From Iceland — New Quarantine Instructions For Iceland Visitors

New Quarantine Instructions For Iceland Visitors

Published August 17, 2020

Catherine Magnúsdóttir
Photo by
wikimedia commons

The Directorate of Health has published new quarantine instructions for visitors coming to Iceland.

The updated procedure for people arriving in Iceland was announced last week and stated that starting August 19th, at the latest, all arrivals will have to be tested for COVID-19 at the border, go into quarantine for 4-5 days and then get tested again, “regardless of duration of the intended stay in Iceland or purpose of the visit”. The new method was introduced in response to the second wave of coronavirus infections in Iceland.

According to the instructions, full quarantine duration is 14 days, although “Quarantine related to travel from a risk area can be shortened by undergoing PCR testing for diagnosis of COVID-19 on arrival and again on day 5 of quarantine. A positive test leading to a diagnosis of active COVID-19 infection will lead to isolation of the affected party and quarantine of contacts.”

There are also guidelines for affected individuals in the instructions document on how to minimise risks of contracting and/or spreading the virus and how to effectively quarantine.

Individuals may for example go for walks, but not in crowded places or places where they can expect to be surrounded by people. They may “go for a drive using a private car but must not interact with others in close proximity, e.g. at drive-thru restaurants. Sight-seeing is not permitted and driving long distances (for example between towns) is not permitted except upon arrival, when it may be necessary to travel to a base of quarantine remote from the point of entry into Iceland.”

The Icelandic Tourist Board also released a guide for quarantine services for accommodations (such as hotels) that are willing to register to take in people that need to quarantine. According to those rules, the accommodating rooms need to, for example, be in a separate wing, on floors where no other guests are staying or be isolated, like in small guest houses. Each room must have a private bathroom and toilet. It must be ensured that there are sufficient supplies in the room for guests for at least five days, such as towels, toilet paper and soap and all services must be provided at the room door, such as food delivery. Staff are not allowed in the guest rooms and must leave necessities at the room door.

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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