reykjavik reopening borders

Iceland is open for tourism and lifted all local COVID restrictions from July 1

Disclaimer: Travel restrictions and governmental regulations can change rapidly and the information below might be outdated within a few hours. Therefore, double-check all information with your embassy or on official websites. Traveling Lifestyle does not take any responsibility for your decision to travel.

Iceland is open for all vaccinated travelers or those who have recovered from COVID-19 -only if- their country of departure does not surpass 700 cases per 100,000 population.

These travelers still need a negative test to enter the country and must agree to get retested upon arrival and on the 5th day of their stay. 

Other visitors can still apply for an entry permit. See restrictions below.

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Iceland Reopening – Latest Updates

July 6 – Iceland hits vaccination milestone and lifts all internal restrictions from July 1

Last week, authorities reported that almost 90% of the Icelanders had been vaccinated against COVID-19, marking a major milestone in the efforts to end the pandemic.

So far, 87% of all adults in Iceland have received their first vaccine and 60% have received their second dose to complete the course.

This outstanding achievement permitted authorities to lift all COVID-19 related restrictions and allows fully vaccinated travelers to visit the country without having to quarantine. 

“We are regaining the kind of society which we feel normal living in, and we have longed for ever since [emergency legislation] was activated because of the pandemic more than a year ago, on 16 March 2020,” said Health Minister Svandís Svavarsdóttir. “The lifting of restrictions on gatherings have therefore been completed,” he added. 

Source: NME

June 18 – Iceland to drop testing requirements for vaccinated travelers from July 1

Fully vaccinated visitors from EU and Schengen Area states, plus Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand will be allowed entry without testing restrictions from July 1, according to a press release issued by the government on Monday.

Effective that date, visitors will need to upload their vaccine certificate to the new travel app to get a QR code. 

The digital document should indicate the vaccine product and manufacturer and the number of doses received, or include a COVID-19 negative test when the traveler is not vaccinated. 

Also, health authorities decided to lift all the current restrictions for children arriving in the country.

(Source: SchengenVisaInfoNews)

June 1 – Visitors from high-risk countries are no longer required to quarantine at government-designated facilities from May 31 

Visitors arriving from high-risk countries will no longer have to spend their quarantine at government-designated facilities from May 31, according to a press release issued by the Iceland government. 

Thus, from yesterday “only those who do not have access to adequate facilities to undergo home quarantine are required to stay in a quarantine facility.”

These travelers still need to quarantine. But now they can choose what option they want to pre-register, either their own accommodation or an option provided by the government. 

(Source: Iceland government)

May 16 – Iceland clarifies some entry restrictions after withdrawing from accepting all vaccinated visitors

After announcing that the country would -only- let in travelers coming from low-risk countries regardless of their vaccination status. Iceland has recently clarified some of the entry rules and COVID-19 related restrictions when in the country. 

First and foremost, Iceland is indeed open to vaccinated Americans, with no quarantine.

Other vaccinated visitors as well as U.S. ones must bring proof of one of these two things: a COVID-19 vaccine certificate using one of the official accepted forms or an accepted document that shows prior COVID-19 infection (for example, a positive PCR-test that’s older than 14 days).

Bear in mind that only Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines are valid.  

Besides, all visitors, including children, need to preregister on Iceland’s official website before entering the country.

April 28 – Iceland to ban travelers coming from ALL countries “deeply affected” by COVID-19

Iceland had reopened to all vaccinated travelers at the beginning of April. But now, following a worrisome surge of cases in several countries, Iceland’s Minister of Justice, Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, has decided to ban non-essential travel from ALL countries where the incidence of infection surpasses 700 per 100,000 population even if the traveler is fully vaccinated.

International visitors who have been for more than 24 hours within the prior 14 days in any of these “deeply affected” countries will be banned from entering Iceland, at least, until May 31. 

However, “the ban does not apply to foreigners who have permanent residence in this country, based on a residence permit or other type of right of residence, relatives of Icelandic citizens and foreigners residing in this country,” according to the minister.

Can Americans travel to Iceland?

Fully vaccinated Americans are allowed entry, only if or when, the COVID-19 infection does not surpass 700 cases per 100,000 population.

Can not vaccinated travelers or those who have not been infected visit Iceland? 

Only visitors holding a passport or valid residency from EU/EFTA countries are allowed to enter Iceland if they are not vaccinated.

Is it safe to visit Iceland now?

Iceland is relatively safe to visit now.! The 2nd wave of the pandemic is under control and the infectious rate is decreasing but despite that, the CDC organization doesn’t recommend traveling to Iceland. Only essential travel is recommended. (CDC.gov).

The impact of the Coronavirus on Iceland

Iceland has done remarkably well at coping with the pandemic. There have only been 6,664 cases to date and only 30 deaths.

The country set up an aggressive method of contact tracing and tracking and using quarantines to contain the virus. When the first infected person appeared, a team questioned him about everyone he could potentially have come into contact with – anyone who had come within 6 feet of him for at least 15 minutes.

Each person was tracked and quarantined. In this way, Iceland was able to halt Covid-19 in its tracks despite initially having a faster-growing caseload than occurred in the United States.

One reason the country was so successful at contact tracing was that deCODE Genetics, a local biotech firm, already had a genealogical database of all residents which it made available to the government.

Only a few businesses in the country were shut down. These were mainly things like night clubs and salons. Everything else remained open and most people did not wear a face mask. Yet by mid-May, the tracing team was out of people to track.

Why Visit Iceland?

Iceland

It’s the Land of the Midnight Sun. Located just below the Arctic Circle, for a few weeks around the summer solstice, the sun doesn’t set until just after midnight and it rises again before 3am. Many summer tours take advantage of these amazingly long days.

In the winter, on the other hand, the days are remarkably short. However, in winter travelers can experience the amazing northern lights. These will light up the skies of Iceland from September until April.

There are also Iceland’s geothermal pools. While the country uses geothermal energy for power, natural pools located around the country also provide travelers an opportunity for a hot soak amidst unspoiled natural beauty.

There are also many other opportunities to enjoy nature here. Iceland has become the whale-watching center of Europe. Visitors are bound to see some of these magnificent creatures on the whale watching tours that take place from Reykjavik.

In addition to minke and humpback whales, porpoises and dolphins, tourists might spot colorful puffins. There are also glaciers, volcanos, mountains, black beaches and the unique Icelandic horse.

After a day spent touring Iceland’s wild places, tourists can enjoy the night life in the capital even in the deepest winter. Both the vodka and the cuisine are delicious.

Conclusion

Iceland

Iceland is a small country, but it’s packed with charm and natural wonder.

The hardest thing for visitors will be to decide whether to come here in the winter to enjoy the Northern Lights, or to come in the summer when they can take advantage of the long hours of sunshine.

With a population of only a little over 364,000, Iceland is one of Europe’s smaller nations. Most of its population resides in the capital of Reykjavik.

What makes this city remarkable is that it is powered completely by geothermal energy! It’s also home to several museums that celebrate the country’s Viking heritage. Tourists visiting Iceland can enjoy its dramatic landscape as well as the beauty of the Northern Lights, depending on what season they come here. Summertime offers super long days for touring the volcanoes, natural geysers and hot springs, and the lava fields. There are also massive glaciers in some of the national parks. No wonder travelers to this northern country rave about its beauty!

Whenever you come here, however, you will enjoy the friendly people.