Iceland will reopen to fully-vaccinated travelers from all countries, allowing entry without quarantine or testing requirements. The move comes as the international vaccination count climbs exponentially, inviting nations across the world to reopen borders to inoculated travelers.
The order announced by the Icelandic government on Tuesday will take effect on March 18. Initially, Iceland had shut down borders to all but vaccinated travelers – specifically from EU/EEA nations.
With the revised mandate, Iceland is broadening its tourism base by equally welcoming vaccinated travelers from all countries, notably the U.S. and UK, its largest tourism markets in recent years. The exemption also pertains to those who can provide valid documentation of prior infection.
Starting March 18, all travelers – under regular visa requirements – will be permitted to visit Iceland as long as they can provide:
✓ Certificate of full vaccination against COVID-19, or
✓ Document of previous COVID infection
*The document can be in paper or digital format.
Which vaccines are accepted?
- Certificates from the World Health Organization (WHO) / the International Certificate of Vaccination or Yellow Card/Carte Jaune are accepted for vaccines authorized for use by WHO. This includes:
1. Comirnaty; Pfizer/BioNTech
2. COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca
3. Covidshield COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca
4. COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen
- Certificates of vaccination from the EEA/EFTA-area with a vaccine authorized for use by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). This includes:
1. Comirnaty; Pfizer-BioNTech
2. COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna
3. COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca
4. COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen
The certificate is valid regardless of where vaccination took place.
A vaccine certificate must include the following:
- Written in one of the following languages: English, French, Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish. A document in another language can be valid if accompanied by a certified stamped translation in one of the aforementioned languages
- First name and last name (as per travel documents)
- Date of birth
- Passport number (or travel document number)
- Name of disease vaccinated against (COVID-19)
- Dates which the vaccinations were performed
- Information on issuer of the certificate (supervising clinician/administering centre), with signature of the International Certificate of Vaccination
- Vaccine administered
- Manufacturer and batch/lot number of vaccine
Travelers Having Recovered from COVID-19
Travelers with certification showing that they have recovered from COVID-19 in Iceland or in the EEA/EFTA countries (positive PCR test and/or presence of antibodies) are eligible to bypass the entry requirements, namely testing and quarantine, similar to vaccinated individuals, based on presumed immunity to COVID-19.
This document must be issued by a laboratory within the EEA/EFTA-area, or a confirmation from the Chief Epidemiologist in Iceland; Clinical diagnoses are not deemed valid.
The following certificates are considered a valid confirmation of a previous COVID-19 infection:
- Positive PCR-test result for COVID-19 that is older than 14 days
- Presence of antibodies against COVID-19 measured by ELISA serologic
- Rapid diagnostic test
Starting May 1st, Iceland will refer to the ECDC risk assessment color code system to determine border measures. The Icelandic government will lift restrictions off travelers arriving from low-risk countries (green and yellow) as a negative PCR test result will void the mandatory quarantine.
COVID-19 Response in Iceland
Iceland has done exceptionally well in controlling the spread of COVID-19 and blocking the risk of emerging variants at the point of entry.
At present, there are a total of 30 active cases in all of Iceland; 24 are in quarantine due to suspected exposure. There are no current hospitalizations due to COVID-19 in Iceland. Accordingly, the country is among the top ranks in safety for its response to the pandemic.
In this regard, Prime Minister of Iceland, Katrín Jakobsdóttir said:
“The world has been through a lot in the past twelve months, and we are all hoping for a slow and safe return to normalcy. This also includes the resumption of the opportunity to travel, which is valuable to culture, trade and enterprise. The decision to apply border exemptions for vaccinated individuals to countries outside the EU/EEA area is a logical extension of our current policy.”
Regular Entry Requirements
Other than vaccinated travelers, Iceland is accepting travelers with passports (or valid residency) from EU/EFTA countries, under the following entry requirements:
- Completed pre-registration form
- Negative PCR test result taken no longer than 72 hours of departure
- Test upon arrival in Iceland
- Five-day quarantine
- Followup test on day five/six
For more information, please visit the Iceland Directorate of Health.
For a complete list of countries open to vaccinated travelers, please click here.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com