Travellers arriving in Iceland from Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Germany are exempt from COVID-19 testing and quarantine as of today. The four states have been added to the list of countries deemed “safe” by Iceland’s authorities, which also includes the Faroe Islands and Greenland.
The change applies to residents of the four countries, including Icelandic citizens, as well as anyone who has resided in those countries for 14 consecutive days before travelling to Iceland. Icelandic citizens and residents of Iceland arriving from other countries are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival, or a 4-5 day quarantine and two tests. Other travellers can choose between a single COVID-19 test upon arrival or a 14-day quarantine.
Foreign Tourists Less Likely to Spread COVID-19
“When the development of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past 14 days is examined according to the information of the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC), the spread of the epidemic is minimal in the Nordic countries excepting Sweden and in Germany. In addition, we have known that foreign tourists are generally unlikely to infect others. With these two combined [factors], and in light of our experience with testing since June 15, it is reasonable to drop these strict requirements for tourists from these countries,” Iceland’s Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason is quoted as saying in a notice from the Directorate of Health.
The number of travellers entering Iceland from abroad had been steadily increasing since the country implemented COVID-19 testing at its borders on June 15. 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, a move he previously stated would not be made before August.
Of the roughly 40,000 tests that have been administered to arriving travellers since June 15, only 14 active cases have been detected. There are currently 11 active cases of COVID-19 in Iceland, none in hospital.