From Iceland — Border Restrictions In Iceland Have Violated EEA Rules

Border Restrictions In Iceland Have Violated EEA Rules

Published December 16, 2021

Reetta Huhta
Photo by
Jeff Hitchcock/Wikimedia Commons

The ESA, the EFTA Surveillance Authority, has sent a formal notice to Iceland regarding the restrictions on access to enter the country, reports Vísir. According to the ESA, the restrictions that were introduced in May 2021 have discriminated against EEA citizens residing in Iceland.

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In May 2021, a new law was implemented which laid down an obligation for air carriers to check whether passengers have the required certificates considering COVID-19 upon arrival to Iceland. An announcement from the ESA states that the law is discriminating against EEA citizens living in the country, as the claim did not apply to Icelandic citizens.

It is pointed out in the announcement that EEA countries are allowed to restrict travel between countries in order to curb the spread of the epidemic, but measures should not go beyond what is considered necessary.

The agency says it has not received satisfactory responses indicating that the measures used in Iceland could be proportionate. Iceland has two months to present its views before the ESA decides whether to pursue the matter further.

This is not the first time that the agency has engaged with the actions that Iceland has taken. In December 2020, the ESA claimed that the campaign launched to encourage people to buy local products instead of imported ones was not in accordance with EEA rules. This was stated in a formal notice that was sent to Iceland by the agency.

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