Iceland relaxes COVID-19 restrictions for the arts, allows rehearsals to resume

Downtown Reykjavik in 2017. (Eilís Quinn/Eye on the Arctic)
Iceland has relaxed some of its COVID-19 restrictions for the arts, allowing performers, musicians and filmmakers to resume rehearsals as of August 28.

“This authorization gives artists the opportunity to resume their rehearsals, once the disease control measures have been met,” said Lilja Alfredsdottir, Iceland’s minister of Education and Culture, in a news release.

It’s extremely important for a large and diverse group of creative people who need to carry out their tasks and be able to organize cultural activities in the coming months. I’m optimistic that artists will use this permission to rehearse responsibly.”

The public health directives in place will mirror the requirements in place for sports activities since August 14 which allow contact in sport between athletes during training and competitions, but where the two-metre social distancing rule is sill expected to be followed in all other contexts including in change rooms.

The maximum number of people in the same place remains at 100 individuals.

Reevaluation in two weeks

That changes will be in effect until September 10.

Since February 28, Iceland has reported 2,092 confirmed COVID-19 infections and 10 deaths.

As of Friday, health authorities reported 18.8 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 approves revised COVID-19 strategy, Eye on the Arctic

Iceland: Iceland intensifies COVID-19 border testing after case increase, 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."

One thought on “Iceland relaxes COVID-19 restrictions for the arts, allows rehearsals to resume

  • Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 02:24

    My own opinion is that if that could be the case, the outbreak would be more intense.

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