Travellers arriving in Iceland will have to pay ISK 15,000 ($113/€100) to be tested for COVID-19 if they want to avoid a two-week quarantine upon entering the country, RÚV reports. There are some caveats: the testing fee will not go into effect immediately and children who were born in 2005 and after are not required to be tested.
Some within the tourism industry argue that the testing fee is too high. Jóhannes Þór Skúlason, managing director of the Icelandic Travel Industry Association (SAF), says that the fee will discourage tourism to Iceland. He suggested that a fee of ISK 3,000-4,000 ($23-30/€20-27) would be more appropriate.
“We think the fee is far too high and will clearly have a negative impact on trips to Iceland this summer,” Jóhannes remarked, noting that travel companies and Icelandair have already had a very high number of cancellations. He also said that a number of SAF’s member companies have seconded this assessment, saying that their customers are not willing to pay such a high fee. And with fewer tourists coming to Iceland, Jóhannes says, companies will be able to hire fewer employees.
As it stands, however, travellers arriving in Iceland will have a two-week grace period after the Icelandic borders open on June 15 during which no fee will be assessed for a COVID-19 test. Therefore, adults arriving between June 15 and June 29 will be tested for free. Those who do not want to pay for a test have the option of going into quarantine for two weeks.