social distance cannot be guaranteed; these include shops.
  • At events: A maximum of 20 persons may occupy each separate area, sitting in numbered seats allocated to them by name.
  • Sports that do not involve physical contact, in which it is possible to observe the 2-m social distance and a maximum of 20 participants in each separate area, are permitted, both indoors and out of doors.
  • Notwithstanding the 2-metre social distance requirementphysical contact is permitted between sportsmen at practices and in competitions held by the National Olympic and Sports Association of Iceland (ÍSÍ), but they are to observe the 2-m social distance rule in changing rooms and other parts of the premises when not taking part in competitions or practices. Notwithstanding the general maximum of 20 persons, up to 50 persons may gather at practices and competitions organised by the Association.  
  • No spectators are permitted at sporting events, either indoors or out of doors.
  • Sports and fitness activities: Subject to certain conditions, sports and fitness activities may be organised and pursued providing that these are structured group sessions in which all participants are registered, the maximum size of each group being 20 persons. In these cases, the 2-metre social distance rule shall be observed, participants may not exchange equipment during the session and all equipment shall be disinfected between sessions. Shared use of equipment that is fixed to the floor, ceiling or wall, or of large items of equipment (e.g. in fitness and body-building centres) is prohibited.

Restrictions applying in the metropolitan area – principal changes:

  • All sports and leisure activities for children of pre-school (kindergarten) age and junior-school age, including school swimming lessons, which involve physical contact, is prohibited. Thus, sports and leisure activities that do not involve physical contact are permitted. All sports and leisure activities that do not involve mixing between groups over and above that which takes place in the classroom, e.g. breaktime activities or physical education classes in schools, are therefore permitted.
  • Sports and fitness activities: Subject to certain conditions, sports and fitness activities may be organised and pursued providing that these are structured group sessions in which all participants are registered, the maximum size of each group being 20 persons. In these cases, the 2-metre social distance rule shall be observed, participants may not exchange equipment during the session and all equipment shall be disinfected between sessions.  Shared use of equipment that is fixed to the floor, ceiling or wall, or of large items of equipment (e.g. in fitness and body-building centres) is prohibited.

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