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Travelling to Iceland after vaccination

What to expect when travelling to Iceland for vaccinated/previously infected travellers.

Iceland has opened its borders to vaccinated travellers. In this blog, I will share the procedure with you, what to prepare and expect when entering Iceland can a vaccinated/previously infected traveller.

From 6 April 2021, travellers from anywhere in the world can travel to Iceland can skip testing and quarantine requirements if they can prove that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or if they can prove that they have recovered from COVID-19. They will only be required to take one PCR test upon arrival and stay in quarantine until the result is out and is negative. This requirement will be reviewed on 1 May 2021.

Source: logreglan.is

Entry requirements for a fully vaccinated traveller

For travellers who have completed their vaccination, you will need a vaccine certificate for entry into Iceland. You might need this also for the boarding of flights for most airlines in place of a negative PCR test.

Your vaccine certificate/card must meet the following requirement(s):-
A vaccination certificate with one of the following vaccines with marketing authorization in Europe:
1. Comirnaty; Pfizer BioNTech
2. COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna
3. COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca
4. COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen

The International Certificate of Vaccination (“the yellow book”) issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) is also valid in those cases where WHO has discussed and approved a vaccine that is listed on the certificate, regardless of where the vaccination was made. Here is a list of vaccines that may be listed in the yellow book:
1. Tozinameran-COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine (Comirnaty®) Pfizer/BioNTech Manufacturing GmbH.
2. COVID-19 Vaccine (ChAdOx1-S) AstraZeneca/SK Bio (SK Bioscience Co. Ltd).
3. COVID-19 (ChAdOx1-S) Vaccine AstraZeneca (Covidshield™ Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd).
4. COVID-19 Vaccine (Ad26.COV2-S) Janssen-Cilag International NV.

Certificates can be hard copies or electronic. Border guards will assess whether a certificate is valid and will contact a representative of the Chief Epidemiologist (a health care professional) as necessary, and the Chief Epidemiologist issues a final decision regarding the validity of the certificate.

If a passenger presents a certificate that is deemed invalid, i.e., if any of the required conditions are not met, the person concerned shall be subject to the quarantine measures imposed on other passengers, i.e., to present a certificate for a negative PCR test and undergo double screening, with a quarantine between those screenings.

Vaccination certificates must fulfil the following criteria:

  • Must be submitted in Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, English, or French.
  • A certificate in another language may be valid if submitted along with a translation in one of the approved languages and verified by a certified translator.
  • First name and last name (comparable to travel documentation).
  • Date of birth.
  • Name of the vaccinated disease (COVID-19).
  • Where and when the vaccinations took place (date(s))
  • Vaccination must be complete; the number of doses required to complete each vaccine’s vaccination must be according to manufacturer recommendations.
  • Information on the issuer of the certificate (Healthcare Professional/Institution), along with a signature in the case of an international vaccination certificate.
  • Name of the vaccine.
  • Manufacturer of vaccine and batch number.

Entry requirements for a fully recovered traveller

For travellers who have had a prior infection and have fully recovered from COVID-19, you will need to have a certificate of prior infection and it must meet the following criteria:-

  • Certificates must be issued in Icelandic, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, or English.
  • First name and last name (comparable to travel documentation).
  • Date of birth.
  • When the sampling took place (Date).
  • Where the sampling took place (Country/City/Address).
  • Name of testing facility / Certificate issuer.
  • Date of a certificate.
  • Telephone number of the party responsible for issuing the certificate or the testing facility.
  • Type of test (PCR test or antibody test by ELISA blood serum test).
  • Test result (a positive PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 or proof of the presence of antibodies).

This certificate might also be required for the boarding of flights in place of a negative PCR test.

What do I need to do before departure?

All travellers to Iceland are required to pre-register electronically 72 hours before departure. After filling up the form, an email will be sent with a barcode which you will need on arrival.

All travellers are also recommended to download the “Ranking C-19” app. This app is intended, among other things, to communicate negative results from COVID-19 screenings and assists the health authorities with the tracing of infections when necessary.

You should also check with the airline that you will be flying with what are their boarding requirements. Different airlines have slightly different requirements. Some of them require a negative PCR test regardless you are vaccinated or not.

What to expect upon arriving in Iceland?

All arriving passengers must undergo at least one COVID-19 screening, wherever they are coming from and at any age, including those with a vaccination certificate or a certificate of the previous infection. – While awaiting screening results instructions for quarantine must be followed. This requirement will be reviewed on 1 May 2021.

Upon arrival in Iceland, all passengers will be directed to an area for the COVID-19 test for entry. After the test, you will be directed to the immigration counter.

You will need to scan your pre-registration barcode at the immigration counter and you will need to produce your passport and vaccination certificate/prior infection certificate to the immigration officer. The documents will be verified and you are good to go.

Getting from the airport to Reykjavik

Since all travellers are “in quarantine” until the first test results are out, you are NOT allowed to use public buses and cannot be picked up by friends/relatives from the airport. You are required to go straight to the hotel for quarantine until you get your results from the first test. Reykjavik’s modes of transportation included FlyBusrental cartaxi, and a private car dropped off at the airport for you.

What happens if my first-night accommodation is very far from the airport?

According to covid.is, “Travelers are advised to stay overnight at a guesthouse near the border station if they are tired from their journey or in the case of unfavourable weather conditions”.

What this means is that if you are too tired or not able to drive to the accommodation in one go, you need to stay in accommodation near to the airport for the first night and continue to the accommodation the next day.

During quarantine, you are not allowed to

  • Go to tourist places or go sightseeing
  • Go to the volcanic eruption site
  • Be in crowded places
  • Use the bus, domestic flights or public transportation
  • Go for a drive
  • Go shopping or to a restaurant
  • Stay in a mobile home
  • Stay in a hostel

So essentially, you cannot stay in your campervan or motorhome while waiting for your test result. It is also not recommended to book your first night’s accommodation too far from the airport as you have to drive it in one go. You are not allowed to stop for toilet breaks at a gas station, you are not allowed to get food from any restaurants or grocery store, you are not allowed to stop at any tourist attractions, and you cannot even stop by the side of the road for pictures. Unless you have a steel bladder and are one hell of a driver, any accommodation that is more than a 2-3 hours’ drive from the airport might be too far.

If you need help planning your itinerary, contact us.

What about non-vaccinated children travelling with vaccinated parents?

Children born in 2005 and later are exempt from the requirement of presenting a negative PCR certificate upon arrival. They still need to be tested at the border but if the parents are vaccinated or have had prior infection, non-vaccinated child(ren) do not need to go into quarantine if the test result at the border is negative.

What if I need a PCR test before leaving Iceland?

Despite being vaccinated, many countries still require returning travellers to present a negative PCR test before departure. This PCR test usually needs to be done within 72 hours of departure and it can be done in healthcare centres around Iceland. The test cost ISK7000.

Before going for the test, a prior appointment needs to be made, and the result will be available within 24 hours. The certificates are sent electronically by e-mail. If you need a certificate on paper with an original stamp, you need to contact the healthcare centre and pay separately for the certificate there.

More information and details can be found on the following official websites:-

As border regulations are constantly changing, we will be updating the blog regularly but please refer to the official information from the websites listed above for the latest rules and regulations.

*Note: Iceland is welcoming vaccinated visitors from outside the Schengen zone, but further travel from Iceland to the rest of Europe is currently not permitted for non-Schengen residents.

All those information were correct at the moment of writing this blog. Check official websites for updates.

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