What is ban on public events?

Latest information

What does the ban on gatherings means?

The newest information

The ban on gatherings applies to organised activities where more than 20 people come together. At all smaller gatherings, it must also be ensured that at distance of at least two (2) metres is maintained between individuals.

The organised activities covered by the ban on gatherings include the following:

Conferences, symposia, meetings, and similar events.
Recreational events such as concerts, plays, film screenings, athletic events, and private parties.
Religious ceremonies of any type, including funerals,weddings, confirmation ceremonies, and other religious gatherings.
Other comparable events involving 20 or more individuals.

The following activities are prohibited and are closed:

Swimming pools, gyms, dance halls and bars, game rooms, lottery machines, and museums and galleries.
Activities where people are physically close to one another are prohibited. This includes hair salons, other make-up or beauty salons, massage parlours, and other similar activities.
Physiotherapy that is important for rehabilitation is allowed, provided that aggressive hygiene measures are strictly followed.
All children’s and adults’ athletic activities are prohibited.

All previously granted exemptions to quarantine are revoked as of 24 March, and those who have received such exemptions must apply again. Exemptions will be granted solely for infrastructure that is crucial in order to save lives and therefore may not stop operating. This includes healthcare services, medical transport, law enforcement, firefighting, transportation, electricity, and telecommunications.

Grocery stores and drugstores

Grocery stores and drugstores may nevertheless allow up to 100 people to be inside the store at the same time, provided that a distance of at least two (2) metres is maintained between individuals. Those grocery stores that are larger than 1,000square metres (m2) in size may allow one additional customer inside for each 10 m2 over and above 1,000 m2, up to a maximum of 200 customers in all.

How will school activities be handled?

There will be significant limitations on school activities during the ban on gatherings.These are discussed in a separate advertisement from the Minister of Health and Social Services. In many cases, students cannot attend school but will pursue their studies via distance learning. In other cases, strict requirements are set concerning the permissible number of students and the minimum distance between them.

The restrictions apply to pre-schools, primary schools, upper secondary schools (high schools),and universities, but they also apply to other educational institutions,recreation centres, community centres, and athletic activities.

Upper secondary school buildings and university buildings are closed, and instruction takes place via distance learning to the extent possible.
Primary schools may carry out instruction in school buildings if they guarantee that no more than 20 students are in the same classroom and that students do not mix with other groups; for instance, in cafeterias or at recess. Furthermore, the school buildings must be cleaned or disinfected after each day.
Pre-schools may remain open and continue their activities if they guarantee that children are in small groups and kept separate as much as possible. Furthermore, the pre-school buildings must be cleaned or disinfected after each day.
All children’s and young people’s athletic and youth group activities involving groups mixing with one another, close proximity between people, or physical contact are suspended.
Schoolmates who are not in the same group in school (the same class) should not interactc losely outside of school; see the Guidelines on children and the ban on gatherings.

These restrictions will be under continuous review so that they can be eased or temporarilylengthened as needed.

What is not included in the ban on gatherings?

The ban does not apply to international airports, international harbours, aircraft, or ships. It is recommended that aggressive hygiene measures be taken and that operators take every possible precaution so as to reduce the potential for infection.

When will the ban on gatherings end?

The ban on gatherings will remain in effect until 4 May, but will be revised if necessary.

Why has the ban on gatherings been made stricter?

A ban on gatherings of 100 or more persons was imposed on 15 March with the objective of slowing the rapid spread of COVID-19. Since then, the epidemic has gained ground in Iceland, and the number of infected individuals has risen.

The number of infections in Iceland has already affected Landspítali hospital’s ability to provide healthcare services. This calls for a stronger response to prevent the rapid spread of the disease. It is necessary slow the spread of the disease still further, in order to increase the likelihood that the healthcare system can help those who become ill with COVID-19, as well as providing other emergency services. For this reason, the Chief Epidemiologist considers it necessary to put stricter rules in place during the ban on gatherings and restrict interactions between people even more than before.

Related content