Iceland Welcomes You Again: These Doors Are Gonna Swing Wide!

Iceland Welcomes You Again: These Doors Are Gonna Swing Wide!

Published June 23, 2020

Photo by
OhanaUnited/Wikimedia Commons

It’s official: nationals from Schengen Area are now allowed to enter Iceland. And, as of July 1st, nationals from outside of the Schengen Area will be permitted to come to Iceland as well, RÚV reports—even if other Schengen Area states keep their borders closed to the wider world for now.


There are some exceptions in this regard. As the Directorate of Immigration (ÚTL) states, apart from EU/EEA, EFTA or UK nationals, other folks who have been able to come to Iceland since June 15th are “[i]ndividuals with a valid residence permit in Iceland or any of the Schengen Member States” and “[f]amily members of Icelandic or other EU/EFTA citizens, in particular spouses, cohabiting partners, direct descendants and dependent direct relatives in the ascending line.”

Between June 15th and July 1st, those from outside of the Schengen are who wish to come to Iceland must prove that their travel is essential if the above exceptions do not apply. ÚTL defines essential travel as “passengers in airport transit, health and care workers on professional travel, transportation crews (airlines and freighters), individuals requiring international protection, individuals travelling because of acute family incidents and diplomats, international organization staff, members of armed forces travelling to Iceland for duty, or humanitarian aid workers.”

These exceptions aside, a handy shorthand to bear in mind is that if you are a legal resident or citizen of a Schengen Area country, you can now come to Iceland. Everyone else will have to wait until July 1st.

Connecting flights?

There are still some details that need to be ironed out as Iceland reopens. At a press conference held on June 12th, Minister of Justice Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir admitted that they are still working out all the details regarding departures from Iceland and into the Schengen Area, but that in conversations with EU officials, Iceland is seen as a kind of border for the Schengen Area.

Bear in mind that when you come to Iceland, you must submit to being tested for the coronavirus, and will be expected to download the Rakning19 tracking app; your test results will be sent to you through it. You’ll be asked to wear a mask when boarding your plane to Iceland, but you probably won’t be required to wear it in Keflavík Airport, if that matters to you. Further, if you’re not sure how to get here, Icelandair has added new destinations and several other airlines have also begun flying to and from Iceland. Check your preferred airline for the latest information.

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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