Iceland reinstates some restrictions after finding new infection clusters

The measures reduce the maximum gathering size from 1,000 people to 100.

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Downtown Reykjavik is seen from Hallgrimskirkja in May 2018. (Krestia DeGeorge)

COPENHAGEN — Iceland on Thursday reinstated restrictions on public gatherings after finding at least two new infection clusters in the country, the government said in a statement.

“The measures we are introducing now are intended to have the effect of sparing us the need for more drastic restrictions later,” said Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir.

The measures, which limit public gatherings to 100 people and reinstate a 2-meter social distancing rule, come just a week after the government announced further easing of restrictions, such as allowing gatherings of up to 1,000.

Iceland has had large success in curbing the coronavirus epidemic since March, due to an aggressive test-and-trace strategy and putting the volcanic island under a full lockdown.

In all, 1,872 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Iceland, of whom 39 are currently isolated with an active infection. Ten have died, according to the government.

The new measures will take effect on July 31, the government said.

Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard.