Iceland lifts all COVID-19 restrictions as 90% of population vaccinated

With every adult in the country offered a vaccine, the government says their vaccination programme has been "completed"

Iceland have lifted all COVID-19 restrictions this week as almost all of the country have received their vaccinations.

87 per cent of adults in the country, which has a population of 400,000, have received their first dose of a vaccine, with 60 per cent already having had both doses.

After all adults have been offered the vaccine, the Icelandic government say that “plans for the vaccination programme and the lifting of restrictions on gatherings have therefore been completed.”

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Health Minister Svandís Svavarsdóttir added: “We are regaining the kind of society which we feel normal living in, and we have longed for ever since [emergency legislation] was activated because of the pandemic more than a year ago, on 16 March 2020.

Iceland Airwaves festival is set to return to the Icelandic capital Reykjavik in November, with the likes of  Arlo Parks, Bartees Strange, MetronomyDaði Freyr and Dry Cleaning all set to perform.

Shame at Iceland Airwaves
Shame perform live at Iceland Airwaves festival in Reykjavik. (Credit: Chloe Hashemi)

Elsewhere in Europe today (June 30), France has also lifted all COVID-19 restrictions on outdoor events this month.

Events in the country are now able to operate at 100 per cent capacity for fans who have either been fully vaccinated or can present proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

In the UK, meanwhile, it was revealed last week that just 28 people who attended pilot events researching the impact of large-scale gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic tested positive for the virus.

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The new data was released by scientists working for the UK government’s Events Research Programme (ERP), which was commissioned in February to help determine the roadmap out of lockdown restrictions. It comes following initial results first shared last month.

Despite this, a new survey revealed that half of UK festivals have now been cancelled this year. Sajid Javid, the UK’s new health secretary, has said the country’s reopening won’t be brought forward from the current date of July 19, but that this date is the “end of the line”.

It was also revealed today that nightclubs and music venues will be allowed to reopen on July 19 without punters having to take Covid tests or show vaccine passports, as the government believes that testing will prove to be “too much hassle” for both the public and businesses.

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