Icelandic Children Get New Curfew

It came to my attention via one of the expats-in-Iceland Facebook groups that yesterday, a new curfew went into effect in Iceland. According to Morgunblaðið, kids 12 and younger are allowed to be out until 10:00 PM. Kids between 13 and 16 can be out until midnight. From what I can tell from the comments which were made on the Facebook page in regards to this announcement, there hasn’t previously been a curfew for kids here, and having one now is rather surprising for some people; more than one commenter wanted to double check that the announcement wasn’t a joke.

The reason for the new curfew might also surprise people. Per the article (my rough translation following):

Útivistarreglurnar eru samkvæmt barnaverndarlögum. Þeim er meðal annars ætlað að tryggja nægan svefn en hann er börnum og unglingum nauðsynlegur. Svefnþörfin er einstaklingsbundin en þó má ætla að börn og unglingar á grunnskólaaldri þurfi 10 tíma svefn á nóttu.

Curfew regulations are in compliance with child protection laws. They are, among other things, intended to ensure that children and teens get enough sleep. Necessary sleep time depends on the individual, but it can still be estimated that children and teens of grunnskóli age [6 – 16]need ten hours of sleep a night.

The article goes on to say that

Mikilvægt er að fylgja því eftir að börn og unglingar fái nægan svefn. Í því felst meðal annars að ganga úr skugga um að þau séu ekki í tölvunni þegar þau eiga að vera komin í rúmið

It is important double check that children and teens get enough sleep. [I’m not totally sure about the next phrasing, but the got the gist…] …for example, to make sure that they don’t get on the computer when they should be getting in bed.

People on the message board where I saw this did admit that their kids often forgot or didn’t realize how late it had gotten in the summer, and I totally get this myself. In the last two weeks, it has gotten to the point that it doesn’t even start getting dark until 8:30 PM. Mark and I walked home at nearly 11:00 PM and it was still rather dusky for the whole walk. I would be interested to know whether or not parents attempt to enforce this curfew going forward, and also how (if at all) the police will enforce it as well.




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