At a press conference held just moments ago, Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir announced some up-coming changes to the travel restrictions to Iceland.
As it stands now, no one from outside the Schengen Area may visit Iceland, and those visiting from within the Schengen Area must go into 2-week quarantine. However, from May 15th, nationals of the Faroe Islands and Greenland will be able to visit without going into quarantine.
Moreover, no earlier than May 25th and no later than June 15th, things are going to change significantly. Tourists visiting Iceland after this date can make a choice: go into immediate 2-week quarantine, get tested for the coronavirus, or present a clean bill of health from the health authorities in their home countries. Visitors will also be asked to install the Rakning C-19 contagion tracing app.
Bear in mind that no one from outside of the Schengen Area will be able to enter Iceland until June 15th. After that time, tourists from outside Schengen will probably be able to visit Iceland under the aforementioned conditions.
The Prime Minister told reporters that public and private health authorities will be working together to have the tremendous project of screening arrivals ready by the beginning of next month. She added that this could be an opportunity to learn more about the virus and how it spreads, and share this information with the world.
On the domestic front, swimming pools will open again on Monday, and gyms will open on May 25th. At that time, the upper limit for the public gatherings ban will also be extended from 50 people to 100.
This news likely comes as a breath of fresh air to Iceland’s tourism industry, and the country as a whole. Iceland’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism, and the summer is typically the high season. However, with flights at Icelandair still at an all-time low, and with the prospect of bankruptcy for the airline possibly on the horizon, what exact effects this will have remains to be seen.
Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.
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