COVID 19 Measures in Iceland
The Icelandic Tourist Board has implemented a Clean and safe (Hreint og Öruggt) pledge. Meaning that every travel company promises a clean and safe travel to all of their travellers. Aldu experience is proud to announce you that we have ticked all the boxes and that we are fully committed to it!
This part is to inform you about all the measures that are taken by the Icelandic government regarding the entries to the country. We try to keep everything updated as soon as possible. You can also follow the live statistics of the country’s vaccination program on covid.is.
Actual situation (update from the 25th of February 2021):
The current levels of COVID-19 in Iceland are low and are being closely monitored, with only one active infection having been diagnosed domestically in a person outside quarantine since 20 January. The domestic 14-day incidence rate stands at 1.4 per 100,000 inhabitants. 24 people are currently in-home isolation with an active infection, none over the age of 60.
The general limit on gatherings is raised from 20 to 50, with ongoing emphasis on distancing and other personal precautions. The new rules allow fans to attend sporting events and higher number of spectators to attend cultural events, where attendees are seated, face in the same direction, wear facemasks and the opportunities for mingling are reduced. The maximum number of people allowed cultural, religious and sports settings, as well as shops is 200. Bars and restaurants can stay open until 23:00, and capacity restrictions at public swimming pools and gyms have been loosened.
Arrival in Iceland:
- All passengers arriving to Iceland, after more than a 24 hour stay in risk areas abroad, are to present a PCR test upon arrival that is not more than 72 hours old at departure according to Act. no. 161/2021.
- All travellers arriving from risk areas are required to undergo 2 PCR tests to screen for SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, with a 5-day quarantine in between. The first test is performed upon arrival and the second one 5 days later.
- All passengers travelling to Iceland are required to fill out a pre-registration form before arrival, which includes their contact information, confirmation of negative PCR-test, address during their quarantine in Iceland and a declaration. This form can’t be confirmed and sent until 72 hrs before your arrival in Iceland. (https://visit.covid.is/ )
- From December 2020, border screening is free of charge.
- Those who provide valid proof of having been vaccinated against COVID-19 are not required to provide a PCR-test prior to boarding and are also exempt from screening and quarantine measures at the border. The same applies to those who can provide proof of prior infection.
- Children born 2005 or later:
- Do not need to present a negative PCR-test, but need to quarantine for 5 days.
- Who travel with a parent/guardian are required to quarantine with their parent/guardian.
- Who travel alone (unaccompanied minors) need to undergo a screening test after 5 days of quarantine. The same applies to children who travel with parents/guardian who have certificates for exemption.
- Children 2 years old and younger are exempt from testing screening but need to quarantine for 5 days.
- Those who test positive in first screening may be required to isolate in a managed facility. (more information below)
- Connecting passengers who do not go beyond the respective border-crossing point neither have to quarantine nor undergo testing. Connecting passengers who go beyond the border-crossing but stay in Iceland for less than 48 hours are allowed to quarantine instead of undergoing a test according to this provision.
Exemptions from border screening and quarantine rules do not provide exemptions from travel restrictions.
Passengers arriving from Greenland who have not stayed outside Greenland for the past 14 days.
Travelers with connecting flights, who do not leave the border crossing point in question, are not required to submit to screenings and quarantine.
Passengers on connecting flights who stay in Iceland for less than 48 hours have the option of quarantining instead of submitting to sampling.
Those who are able to submit proof of a prior COVID-19 infection with a PCR test or an antibody test issued by an EEA/EFTA country. Note that a positive PCR test must be at least 14 days old.
Those who have a valid certificate of full vaccination issued by an EEA/EFTA country with an approved vaccine against COVID-19.
Those presenting a valid full vaccination certificate with an approved vaccine against COVID-19.
A certificate of derogation at the border crossing point must meet the following criteria:
Certificate for a previous COVID-19 infection
Certificates must be issued in Icelandic, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, or English.
First name and last name (comparable to travel documentation).
Date of birth.
When the sampling took place (Date).
Where the sampling took place (Country/City/Address).
Name of testing facility / Certificate issuer.
Date of certificate.
Telephone number of the party responsible for issuing the certificate or the testing facility.
Type of test (PCR test or antibody test by ELISA blood serum test).
Test result (a positive PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 or proof of the presence of antibodies).
