Iceland is reinstating a slew of COVID-19 restrictions starting at noon on July 31 after a spike in domestic infections over the last several days.
The 11pm closing times for bars and restaurants will remain, but starting Friday, groups will be limited to 100 people and people will be required to respect a two metre distance.
Masks will also be obligatory in places where a two metre distance cannot be respected such as public transit, beauty parlors, ferries or domestic flights.
Iceland’s chief epidemiologist says museums, entertainment venues or public places that cannot respect the 100 person limit and respect the two metre distance rule should close.
Test changes at border, first hospitalization in weeks
Iceland also announced changes to its border screening process on Thursday.
Since June 15, Iceland has required visitors to either observe a 14-day self quarantine period or take a COVID-19 test upon arrival. Since July, 16, Iceland has exempted Finland, Norway and Denmark, along with Germany, from COVID-19 screening requirements for entering the country.
But starting Friday, travellers from risk areas planning to spend more than ten days in Iceland, will be required to take a second test four to six days after arrival if the first one is negative.
The changes announced Thursday will be in effect until August 13.
As of Thursday morning, Iceland was reporting 49 active COVID-19 infections, including one hospitalization, the first in over eight weeks.
Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Inuit gov. in Labrador, Canada tells out-of-province travellers to stay away despite ‘Atlantic bubble’, Eye on the Arctic
Finland: Finland joins other Nordic countries in virtual tourism due to pandemic, Yle News
Greenland: Greenland extends COVID-19 entry requirements until July 20, Eye on the Arctic
Iceland: Iceland lowers price of on-arrival COVID-19 testing, Eye on the Arctic
Norway: Norwegian Arctic wilderness tourism hit particularly hard by coronavirus, The Independent Barents Observer
Russia: All Russia’s North Pole cruises rescheduled to 2021, Eye on the Arctic
Sweden: Sweden seen as major source of COVID-19 in Western Finland region, Yle News
United States: Airline shutdown creates new challenges for rural Alaska, The Associated Press