Iceland restricts public gatherings, closes schools

The restrictions don't apply to ports or airports.

By Reuters - March 13, 2020
Keflavik International Airport, Iceland’s main international gateway, is shown in an August 5, 2017 file photo. (Michaela Rehle / Reuters file photo)

COPENHAGEN — The Icelandic government said on Friday it would ban public gatherings of 100 or more people and that secondary schools and universities would close for four weeks to curb the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

“This is an extremely important measure that needed to be put in place at the right time, based on the advice of our top scientists, so that we continue to stay ahead of the curve,” Iceland’s health minister, Svandis Svavarsdottir, said.

The ban, which would not apply to ports or airports, will start on Monday.

Icelandair will continue to serve four U.S. cities, despite a U.S. travel ban covering the Schengen Area, the Iceland Monitor reported Thursday, carrying U.S. citizens and other passengers exempted from the ban.

So far, 117 cases of coronavirus infections have been confirmed in the country, according to authorities.

Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard.