Presidential swearing-in ceremony further scaled back

31.07.2020 - 12:46
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 Mynd:
In light of the new, more stringent anti-COVID-19 rules in Iceland, the guest list for tomorrow’s swearing-in ceremony for the next (and also current) President of the Republic of Iceland is facing further changes and an even shorter guest list. The ceremony will go ahead, however, as it has done on 1st August every fourth year since the Republic was declared.

It had already been confirmed that the ceremony at Alþingi would be different: the traditionally-symbolic handshakes are out of the question, and the guest list had been trimmed from nearly 300 down to around 90. 

Now, however, with the re-imposition of the two-metre rule, there is only space for 25 guests, according to organiser Bryndís Hlöðversdóttir, permanent secretary at the Prime Ministry. 

Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, the current and next president, shared details of the new arrangements on social media and encouraged people to carry on showing tenacity and solidarity, and to be part of the solution and not the problem. One important way of achieving this is to watch the ceremony at home on television and not gather outside Alþingi, as crowds would usually do. The prestigious evening reception at Bessastaðir is also cancelled.

Among the guests still invited are: the prime minister, former presidents, the Bishop of Iceland, and political party leaders. Among those whose invites have been taken away are: nine members of Guðni’s family, the chief of the state police, national church pastors, and government ministers who are not also party leaders. 

The proceedings will not start with the customary mass at the neighbouring Dómkirkjan cathedral. The Bishop will instead speak inside Alþingi. The presidential couple will also not go out onto the balcony to wave to the crowds after the ceremony; as it is hoped there will be no crowds.

People are asked to wave to Guðni and first lady Eliza Reid at home in front of the television. The broadcast starts on RÚV at 15.20. 

Click to follow RÚV English on Facebook.

Alexander Elliott
Project manager
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