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Changes in primary school activities as of November 23th

21. Nov 2020

Cautious changes in primary schools will be made from Monday November 23th and will apply until December 1st. With the changes, the emphasis is on small steps of changes that are in line with the restrictions on gatherings from health authorities. The changes are the same or similar in the primary schools in Hafnarfjörður.

After consultation between school administrators and the educational authorities in Hafnarfjörður, taking into account the new regulation from the Ministry of Health, the conclusion is to maintain fundamentally the arrangement that were implemented in November until December 1st.

Basically, the arrangements are as follows:

  • Students remain in their classroom with their classmates which form one group of pupils (5th-10th grade) or two classes together in the first level (1st-4th grade).
  • One group at a time will be allowed to attend the school library, if possible, which will be disinfected between group visits.
  • There will be no cut-back in school attendance at the first level  and the after school centers are open and the after school shuttle services will start driving again according to schedule.
  • Students in grade 5. - 10.  continue to receive  four lessons a day in school, with increased homework, possibly through online teaching with teachers as schools and teachers decide. Schedules for school attendance for older students may change.
  • It is no longer compulsory for students and teachers in grade 5. to 7. to wear face masks in the classroom and it is not necessary to wear a face mask on the school grounds.  The obligation to wear a mask remains among students and teachers / staff in grades 8. -10. in classrooms, in the corridors of the school and on school premises.
  • The new regulation gives schools the opportunity to plan recess on the schools playgrounds, as there is no longer a group division on the school grounds.
  • It is a possibility that each school will decide on its physical education and swimming lessons for their students, based on their circumstances. Schools will present their decisions to parents in their school.


It has been important to us to be able to provide lunch for students along with the restrictions within the schools, and that has not been without challenges. The collaboration with Skólamatur has been exemplary despite difficult circumstances. Thus, it was decided to deliver lunch to students in disposable trays inside the classrooms, unfortunately it was not possible to offer the same quality as when offering food in the dining hall. And it increased both workload and food waste as well as other levels of complexity. The situation now is that food trays are no longer available in the country to be able to continue this practice. Therefore, the decision has been made to take the schools dining halls back into use with some changes, ie.  group divisions and delivery of lunch over a longer period of time than before due to smaller groups in the hall each time. If  a school cannot offer food to all students who are registered for lunch service  in the dining hall, or offer pick up for the pupils  to take their lunch to classrooms, the oldest students in that school will receive lighter food, ie. sandwich, pasta, etc., in classrooms. This is not the optimal situation but seems to be the only feasible option in be able to offer lunch to all students who are registered. Each school will introduce the arrangement in more details to parents.

The staff of Hafnarfjörður thanks everyone involved, especially the students and their guardians, for their understanding and patience towards constant changes and adaptation to new circumstances.