Iceland has reopened the country's borders to tourists from June 15, 2020.
Passengers arriving into Iceland have a choice: They can either choose to be tested for Covid upon arrival (15000 ISK/ $110 USD) or to go into quarantine for two weeks.
article last updated July 3rd
All tourists arriving in Iceland can choose to be tested upon arrival, but those who opt out of testing will have to self-quarantine for two weeks, no exceptions. Children born in 2005 and later will be exempt from both quarantine and screening requirements.
Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir announced in an official statement that the “Utmost care is being taken not to jeopardize the success achieved in Iceland during the COVID-19 pandemic as Iceland prepares to offer tests for travelers on the 15 June 2020,”
Which Countries Can Travel To Iceland?
As of June 15th, EU/Schengen citizens and residents have been able to travel to Iceland (with the choice of test on arrival, or quarantine)
On July 2nd, Iceland announced they will soon put forth recommendations from the EU to open up to additional third-party countries outside the EU. (More on that below)
EU/EFTA/Schengen Nations that can visit Iceland as of June 15:
- Czech Republic
Third-Party Nations that can visit Iceland soon:
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:
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- China (subject to confirmation of reciprocity)
Reviewed every two weeks
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. Visitors from this list will also get to choose on either a test upon arrival, or a mandatory quarantine period.
What else to know before you travel to Iceland:
In addition to knowing about the testing done upon arrival, eager tourists should know there are some things they need to complete BEFORE boarding their plane.
The PRE-Registration Form
Passengers are required to fill out this 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 in Iceland. The form also includes a declaration of health and passengers are required to provide information on countries they have visited before arrival, whether they have any symptoms or have had contact with anyone who has.
“I believe that if everything goes well, we should see some tourists here this summer. For those who want to come, this will be a very real possibility.”
The current restrictions have been in place since March 15, Matador Network reports, and the driving force behind the easing is a desire to restart the tourism industry to boost the economy.
Icelandair is reportedly on the brink of bankruptcy, with flights at an all-time low and 3,000 staff having been laid off.
“There is a lot at stake that Icelandair continues operations, and it's in reality a life-or-death question for tourism in Iceland,” said Hallsdóttir.
“Hopefully people realize that the situation isn't just about Icelandair but tourism in Iceland as a whole, and not just tourism but the economy and our whole society.”
Iceland has a population of around 364,000 and has had just 1,803 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 10 deaths, according to John Hopkins data.
Around 38% of the country's inhabitants have downloaded its COVID-19 tracing app, and any visitors this summer would be required to do so too.
As Business Insider's Isobel Asher Hamilton previously reported, this makes Iceland's download rate of a contagion tracking app the best in the world.
However, Detective Inspector Gestur Pálmason from the Icelandic Police explained that the app was only effective when combined with manual contact-tracing.
“When travelers return to Iceland we want to have all mechanisms in place to safeguard them and the progress made in controlling the pandemic,” said Thordis Kolbrun Reykfjord Gylfadottir, minister of Tourism, Industry and Innovation, as per Lonely Planet.
“Iceland's strategy of large-scale testing, tracing, and isolating have proven effective so far. We want to build on that experience of creating a safe place for those who want a change of scenery after what has been a tough spring for all of us.”
Disclaimer: Iceland’s reopening news is ever-changing and being updated constantly. We do our best to keep this article up to date with all the latest information, but the decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.