Arrivals in Iceland will soon be required to undergo not one but two COVID-19 screenings and undergo a short quarantine period while awaiting results of the second test, according to the health ministry.

From mid-August Iceland will introduce more stringent screening processes for travelers in order to safeguard the country from rising infections and give locals and visitors alike more peace of mind. Visitors will have to undergo double screening, with the first test taking place at the border and the second test several days later. While awaiting the results of the second test, visitors must undergo five to six days quarantine.

Icebergs floating in Jokulsarlon glacial lake. South Iceland. Lagoon. Starry sky night. Fantastic milky way.
Sea stacks off the coast of Reynisfjara © Myron Standret / Alamy Stock Photo

The Icelandic government updated its advice on August 16, noting all passengers arriving in Iceland from August 19 can choose to be double tested for COVID-19 or quarantine for two weeks. Passengers will pay ISK15,000 (US$112 or €99) for the first test but the second test is free of charge. Children born in 2005 or later are exempt from both testing and quarantine. Travelers will not be allowed to bring test results from their home country. 

Iceland’s prime minister Katrin Jakobsdottir reopened the country to visitors on June 15. Previously passengers only had to be tested once but the rise in new daily coronavirus infections in both Iceland and the rest of the world has prompted the government to introduce additional health and safety measures.

Travelers will also have to fill out a pre-registration form before they arrive and adhere to rules around infection control. All visitors are also encouraged to download the contact tracing app, Rakning C-19. The Icelandic government has previously said that 40% of the population in Iceland is using the contract tracing app. The app has been developed with privacy measures, with location data stored locally on a user’s device unless released for tracing purposes if and when an infection is discovered. 

While Iceland is ready for visitors, the EU has not yet included the US on its 'safe' countries for travel list so US travelers will not be permitted to enter the country for now.

This article was first published on May 13 and updated on August 18, 2020.

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This article was first published May 13, 2020 and updated Aug 18, 2020.

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