Covid-19 in Iceland: Changes To Border Restriction Regulations Skip to content

Covid-19 in Iceland: Changes To Border Restriction Regulations

By Gréta Sigríður Einarsdóttir

Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir COVID-19
Photo: Golli. Left to right: Former Minister of Justice Áslaug Arna Snæbjörnsdóttir, Former Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir, and Former Minister of Health Svandís Svavarsdóttir.

Minister of Justice Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir’s amendment to border restriction regulations will allow vaccinated travellers from non-Schengen countries to visit Iceland. All vaccination or antibody certificates issued according to WHO regulations will be accepted at the border so third-country citizens will be able to present certificates issued in their home country and be exempt from border tests and quarantine. Áslaug Arna will also be instating internal border control at Iceland’s border “to further ensure infection prevention at the border and stop infections from entering the country”.

At the government’s meeting yesterday morning, Minister of Justice Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir’s suggested amendment to regulations on cross-border travel was approved. After the new regulations take effect, the general ban on recreational travel for third-country citizens (individuals who are neither citizens of EEA/EFTA states nor citizens of Andorra, Monaco, San Marion or the Vatican, irrespective of whether they can normally travel without any restriction) will not affect those who can present a satisfactory certificate of vaccination. Another amendment to border restriction regulations means that this will affect all certificates of vaccination or antibodies issued according to WHO regulations no matter their origin, provided that they fulfil other conditions. those conditions include that only vaccination certificates for vaccines already approved by the European Medicines Agency will provide access to the country. Four such vaccines have been approved, the Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Jansen vaccines. Travellers from Russia vaccinated with the Sputnik V vaccine will have to wait a little longer for their trip to Iceland.

The Minister of Justice, following the National Police Commissioner’s risk assessment, has also decided to instate border control at Iceland’s internal borders in accordance with Schengen cross-border travel regulations and will be notifying the European Commission. Border control has already been increased following the government’s decision to require passengers to provide negative PCR tests on arrival and according to the government’s press release, the change is mostly a formality. “Despite the changes being mostly a formality, instating border control at the internal border allows Icelandic border authorities to react quickly to situations that may arise, and will further ensure infection prevention at the border and stop infections from entering the country.”

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