From Iceland — Quarantine Travel Regulations To Be Reviewed

Quarantine Travel Regulations To Be Reviewed

Published January 20, 2021

John Pearson
Photo by
Gabrielle Motola

Following Saturday’s fatal road traffic accident in the Westfjords, Icelandic Civil Protection authorities will review the quarantine rules for arriving international travellers, according to RÚV.

Currently the official advice is for arrivals at to get to their quarantine address as soon as possible, regardless of its location. Jóhann Sigurjónsson, an Ísafjörður-based doctor who attended the incident on Saturday, points out that this could enforce long drives in poor conditions by exhausted travellers, clearly compromising road safety.

Although literature available to arrivals at Keflavík Airport allows a first-night stay nearby “if there is an urgent need”, there is no definition of the term “urgent need”. Also Jóhann, who travels abroad frequently for work, has found that this advice is often flatly contradicted by staff at the border.

“I felt tired after a long journey, the weather forecast was better for the next day and I would choose to drive in daylight,” said Jóhann, describing one such experience. “The answer was simple and unequivocal – no.”

While the cause of Saturday’s accident is not yet known, the experience spurred Jóhann to express his concerns on social media. He also contacted the authorities to encourage a dialogue on the subject, and heard back from them this morning.

“What I’ve heard from representatives of the civil protection agency is that this will be immediately reviewed,” Jóhann said, “and the procedure changed.”

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