Since late May, tourists—mostly from the US—have returned to Iceland and are ready to swarm the country. Last Saturday, a total of 10,580 people passed through Keflavík Airport. This is a record number of travelers passing through the airport since the pandemic first reached Iceland in March 2020, just 15 months ago.
New tourist boom after the dead calm of the pandemic
Last year in March, when the pandemic took off in Europe and the US, the US authorities imposed a travel ban on those from outside the Schengen Area, which of course includes the United States. This measure greatly reduced the number of passengers at Keflavík Airport the weeks after.
As of right now, fully vaccinated people—meaning 14 days have passed since the final dose—are exempt from quarantine and border testing, while unvaccinated people must present a negative PCR test result at the border, undergo double-testing, and endure a 5-day quarantine. The border rules are valid until August 15th.
Airlines are ready to pick up the speed
According to Vísir, it is now confirmed that at least 20 airlines will offer flights to and from Keflavík airport this summer. Most recently, the airline PLAY joined the group. Icelandair has also increased the number of departures every week and the American airline United Airlines started flights to Chicago last week. It is a new destination for United from Keflavík Airport.
The start of a busy winter
Guðmundur Daði Rúnarsson, Director of Business and Development at Isavia, hopes the tourist boom will continue in the winter. “We at Isavia work a lot with airlines to ensure an increased supply of flights during the winter. The interest in Iceland is great and with each new company and each new destination, the number of people who want to visit us increases, and the opportunities for the Icelandic business community to enter new markets increases even more,” he speculates.
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