From Iceland — Tourist Board Cautiously Optimistic About The Summer

Tourist Board Cautiously Optimistic About The Summer

Published January 26, 2021

John Pearson
Photo by
Art Bicnick

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.

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.

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!

Show Me More!