Iceland has reopened for tourism and allowing visitors from all countries to enter as of April 2021, but of course with a few requirements. Below we’ve explained all of Iceland’s entry regulations and rules, which differ from most other countries that have also reopened, especially fellow EU nations.
At the end of April, Iceland updated its entry rules, making them more complex to understand than ever. To sum up the changes easily: they’ve made entry easier for vaccinated travelers, but all travelers are still going to undergo testing upon arrival.
Iceland is Open to Tourists From All Countries… Sort Of
Iceland is allowing visitors from all countries worldwide, as long as they meet one of two requirements:
- They’ve been fully vaccinated and can show proof, or
- They’ve already recovered from the virus and can show proof of a positive PCR test, older than 14 days
If a tourist wants to come from a country outside the EU, let’s say Canada for example, and they have not been vaccinated or previously recovered from the virus, they are not eligible to enter Iceland at this time.
Un-vaccinated, non-previously infected tourists from the EU might be able to enter.
Iceland originally reopened for tourism to fellow EU nations in June 2020 and has stayed open since for EU travelers. Now in as of April 27, 2021, EU/EFTA nationals can still visit, as long as they’re not currently considered a ‘high-risk’ nation.
Iceland is saying that any country with a 14-day infection rate of over 500 people per 100,000 population is ‘high-risk’. Some countries that currently fit that profile at the time of this publication include: Croatia, Cyprus, Hungary, France, Poland, and Sweden, among others. The high-risk list will be updated weekly.
Foreign nationals who are coming from a high-risk nation, or have transited through one in the past 14 days, are currently banned from visiting Iceland for tourism. Some essential travelers from high risk areas may be allowed to enter, but will have to quarantine in a facility for 14 days.
Iceland’s PCR testing rules
PCR testing is required from everyone, now even vaccinated passengers with the latest entry requirement update, however the rules are slightly different depending on if you’re vaccinated or not.
2 PCR tests required from:
Tourists from low-risk EU/EFTA nations, or from the current third-party safe list ( Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand) who have not been vaccinated or have not been previously infected with the virus.
These passengers will undergo the ‘double-testing procedure’ which includes:
- 1 Pre-flight PCR test: Showing proof of a negative 72-hour PCR test before boarding flight into Iceland
- 1 Arrival PCR test: Passengers will be tested again upon arrival into Iceland
- Staying in quarantine for 5-6 days upon arrival
1 PCR test required from:
Tourists from any country who have either been fully vaccinated or previously recovered from the virus.
These passengers will undergo only 1 PCR test, which includes:
- 1 Arrival PCR test: Passengers will be tested upon arrival in Iceland
- 2 to 24 hour quarantine will awaiting test results
These passengers do not have to comply with the pre-flight PCR test
Iceland’s Quarantine Rules
Every passenger will experience some sort of ‘quarantine’ when entering Iceland, but some will only have to isolate for 2 hours, while others up to 14 days.
2-24 hour quarantine
There is a 2 to 24 hour quarantine for fully vaccinated or previously infected passengers while they await their results from the PCR test that was done upon arrival.
5-6 Day Quarantine
There is a 5 to 6 day quarantine for EU/EFTA or approved third-party countries, even if their test results from the PCR test on arrival comes back negative.
14 Day Quarantine
There is a full 14 day quarantine at a government facility for essential travelers coming from high-risk nations, even if their pre-flight PCR and PCR on arrival is negative.
The government of Iceland has been very clear on what quarantined passengers can and cannot do with under isolation orders.
You are allowed to:
- go for a short walk close by your place of quarantine
- use the Flybus from the airport
- drive a private car from the airport
- take a taxi from the airport
- go to the doctor, but call first
You are not allowed to:
- go to touristic places or go sightseeing
- go to the volcanic eruption site
- be in crowded places
- use the bus, domestic flights or public transportation
- go for a drive
- go shopping or to a restaurant
- stay in a mobile home
- stay in a hostel
Are things open in Iceland?
Yes. Many services and attractions have reopened in Iceland to accommodate incoming tourists.
As of April 2021, here’s what’s open:
- Restaurants and bars with up to 20 guests, closing by 10pm
- Cinemas and cultural events/shows with 100 spectator max
- Swimming pools, gyms and spas with 50% capacity limits
- Public transit and domestic flights
- Non-essential shops with capacity limits
- 20 person gathering limit
- Blue Lagoon is open with restricted hours
What happened to vaccinated tourists being allowed entry without testing/quarantines?
On March 18, 2021 Iceland reopened to vaccinated tourists from all nations without doing a PCR test on arrival, nor the 2-24 hour quarantine. However, a rise in cases prompted them to change the requirements and re-add some barriers back for visiting vaccinated tourists.
Depending on the epidemiological situation come June, Iceland may be able to lift the PCR test upon arrival requirement and revert back to allowing vaccinated tourists to more easily enter.
Tips for your stay in Iceland
- Top 5 hotels in Iceland for 2021
- Get travel health insurance that also covers covid
- Direct flights are restarting to Iceland from the U.S.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. 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. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories