Reykjavík reopens its main conference centre

The Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center in Reykjavík has reopened, becoming one of the first conference centres in Europe to do so.

“It was confusing and difficult for us, as for everyone in the event industry, to see things unfold when borders started closing down,” said Svanhildur Konradsdottir, CEO of Harpa.

“But we certainly appreciate that most of our clients chose to postpone their events rather than cancelling them. That inspired us to start right away to plan for the post-COVID-19 era.”

Iceland saw the start of substantial easing of the social distancing measures from the first week of May and last week it 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,” said Konradsdottir.

“The well-being 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.”