Bar owners praised after opening

15.02.2021 - 10:07
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Almannavarnir
Many took advantage of Iceland's newly-reopened bars this weekend, but the number of contagion rule breaches was low. Civil protection police chief Víðir Reynisson says bar owners were conscientious and cautious, and clearly know how much is at stake.

No new cases

No new domestic COVID-19 infections were diagnosed in Iceland on Friday or Saturday, and one case in border testing. Nine domestic cases have been diagnosed so far in February, including eight who were already in quarantine. The 14-day infection rate per 100,000 people is at its lowest since late July. 14 cases have been diagnosed in border testing so far this month.

People want to maintain this path

Iceland is still the only entire country marked as green on the European COVID-19 infection rate map; meaning an infection rate of less than 25 per 100,000.

"I think everyone knows how sensitive this is. They know how precious it is to be able to be this open, and that there are further relaxations maybe ahead. I think people are taking care very well to maintain this situation," Víðir Reynisson told RÚV.

Víðir says no decision will be taken on further relaxation of rules inside Iceland until recommendations for harder border controls are finalised.

Fines or no fines?

A lot of people took the opportunity to go out for a drink this weekend; the first such opportunity in more than four months. Police inspected premises and found relatively few that were breaking the rules.

One central Reykjavík bar was found to still be open at 22.20, and can expect repercussions, probably in the form of a fine. Two other Reykjavík bars, and one in Akureyri, were found to have too many people inside on Friday evening.

"We heard nothing else from bar owners following the opening than that they wanted to do well, so it came as no surprise that it went well," Víðir says.

Víðir says none of the breaches this weekend were major and it is possible no fines will be applied on this occasion. He says the police try to talk to people first and apply fines only for repeated breaches.

Click to follow RÚV English on Facebook.