Starting on Thursday, travellers from Germany, Norway, Denmark, and Finland will be added to a short list of countries whose residents are exempt from both quarantine and COVID-19 testing upon entering Iceland. The change applies to residents of the four countries arriving on July 16 or later. Travellers from the Faroe Islands and Greenland continue to be exempt from both quarantine and testing.
Iceland’s Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason announced at a briefing today that he had decided to “speed up” exempting travellers from certain countries from screening at the border. He had previously announced no such decision would be made until August. The exemption applies to residents of Germany, Norway, Denmark, and Finland, as well as any travellers who have been in those countries for 14 consecutive days prior to travelling to Iceland. The new regulation also applies to Icelanders living in those countries. Icelandic citizens and residents arriving from other countries are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival, or a 4-5 day quarantine and two tests.
The number of travellers entering Iceland from abroad had been steadily increasing since the country implemented COVID-19 testing at its borders. In recent days, the number has been straining the country’s testing capacity of 2,000 samples per day, a factor that likely influenced the Chief Epidemiologist’s decision to add more countries to Iceland’s safe list.
Þórólfur stated that Iceland was not ready to accept foreign COVID-19 test certificates in lieu of local testing or quarantine, but may do so in future.