The COVID-19 crisis has stalled normal activities of the Icelandic economy, including the travel and tourism industry. You might have had extensive plans to tour the country but could not proceed with it due to lockdown, cancellation of international flights and closing of borders. But you don’t have to rue further, as the Iceland Government has decided to open its borders dot on 15th June. You can merrily resume whatever plans you had, and begin contacting a top-rated traveling agency to chalk out itineraries, with a dream to experience the fascinating terrains of Iceland during summer months.
Announcement by Prime Minister
Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister, has made an official statement to the press, in Reykjavik. He said that currently, the country has only 15 active cases of people suffering from COVID–19. Iceland hasn’t reported any new case in the last 5 days, even if the concerned authorities have been conducting widespread testing. On 15th June, Iceland is opening its borders for foreign travelers and hoping to gear up the economy with renewed enthusiasm, by taking necessary precautionary measures.
Testing at Keflavik Airport
The travelers entering Iceland through the Keflavik International Airport June 15 onwards have an option to undergo a brief corona-virus test to ensure everything is fine.
Rules until now
Iceland had closed its borders to international travelers outside EEA (outside EFTA, too) on 20th March earlier this year. The closure was planned till May 15, but reading the situation, the authorities have implemented an extension till June 15.
The regulations at the place currently require both international travelers and locals entering Iceland to mandatorily go for a 2-week quarantine period, right from the moment of their arrival.
From June 15, Iceland residents, non-residents, and tourists are allowed to enter from countries that fall outside the Schengen zone. Instead of going for self-quarantine, they have the alternative to get medically tested when they arrive at the Keflavik Airport. Health officials expect test results will be available within 24 hours. The travelers testing negative are not required to implement self-quarantine.
If you can produce, while entering Iceland, a reliable certificate telling you had tested negative for COVID-19 undergoing a valid test recently, you would be exempted from the quarantine rule. However, you need to download contact tracing mobile applications from the official website of the Iceland Government.
Proposal from Chief Epidemiologist
Þórólfur Guðnason, the chief Epidemiologist of Iceland, has proposed a less strict stricter quarantine rule, specifically known as ‘QUARANTINE B’ for traveling scientists, film artists, sportspersons, journalists from May 15 onwards, who tour the country on exclusive projects. He has also proposed Greenland, besides the Faroe Islands, to be excluded from the country list with a high risk of COVID-19 contraction.
Prime Minister has stated that testing at Keflavik International Airport will be undertaken by collaborating with ‘National University Hospital of Iceland’. The testing dynamics and management of expenses are yet to be planned.
The continued decline in COVID-19 cases is a determinant for opening the borders. It can be tentatively opened ahead of the schedule if everything goes fine.