From Iceland — Passengers Outside Schengen May Have To Wait

Passengers Outside Schengen May Have To Wait

Published June 10, 2020

Sam O'Donnell
Photo by
Maarten Visser

Travelers wanting to come to Iceland from outside the Schengen region may have to wait until the end of June.

Páll Þórhallson, leader on the team that conducts screening at the border for COVID-19, told RÚV that no final decision has been made, but it is quite possible that travel restrictions for passengers from outside the Schengen Area will be extended into July. This is based on discussions at the Schengen Ministerial Meeting on June 5th.

Minister of Justice Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir expressed wishes to open Iceland’s borders entirely on July 1st, regardless of whether other countries in the Schengen region do the same. “I’ve sent a letter to the directorship of the EU, to determine the process we could take given our special position as an island, that we could maintain surveillance for the Schengen Area even though we let people in, and that’s what we’re aiming for,” She told RÚV.

A press conference on Monday discussed changes in the rules regarding tourists’ arrival in Iceland starting on June 15th. It stated that screening will be done at places where passengers are coming from outside the country.

Chief Epidemiologist Þórolfur Guðnason said at the press conference that everyone who comes to Iceland will be required to answer certain questions about their health before they arrive. They will have to quarantine unless they undergo a screening test. Travelers are strongly encouraged to download the tracking app.

Additionally, Vísir reports that both passengers and crew will be required to wear face masks on Icelandair flights. Travelers are encouraged to bring their own masks, although they will be available on board the aircrafts. The masks may be home-made or store-bought, but they must cover both the nose and mouth. They may be removed to eat and drink, but on-board services will be limited for safety reasons, so no in-flight menu will be available.

Further information can be found on the official site of the Directorate of Immigration.

As ever, those looking for more information or advice should go to the Icelandic Government’s excellent COVID-19 help page.

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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