From Iceland — Legal Sanctions Possible Over Border Test Refusal

Legal Sanctions Possible Over Border Test Refusal

Published January 25, 2021

John Pearson
Photo by
Mufid Majnun on Unsplash

Foreigners who refuse a coronavirus test at the border could be denied entry to Iceland, the National Commissioner of Police has confirmed. The law also allows for coercive measures to be taken in the case of Icelandic nationals who decline to be tested, according to Kjarninn.

Since the testing regime at the border changed on the 15th of January, there is now no option for arriving travellers to go into 14-day quarantine without a test. Consequently any arriving adult traveller, without verifiable certification of exemption, must undergo the oral and nasal swab procedure.

However, police commissioner Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir hopes that the powers, provided under the Immigration Act and the Epidemic Prevention Act, will never be necessary. “Before taking coercive measures, an attempt should always be made to resolve cases in another way,” she stated.

So far, the persuasive powers of staff at the border have proved sufficient, including in the case of the family who arrived on the day after the most recent changes came into effect. Should a chat with anyone refusing a test not be enough, then police would consult with the Chief Epidemiologist as to the way forward.

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