The new regulations, which can be read in English here, stipulate that all arrivals—regardless of country of origin—must be screened for the coronavirus, go into quarantine at any of the many hotels and guesthouses outfitted for quarantine, and then be tested again some five days later.
Despite the fact that this situation has been reported on extensively in English, by The Grapevine and others, not everyone was aware of the new restrictions.
“People don’t know the rules,” border screening project manager Jórlaug Heimisdóttir told reporters. “They don’t know that they’re on their way into a five-day quarantine. A very strict quarantine and much stricter than before. We’ve tried to find other possible solutions rather than turn people back and some people showed interest in that.”
The airport was quite empty at the time of the reporting, with eight flights cancelled, but about 1,500 people were screened.
While Jórlaug said Icelandic authorities had done a good job in getting out the word about the new restrictions, “We know how it is. People don’t always read the instructions they’re given.”
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.
You can also check out our shop, loaded with books, apparel and other cool merch, that you can buy and have delivered right to your door.
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!