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Why Iceland should be your first destination when the borders open

Find out why Iceland is safe to travel to in 2021

We live in some strange times. This global pandemic took from us the joy of travelling, meeting new people and discovering new places. With all this sanitary crisis, some of us may think twice when we choose a destination to travel when the borders are slowly starting to open. It is normal to be like that; we want to be safe, but is there any destinations where we can go and feel safe? The answer is yes! Iceland is that kind of destination and I am going to tell you why in this blog.


Low population density

First of all, Iceland is an island with a population of 364 134 (2020) and a surface of 103 000 km². It is the most sparsely populated country in Europe. That means there are no crowded spaces and you have a lot of space to wander around.


You can discover Iceland on your own

It is really easy to travel around Iceland on your own. There are many self-drive tours that you can book and travel in peace. Also, Iceland has the simplest network of roads that lead you to all touristic areas that might interest you.

Check out 40 things that you need to know about driving in Iceland.


Iceland is a natural paradise

Iceland has only one city and that’s the capital city of Reykjavik. Outside the capital city, everywhere you look, you will get impressed by nature’s beauty. Because last year there weren’t so many tourists as it used to be, nature had some time to rejuvenate and is now waiting for you to discover it.


Enjoy nature

Tourism experts say that for a period there will not be so many tourists after the pandemic ends and that is because the economy was also affected. However, if you saved for a trip to celebrate the end of the pandemic, in Iceland you can enjoy all the natural wonders for yourself. There is a big chance to see some of the most touristic places being empty, without crowds and enjoy them all for yourself.


Iceland’s response to COVID-19

Being a small country with a less numerous population, Iceland managed to control the outbreak of Coronavirus. The government took all the measures needed to stop the spread of the virus inside the country and now is slowly opening the borders for tourists from all over the world.


Who can come to Iceland

On the 21st of May, the Government of Iceland announced the regulations that will stay in place until the 16th of June. So if you have a vaccination certificate or a certificate of a previous infection you must:

pre-register before arriving in Iceland and confirm their departure day, if available.

-Present an approved vaccination certificate or a certificate of the previous infection at the border.

-Do not have to present a negative PCR test.

-Everybody must undergo testing on arrival to Iceland, even children.

-Everyone should quarantine until a negative result is obtained from the border testing. If you don´t get a message within 24 hours the result is negative. Here is a list of accommodations that accommodate guests in quarantine

-It is recommended that travellers download the Rakning C-19 app. It is used, amongst other things, to communicate negative testing results and helps to trace infections if necessary.

-Testing and quarantine of children: Children born in 2005 or later are tested at the border. They are exempt from the obligation to present a negative PCR certificate upon arrival. If a child travels with a person who is required to be quarantined, the child stays with them and is released from quarantine if the second test from the companion is negative. If the companion is exempt from double screening and quarantine, so is the child. A child travelling alone must be quarantined until a negative result is obtained from border testing.

-If the slightest suspicion arises that an individual has presented a forged certificate, he/she will be obliged to be tested twice with quarantine in between.


People coming from risk areas:

-Only Greenland is considered safe areas but all other countries are risk areas.

People travelling from risk areas but not high-risk lists I and II :

All travellers must pre-register before arriving in Iceland and confirm their departure day, if available.

Presenting certificates for a negative PCR test certificate against COVID-19. Rapid antigen tests are not valid. The test must have been taken within 72 hours before departure on the first leg of the journey.

Everybody must undergo testing on arrival to Iceland, even children.

Testing and quarantine: Everybody must quarantine for five days and go for another test at the end of quarantine. People may quarantine at home provided that their accommodation meets certain conditions. If not, they need to stay at the government quarantine facility during their quarantine. Here is a list of accommodations that accommodate guests in quarantine.

Go directly to the quarantine location from the border entry point by airport bus, taxi, rental car or private car. Travellers are advised to stay overnight at a guesthouse near the border entry point if they are tired or the weather is bad.

Testing and quarantine of children: Children born in 2005 or later are tested at the border. They are exempt from the obligation to present a negative PCR certificate upon arrival. If a child travels with a person who is required to be quarantined, the child stays with them and is released from quarantine if the second test from the companion is negative. If the companion is exempt from double screening and quarantine, so is the child. A child travelling alone must be quarantined until a negative result is obtained from border testing.

The second testing is done at health centres around Iceland. A bar code is sent to a mobile phone the night before testing. Please note the different opening hours for testing.

A positive result will always result in isolation, and in such cases, the instructions on home isolation must be followed. If an individual is diagnosed with a variant of the virus that is more contagious and/or causes a more serious illness, the person in question is unconditionally required to stay in a quarantine hotel. Isolation in the epidemic house is free of charge, and referral is in the hands of the infection tracing team and the COVID Outpatient Department at Landspítali.

It is recommended that travellers download the Rakning C-19 app. It is used, amongst other things, to communicate negative testing results and helps to trace infections if necessary.

A tourist is obliged to pre-register a departure date from Iceland if it is available. If the length of stay is shorter than the required time in the quarantine, it will be examined separately, as there is a risk that the person in question will not follow the rules on quarantine.

Please note that violations of quarantine or isolation rules are subject to fines and the involvement of the authorities to prevent violations.


Unnecessary travel from restricted areas (list II)

Foreigners travelling from restricted areas (list II) that are not exempt from the ban and don´t have a valid reason for travel are banned from coming to Iceland.

All that information about border measurements and quarantine were taken from the official site Covid.is and the website was consulted last time on 26 of May 2021. Check out the website because the rules may change in time.

Iceland is waiting for you!


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