Iceland extends bar, nightclub COVID-19 closures in capital area until September 27

Reykjavik, Iceland. The Arctic Circle Assembly was held in the city this week. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Reykjavik, Iceland. Nightlife will be a lot quieter here in the coming week as Iceland extends its closure of bars and nightclubs in a bid to contain new COVID-19 infections. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Iceland has extended its closure of bars and nightclubs until September 27 in an effort to tamp down ballooning COVID-19 numbers.

The country’s Minister of Health, Svandis Svavarsdottir, approved a proposal by the country’s chief epidemiologist on Monday.

Svavarsdottir had previously ordered bars and nightclubs shut from September 18-21 after in uptick in COVID-19 numbers last week.

Iceland’s Minister of Health Svandis Svavarsdottir. (Government of Iceland)

Contact tracing at the time revealed at least a quarter of the cases were related to nightlife venues in the Reykjavik capital area.

7 places affected

As before, the order affects businesses in Reykjavik and the nearby towns and municipalities of Mosfellsbaer, Hafnarfjordur, Gardabaer, Kopavogur, Kjosarhreppur and Seltjarnarnes.

As of Tuesday, Iceland has had 2,419 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 10 deaths since the pandemic began. Health authorities are reporting 68.4 domestic 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: Chamber of Commerce in Canada’s Northwest Territories balks at price tag for new COVID-19 secretariat, CBC News

Finland:  Finnair to end flights to five regional airports, including to Kemi, Lapland, Yle News

Denmark: Faroe Islands updates COVID-19 guidelines for travellers, Eye on the Arctic

Greenland: Greenland approves revised COVID-19 strategy, Eye on the Arctic

Iceland: Iceland relaxes COVID-19 restrictions for the arts, allows rehearsals to resume, Eye on the Arctic

Sweden: Finland, UK to remove travel restrictions on Sweden, Radio Sweden

United States: To stop coronavirus, Arctic communities took matters into their own hands. Can it last?, Blog by Mia Bennett

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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