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Iceland Reopening For Tourism – Everything You Need To Know

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Iceland has reopened the country’s borders to tourists from June 15, 2020.

When Iceland first opened in June, passengers arriving into Iceland had a choice: They  either choose to be tested for Covid upon arrival (15000 ISK/ $110 USD) or to go into quarantine for two weeks.

Now as of 2021 the entry requirements have changed, due to a surge in cases. We cover all the updates below. 

Iceland for solo female travel

Pre-Testing Required

Now, as of Feb 19, 2021, all arriving passengers must take a test before entering Iceland in addition to a double testing procedure along with quarantine for 5-6 days.

All passengers flying to Iceland must now provide proof of a negative PCR test, taken no longer than 72 hours before arrival. 

Double Border-Screening Procedure

The double border-screening procedure requires all passengers arriving in Iceland to undergo two PCR-tests: one upon arrival and another 5-6 days later to minimize the risk of a false negative causing infection to spread in the community.

During this period, all arriving passengers must stay in quarantine for 5-6 days in case of a possible infection. Those who test negative in the second PCR-test (on day 5-6) are no longer required to take special precautions. Those who test positive must self-isolate.

Children born in 2005 and later are exempt from the double border-screening procedure.

The testing procedure is free of charge until January 31, 2021.

Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir announced in an official statement:

“Given the uptick in infections worldwide and the widespread effect that a small infection can have on the functioning of our society, the Government has decided to strengthen our border-screening measures to further limit the number of infections entering the country. These measures will be reviewed and revised according to how the situation develops, both domestically and internationally, however, we know that there is no way of eliminating the risk of infection. We are confident that our well-established measures of testing, tracing, and isolating, will continue to serve an important role, along with effective early treatment of all patients.”

iceland blue lagoon (2)

Which Countries Can Travel To Iceland?

As of Feb 2021 residents of the EU/ EEA/ EFTA and Schengen nations, as well as pre-approved third-party nation can visit Iceland.

EU/EFTA/Schengen and Third-Party Nations that can visit Iceland:

  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Georgia
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Rwanda
  • San Marino
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand
  • Vatican City
countries that can travel to iceland
Reviewed every two weeks

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

Other exemptions 

Immediate family, spouses, and other exceptions MAY be made by the Icelandic government for entry. All family/relationship exceptions can be found here

Is entry into Iceland based on nationality, residency, or location? 

Both residency and location. Iceland will only accept the above list of passengers traveling from an approved country and also being a resident of one of the approved countries. Residency can be proved with documents like a drivers licence, residence permit, work permit, etc. 

no Smoking laws in Iceland

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.

Iceland Reopening To International Tourists June 15

“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.” 

Vaccination requirements to enter Iceland

The government of Iceland has announced that all travelers in the EU and approved third party countries who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 will have restriction free entry beginning on May 1st, 2021. Travelers who present an international certificate of vaccination will not need to undergo testing or quarantine measures. 

Before May 1st, a certificate of vaccination does not exempt travelers from the current travel restrictions.

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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.

Article was originally published July 15, 2020 with updates


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Renee Thomas

Monday 31st of August 2020

Just saw this in the news: "The Icelandic government has decided that all foreign nationals currently in the country, who cannot leave due to travel restrictions, quarantine or isolation, will need to register in order for their stay to be legal. The decision has been announced by Iceland’s Directorate of Immigration, in a notice in which they note that all travellers that had reached the country before March 20 have been able to remain without a residence permit if they could not return to their home countries due to travel restrictions. Foreign nationals, who will not be able to leave Iceland before September 10 2020, can only extend their stay here without a residence permit or visa if they are issued a permission to stay upon being registered at the Directorate of Immigration,” the notice explains." (link)

wilcochris

Sunday 28th of June 2020

Test on arrival is no longer free. It's 15,000 ISK for the test or 14 day quarantine