The head of the Icelandic Tourist Board has sounded a note of cautious optimism regarding foreign tourism in Iceland this summer.
Writing in Fréttablaðið this morning, Bjarnheiður Hallsdóttir stated that the new border testing regime, which takes effect on 1st of May, “gives the bright hope that it will be possible to deliver” positive tourist experiences.
The new border arrangements will utilise a traffic-light system which classifies countries as red, orange, green or grey, based on a continuous coronavirus risk assessment by the European Epidemiological Surveillance Authority.
The current regime – double screening separated by five days of quarantine – will remain the default. However, passengers arriving from orange or green countries will be able to avoid this by presenting valid certification of vaccination, previous Covid-19 recovery or a recent negative PCR test.
The new arrangements, in taking account of the level of risk presented by a specific country, should tailor the border process better to the circumstances of an individual traveller. The traffic-light system should help make the system more transparent, and easy to understand.
A survey by the European Travel Commission reveals that around 2% of respondents are interested in Iceland as a destination. While welcoming this interest as good news, Bjarnheiður said: “It is not a given… that Iceland enjoys any kind of special status when it comes to people’s choice of destination after an epidemic.”
She also says that the results of the survey provide a warning that Iceland cannot afford to relax regarding the pandemic.
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