By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

A little more than two weeks ago, Minister of Health Svandís Svavarsdóttir and Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir announced they would start gradually lift restriction starting Monday, May 4.

Katrín Jakobsdóttir Prime Minister
Image/Govt of Iceland

On April 14th, the day of the announcement, they noted more than 1700 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Iceland and the number of new infections were slowing.

As of today, Iceland has reported 1798 cases, including 10 deaths.

The prevalence of the virus among the general population seems to be about 1%, according to the large-scale screening undertaken by the biotech company deCode. It remains necessary to maintain a certain level of restrictions, in order to prevent a second wave of infections. Thus, the Chief Epidemiologist proposes measures will be lifted incrementally and reviewed every three to four weeks.

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The main changes starting May 4 include:

Limits on large gatherings will go from 20 to 50 people. The two-meter social distancing rule will still be in effect.

Schools and preschools will operate normally.

High schools and universities will reopen, but the 50-person limit and two-meter social distancing measures apply.

Various services: Hair salons, massage parlours, physical therapy clinics, beauty parlours, museums, and other similar services can reopen, but are to maintain the two-meter social distancing rule as possible.

Healthcare: Healthcare and dental practices (elective surgery excluded) will resume.

Organized sports activities for children are permitted outdoors with limitations:

  • Groups will be limited to no more than 50 children.
  • Participants are to keep two meters apart as possible, especially in older age groups.

Other organized sports activities are permitted outdoors with limitations:

  • No more than four individuals can train or play together.
  • Touching is prohibited, and individuals are to stay two meters apart.
  • The use of shared equipment should be limited, and all equipment sanitized after every use.

The following measures will remain in effect:

  • Exemptions for economically significant companies will remain unchanged.
  • As before, grocery stores and pharmacies can allow up to 100 people to enter their establishments simultaneously.
  • Swimming pools and gym facilities will remain closed.
  • Nightclubs, bars, and similar businesses will remain closed.
  • The Directorate of Health’s instructions regarding the postponement of elective surgeries will remain in effect.