When social distancing measures were put in place in Iceland on March 16, Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center in Reykjavík had to close temporarily. Before the outbreak, however, 2020 was on track to be a record year for Harpa in international events.
There has been a steady decline in COVID-19 infections in Iceland since April 5 and, at this point, there are only a handful of active cases in the country. May 4 marked the start of substantial easing of the social distancing measures and on May 7 Harpa reopened, becoming one of the first conference halls in Europe to do so during the pandemic, it says. Last week, Iceland was announced that from June 15, the 14-day quarantine will not be mandatory for passengers arriving at Keflavik International Airport. Instead, tourists and Icelandic residents entering the country will be given the option of being screened for the novel coronavirus.
“We have been working closely with the Icelandic health authorities enabling international conference guests to be safely brought together this summer," Svanhildur Konradsdottir, CEO of Harpa, said in a statement. "The wellbeing of our guests, organizers and staff is of the highest priority, and we follow strict guidelines on personal hygiene, such as frequent handwashing, sanitation and social distancing between people. We have implemented processes on how to divide our space into sections to fulfill current regulations on group size and social distancing. We have implemented cleaning procedures for the whole building with particular attention to frequently touched objects and surfaces. Microphones, pointers, keyboards and podiums are disinfected between speakers. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are available to all guests."
Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center is popular for its architecture, which is influenced by the Icelandic landscape. It's located in the heart of Reykjavík, situated on the harbor, and has views of the surrounding mountains and the North Atlantic Ocean.