A vaccination certificate issued by an EEA/EFTA State with one of the following vaccines with marketing authorization in Europe:
- Comirnaty; Pfizer BioNTech
- COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna
- COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca
The International Certificate of Vaccination (“the yellow book”) issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) is also valid in those cases where WHO has discussed and approved a vaccine that is listed on the certificate, regardless of where the vaccination was made. Here is a list of vaccines that may be listed in the yellow book:
- Comirnaty; Pfizer/BioNTech
- COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca
- Covidshield COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca
Certificates can be hard copies or electronic. Border guards will assess whether a certificate is valid and will contact a representative of the Chief Epidemiologist (a health care professional) as necessary, and the Chief Epidemiologist issues a final decision regarding the validity of the certificate. If a passenger presents a certificate that is deemed invalid, i.e., if any of the required conditions are not met, the person concerned shall be subject to the quarantine measures imposed on other passengers, i.e., to present a certificate for a negative PCR test and undergo double screening, with a quarantine between those screenings.
Vaccination certificates must fulfill the following criteria:
Must be submitted in Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, English, or French. A certificate in another language may be valid if submitted along with a translation in one of the approved languages and verified by a certified translator.
First name and last name (comparable to travel documentation).
Date of birth.
Name of the vaccinated disease (COVID-19).
When the vaccinations took place (dates)
Vaccination must be completed; see below for the number of doses required to complete the vaccination for each vaccine.
Information on the issuer of the certificate (Healthcare Professional/Institution), along with a signature in the case of an international vaccination certificate.
Name of the vaccine.
Manufacturer of vaccine and batch number.
Dual Screening and Quarantine
The first screening takes place at the border, after which the arriving passengers must be quarantined for 5-6 days according to Instructions for Residential Quarantine.
List of accommodations that accommodate guests undergoing quarantine.
The quarantine facilities operated by the authorities will only accept visitors who have a referral from the health authorities and border officials.
The second screening takes place at Clinics all over the country, and bar codes are sent to mobile phones the night before the sampling is to take place. Please note varying opening hours for sampling.
A positive screening result will always lead to isolation, and then it is necessary to adhere to Instructions for Residential Isolation. Should a person be diagnosed with a variant of the virus that is more contagious and/or leads to a more serious illness, they are unconditionally required to stay at a quarantine facility.
We would emphasize that a breach of quarantine or isolation may lead to fines and the involvement of authorities to prevent violations.
What if I am tested positive at the border?
Isolation in Quarantine hotels. An individual who tests positive for COVID 19 at the border will be required to isolate in a managed isolation facility (quarantine hotel) should they be unable to demonstrate that they have made appropriate quarantine arrangement themselves. Individuals found to be infected with certain virus strains will be required to isolate in a managed isolation facility.
Main points to keep in mind regarding quarantine:
- You may obtain necessary medical treatment services on condition of having first contacted your nearest healthcare centre, Læknavakt/1700, the emergency hotline 112 or (+354) 544 4113 if phoning from an overseas telephone number.
- You may go for walks in less frequented areas but must keep at least two metres away from other pedestrians.
- You may not have physical contact with others who share the home and must take the greatest care to ensure cleanliness and try to maintain a distance of at least 1–2 metres when in contact with other members of the household.
- You may not use public transport (domestic flights, buses, coaches), only taxis, rental cars and private cars.
- You may not go to restaurants, bars or gatherings of any form, such as swimming pools, cinemas, the theatre, shops or other places where large numbers of people congregate.
- You may not undertake personal errands or go shopping. This includes pharmacies, supermarkets, post offices, banks, etc. Delivery services are available from Internet shops and restaurants.
- You may not go on excursions and may not drive long distances, except between a border crossing and your final quarantine destination if such location is in a different region.
Your obligation to remain in quarantine will be removed as soon as you receive a negative result from your second screening.
When in Iceland:
- Persons travelling to Iceland may not be picked up at the airport. This includes family members and friends. Arrivals to Iceland must take a taxi, a rental car or a private car that has been dropped off at the airport.
- The 2-metre social distancing rule and the obligation to wear face-masks in areas the two metre rule can’t be respected (shops, bars, restaurants…) remain in place.
- The Ranking C-19 app: The app is used is used to send information on negative results from screening tests and to help track infections if necessary. Please download upon arrival.
- Iceland will implement a new system, based on the ECDC colour scheme on the 1st of May. From that time travellers from low-risk areas will be exempt from quarantine measures if they present a negative PCR result at the border.
Useful links (all info in English):
- Icelandic Tourist Board: https://www.ferdamalastofa.is/en
- Information regarding the ranking app: https://www.covid.is/media
- The official page pf the Icelandic government: https://www.government.is/news/
In closing, it is always worth remembering to ensure general hygiene, particularly washing your hands with soap and water.