As of February 19, all travellers entering Iceland from abroad will be required to provide a certificate of a negative PCR test administered no more than 72 hours before their departure. This measure is in addition to Iceland’s existing double testing and five-day quarantine requirements. Border officials will also have the authority to place certain travellers in government-monitored quarantine hotels, according to new border regulations decided on by Iceland’s cabinet today.
Certificates Shown Before Departure
Passengers will be required to present their certificate before boarding their flight or ship to Iceland as well as upon arrival to the country. Icelandic authorities will only accept certificates in English, Norwegian, Swedish, or Danish. Travellers will also be required to register their results electronically before departure.
Those with Contagious Variants Must Isolate in Government Facilities
According to the new regulations, authorities can place travellers who test positive in their first border test in a quarantine hotel if it is demonstrated that they do not have access to adequate facilities to isolate or quarantine. As of February 19, travellers will be required to isolate in a government-run quarantine hotel if they test positive for a variant of SARS-CoV-2 that is known to be more contagious or be more likely to cause serious illness, such as the British, South African, and Brazilian variants.
Tightened Borders to Protect Domestic Success
In order to protect the nation’s success in containing the pandemic locally, Iceland’s Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason recommended the Health Ministry impose further restrictions at the country’s borders. Ensuring active COVID-19 cases do not cross the borders is key to being able to relax domestic restrictions, according to Þórólfur.
These border regulations will be in place until May 1, when new regulations are expected to take effect that may allow travellers from low-risk areas to forego quarantine in Iceland, though they would still be required to undergo testing.