From Iceland — Travelling To Iceland From June 15th? Here's What You Need To Know

Travelling To Iceland From June 15th? Here’s What You Need To Know

Published June 8, 2020

Photo by
Arpingstone/Wikimedia Commons

If you’re in the enviable position of possessing a plane ticket to Iceland from June 15th there’s a couple of things you’ll need to know before you pack your bags.

Before Travelling

You’re going to fill out a pre-registration form giving contact details and information about your travel dates and where you’ll be staying.

You’ll also be asked about where you have travelled recently, whether you have any potential symptoms and whether you have been in close contact with an infected individual.

The form will be available on covid.is/english shortly.

At the border

On arriving at Keflavik airport or Seydisfjordur harbour, you’ll be given two choices:

  1. Complete a PCR-test for COVID-19
  2. Quarantine for two weeks

It was initially thought that travellers would be able to present a health certificate to prove they had tested negative for the virus before travelling, but certificates will not be accepted at this point in time.

Exceptions:

  • Children born in or after 2005
  • People who have not been in a high-risk zone 14 days before travelling – the only regions that are not classed as high-risk are currently Greenland and the Faroe Islands (this may be reviewed on June 15th)
  • Travellers who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 in Iceland
  • Flight and freight ship crew

COVID-19 Screening

PCR testing will be free for passengers arriving between June 15th and July 1st. After July 1st tests will cost 15,000 ISK (€100.34) per person.

Once you have had a sample taken you can travel to your registered address from the pre-registration form. You are not required to quarantine whilst you wait for your test results, but you should take extra care to protect others.

You will receive your test results via text message within 24 hours. Usually it will be on the same day, within three to five hours, but if you arrive after 5pm results will be available the next day.

The Icelandic health authorities and deCODE genetics will be able to test 2000 people per day according to the Chief Epidemiologist, daily arrivals will be capped at this number.

It’s worth noting that samples will be used for research purposes in Iceland, all passengers will be informed of this before being tested.

What Happens If I Test Positive?

You will receive a call from the infection tracking team. You may be offered further tests to confirm that you have COVID-19. To help the team trace any potential infections you will be required to tell them your movements and contacts in the time between being tested and getting your results.

If you are found to have the virus, you will be immediately required to self-isolate. If you do not have a suitable location to do so you will be given free accommodation in an isolation centre.

You will not be charged for medical treatment, supervision or examination related to COVID-19 with the exception of the initial PCR-test.

Should you need to contact the health services, call 1700 from an Icelandic phone or +354 544 4113 from a foreign number. Alternatively you can use the online health portal heilsuvera.is.

What If I’m Asked To Quarantine?

If you’ve been in contact with a confirmed coronavirus case you will be required to self-quarantine for up to two weeks from the point of last contact. This could be if you have:

  • Been within two metres of an infected individual for more than 15 minutes
  • Sat within two-rows of an infected individual on the aeroplane

Even if you test negative for COVID-19 at the airport you may still be required to self-quarantine. You will receive a phone call from the infection tracking team to determine whether you need to do so.

As you’d guess, quarantine means you are not allowed to leave your residence or be in physical contact with other people who are not quarantined. There are harsh penalties including fines for those who break quarantine.

Rakning C-19 App

You’ll be invited to download Iceland’s COVID-19 tracking app. It uses GPS to locate people who have been within two metres of a confirmed coronavirus case for 15 minutes or more.

You won’t be obliged to download the app, but we highly recommend it. It’s a vital part of Iceland’s pandemic response strategy and it also contains important information about how to contact the health care service should you fall ill.

During Your Visit

Make sure you keep up to date with Iceland’s outbreak and the government’s COVID-19 restrictions. We’ll be updating you regularly and the covid.is website is your best friend when it comes to staying informed.

Currently gatherings of over 200 are banned and there are restrictions on opening times for restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Shops, galleries, museums, swimming pools and gyms are all open but there may be changes to they way they operate.

Observe two-metre distancing wherever you can and wash your hands!

Possible Changes

Iceland’s travel restrictions periodically come under review. The current measures are set to be re-evaluated on June 15th. This may involve changes to the countries classed as high-risk, but there is no guarantee.

The EU’s ban on travel from outside the Schengen area is also set to be reviewed by June 15th, it is currently unclear whether it will be extended and whether Iceland will continue to participate. More information on this can be found here.

All information comes from the Chief Epidemiologist’s letter.

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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