Business & Government Jun 30, 2020

Iceland is Officially Open to Travelers from Select Countries!

The Icelandic government eased restrictions for international travel.

New update as of June 30, 2020: 

Iceland will soon lift travel restrictions for residents of fifteen states outside the EU/Schengen Area in line with the decision of EU Member States. EU/Schengen citizens and residents are free to travel to Iceland under the condition that they preregister prior to arrival and undergo either a PCR test or a 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

The following states will be exempt from travel restrictions to Iceland once new regulations come into effect:

The list of countries exempt from travel restrictions will be reviewed at least every two weeks.

Icelandic authorities are preparing the implementation of EU guidelines and a new regulation will be issued within the next few days. All passengers arriving from these states must complete pre-registration and choose to undergo a PCR test or a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Iceland.

As of June 15, 2020, Iceland officially began welcoming tourists from the European Union and the UK, offering visitors the option of getting tested for coronavirus upon arrival, instead of a mandatory 14-day quarantine. With the coronavirus virtually eradicated in Iceland, the Icelandic Government has significantly eased prior restrictions on daily life. Gatherings of up to 500 people are now permitted, and all prior restrictions on maximum capacity at gyms and public pools have been removed. Since May 18, all businesses, entertainment, restaurants and bars have been open with restrictions on operating hours. This has led the way to ensuring that the country is ready to welcome international tourists to enjoy the nature and culture of Iceland. Click here to learn more from Icelandair.

Iceland has achieved success against the COVID-19 pandemic through the use of targeted measures. This includes early and high-volume testing, effective tracing efforts, quarantining of at-risk individuals and isolation of confirmed cases. These targeted efforts have spared Iceland from some of the harsher measures that other countries have endured. To safeguard Iceland’s success against the pandemic, the government has decided that visitors arriving in Iceland can choose to be tested for COVID-19 if they elect not to go into quarantine. Children born in 2005 and later will be exempt from quarantine and screening requirements. Those who test negative will not be required to quarantine and will be able to continue exploring the wonders Iceland has to offer. 

Passengers are required to fill out a pre-registration form before departure to Iceland, which requires passengers to provide their personal details and contact information, flight information, travel dates and address during their stay. Travellers are also encouraged to download and use the COVID-19 app that stores geolocation on the user’s device. The data is not shared with authorities except if the user allows for such sharing to help with contact tracing in the case of infection.

Sigríður Dögg Guðmundsdóttir, Head of Visit Iceland, comments: “Tourism represents approximately 35% of our foreign currency revenue and 15% of our jobs, so it is a hugely important industry for us. We are excited to offer a way for international visitors to enjoy visiting the country again, and with our current situation we believe Iceland can offer a reprieve from the difficult situation of the last few months. Our decisions will continue to be based on science, the best available evidence and our aim to minimize the risk of new outbreaks, while welcoming those who are willing to enjoy travelling responsibly. The choice of a COVID-19 test or two-week quarantine on arrival is in line with the Chief Epidemiologist’s recommendations to ensure the success achieved managing the virus in Iceland is not jeopardized.” All travellers are advised to take precautionary measures to continue protecting themselves and those working in the tourist industry, such as frequent handwashing, use of disinfectants, the two-meter social distancing guidelines, and to respect health safety regulations in place.

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