Iceland eases COVID-19 rules for educational institutions, sporting events

View of the University of Akureyri in northern Iceland in 2017. Social distancing guidelines have been reduced from two metres to one metre at universities and collages. (Eilis Quinn/Eye on the Arctic)
Iceland has eased COVID-19 social distancing rules at certain educational institutions and for sporting events as of August 14.

Social distancing guidelines at colleges and universities were reduced from two metres, to one metre without a mask, as of Friday, the government said in a news release.

The educational institutions will be required to clean and disinfect common areas and equipment once a day.

Contact sports allowed

Contact in sport between athletes will also be allowed during training and competitions, but the two-metre social distancing rule is sill expected to be followed in all other contexts including in change rooms.

Coaches, trainers and volunteers are also still expected to respect the two-metre social distancing rule at all times.

The final stop in the city of Akureyri in northern Iceland for buses from Reykjavik. Masks are still not being recommended in Iceland, except when social distancing rules cannot be respected or on public transit for trips more than 30 minutes. (Eilis Quinn/Eye on the Arctic)

The government said its border screening measures will remain in place as is until September 15.

Since February 28, Iceland has reported 1,983 confirmed COVID-19 infections and 10 deaths.

As of Friday, health authorities reported 21 infections per 100,000 people over the last 14 days.

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)

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 changes COVID-19 rules for travellers from Iceland, Faroe Islands, Eye on the Arctic

Iceland: Iceland reinstates COVID-19 restrictions after spike in domestic infections, 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

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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