Seven hotels in Iceland have received an exemption from the Ministry of the Environment, and now allow dogs in certain areas. Chain hotels in Reykholt, Stykkishólmur, Patreksfjörður, Húsavík, Fáskúðsfjörður, Öræfasveit, and the Grand Hotel in Reykjavík will now allow the furry four-legged friends in certain areas of the hotels until October 1st this year.
The request was sent to the Ministry on May 12th. It states that the reasons for the request are unprecedented conditions in society due to COVID-19, a reduction in foreign tourism, and increased dog ownership among Icelanders.
The exemption is subject to a number of conditions. Dogs must be kept in cages in hotel rooms, they should not cause a disturbance, other guests of the hotel should be informed of the dogs’ presence, and as previously mentioned, the dogs are allowed only in certain areas of the hotels.
Davíð Torfi Ólafsson, Managing Director of Iceland Hotels, says Icelandic tourists are very interested in bringing their dogs with them on their travels around the country, and that the changes have been smoothly implemented. “There is great interest, and we can see that this will be considerable when families travel in July,” he said. “Those who have brought dogs to our hotels are very happy, and this has been very successful. There are, of course, strict rules that we adhere to. For example, dogs must not come near a restaurant.”
He also said that Iceland has in many ways been behind the times in terms of pet rules. “In many other countries, pets have been welcomed in various places, but not so much here. However, this is changing, and we are starting to see more pets being welcomed in cafes, for example.”
Davíð also said that it’s important to be careful and mindful of people with allergies. “There are people with anaphylaxis and other things, so it is necessary to observe all the rules, but overall this is a positive development, I would say.”
As ever, those looking for more information or advice should go to the Icelandic Government’s excellent COVID-19 help page.
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