Iceland has reopened its borders to tourists. Helpful information for tourists about Covid 19 and your safety if you are planning on travelling to Coronavirus free Iceland.

(Article updated 15. July 2020) 
Last Updated: Monday Jult 15th 2020

Here is everything you need to know about travelling to Iceland after coronavirus

Iceland reopened it borders to tourists on June 15. The country’s excellent response to the pandemic has garnered praise from around the globe; the world will be watching to see what happens as travel resumes.

Is it Safe to Travel to Iceland in 2020? 

Thanks to this rapid response and extensive testing, Iceland has effectively contained the coronavirus. The country has conducted more tests per capita than anywhere else in the world and avoided a strict lockdown. Life is almost completely back to normal in the country.
For travellers, Iceland is one of the safest countries that will be open this summer. On top of that, a recent study shows that 86% of potential travellers trust Iceland on matters related to COVID-19. 
"Iceland now feels like the coronavirus never happened" Max Foster CNN Reporter after his recent stay in Iceland.


Things You Need to Know Before Travelling to Iceland


What's the Status of COVID-19 in Iceland? 

For the latest information and figures regarding the coronavirus in Iceland, head to the official  government Covid-19 website.



When Will I Be Able to Travel to Iceland?

The Minister of Justice has decided to extend the travel restrictions imposed by the EU and Schengen states while lifting restrictions for residents of fourteen non-EEA and Schengen states as of July 15, in line with the decision of EU Member States. The new regulation also states that the travel restrictions do not apply to citizens and residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican. 
Iceland's chief epidemiologist has decided that as of Thursday, 16 July, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Germany will be removed from the list of high-risk countries. The effect of this change is that travellers arriving from these countries will be exempt from the quarantine and screening requirements that are generally applicable to passengers arriving in Iceland. 
A condition for the exemption is that the traveller has not visited an area that is classified as high-risk in the 14 days prior to arrival in Iceland. Those born in 2005 and later continue to be exempt from quarantine and screening requirements. The chief epidemiologist will update the list of high-risk countries as the evidence develops.
Travellers will be allowed entrance provided they do one of the following:
  1. Undertake a coronavirus test at the airport in Iceland.
  2. Forego the test at the airport and willingly go into a 14-day quarantine.
On July 3, Icelandic authorities decided that Icelandic nationals and people with permanent residence in Iceland, would have to take a second test 4 - 5 days after arrival in the country and stay in quarantine from arrival until the results of the second test are in. These rules came into effect on July 13.
The Icelandic government has issued rules and guidelines for all travellers entering Iceland


Taking the Coronavirus Test at Keflavik Airport

If you opt to take a test at the airport, it will be conducted as quickly as possible after you arrive. A single test at pre-registration costs 9,000 ISK, but 11,000 ISK if paid on arrival although no more than 22,000 ISK every 30 days for each individual. Children born 2005 or later will be exempt from the test.  
Results become available within 5 hours. However, travellers should plan on staying in Reykjavik for the first night in Iceland while they wait. If you test negative, you can start travelling in Iceland.
The HI Hostels in the capital are ready and available to take bookings.

Providing a Medical Certificate of a Recent Coronavirus Test

Presenting a medical document with a negative coronavirus test result also allows you into the country without a quarantine period. This type of document should be available from testing facilities in your home country.  

Do I Need to Undergo a 14-day Quarantine in Iceland?

If you don’t take the coronavirus test and don’t present a negative test result from your home country, you must go into a 14-day quarantine. And, IF your COVID-19 test is positive you must self-isolate. If you don’t have a location to self-isolate, you’ll be given free accommodation at an isolation center. You won’t be charged for medical treatment and supervision related to the coronavirus. 

Downloading Iceland’s COVID-19 Tracing App

It is also a requirement to download the official Icelandic COVID-19 tracing app, Rakning C-19. Test results will be available through the app, and it also provides a line of communication to officials in the country. The aim of the app is to pinpoint sources of infection and alert people who may have been exposed to the virus. The government is planning on updating the app with essential information for tourists.

Hygienic Practices at Keflavik International Airport

KEF Airport has additional hygienic practices in anticipation of the return of travel to Iceland. The frequency of cleaning and disinfecting high-contact areas has been increased and there are hand sanitiser stations at key locations. On top of that, there will be videos playing on screens throughout the airport showing how to best prevent the spread of contagion.  
For a full list of health measures, head to Keflavik Airport’s website.

Getting from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik

Both the FlyBus and Airport Direct will be available to transport tourists into Reykjavik. Both bus companies are following the guidelines provided by the Icelandic Directorate of Health and WHO. Cleaning and disinfecting occur before and after each transfer, and hand sanitiser is available on board.


Which Airlines Are Currently Flying to Iceland?

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, many airlines have grounded their fleets and suspended popular flight routes. But as travel resumes this summer, flights will slowly return as well.
Icelandair flight schedule is currently like this
Three US airlines have announced that they will not be flying to Iceland this summer; American Airlines, Delta and United, and also the Canadian airline Air Canada.



Why You Should Travel to Iceland After the Coronavirus

For many, Iceland is the perfect post-coronavirus escape. With wide open spaces and incredible nature, it’s the perfect reintroduction to the world post-coronavirus. Here are some further reasons why you should travel to Iceland this summer.

There Will Be Less Tourists

In 2019, almost two million tourists arrived in Iceland. Compare that to the small population of roughly 360,000, and it’s an incredible amount. There have been so many tourists in some places that they’ve had to close to protect the environment. But with the world still in various states of lockdowns, restrictions and travel bans, this summer is looking like it will be the quietest summer in over a decade. That means you can have all those epic Icelandic landscapes to yourself, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 

It’s Much Cheaper Than Usual

Iceland is an expensive destination. With lots of importing, a high VAT rate, and incredible standard of living, things quickly add up on a trip here. But the Icelandic krona is volatile. The pandemic has decreased its worth quite a bit, so now your dollars, euros and pounds will go much further than before.

Iceland is the Safest Destination in the World

From safety when it comes to solo travel to comprehensive COVID-19 testing, quarantines and hygienic procedures, Iceland is an all-around safe place. With the highest number of tests conducted per capita and a tracing app that manages any outbreaks of infection, you can rest easy knowing that Iceland is taking the pandemic seriously. 

Iceland’s Response to Coronavirus Pandemic

Iceland has had great success with managing the pandemic. A lot of it is thanks to its small population (364,000 people), but early and decisive action from the authorities were also a key factor. Rigorous testing and tracking isolated any infections very quickly. That testing began a full month before the first case was confirmed. 

On top of that, any Icelander who wanted to take a test was able to. This huge capacity for testing was thanks mostly to the Reykjavik-based biopharmaceutical company deCODE Genetics. As of the end of May, Iceland has conducted more than 69,200 tests, or around 16% of the population. The country has had 1,823 positive cases and 10 deaths.

"How Iceland Beat the Coronavirus" article from The New Yorker




Self-Drive Tours in Iceland: A Safe Way to Travel

One of the best ways to travel in Iceland is to undergo a self-driving tour of the country. It’s a safe way to avoid larger groups and gives you the freedom to create your own itinerary.
Book a self-drive tour with us and you’ll receive a complimentary breakfast at all the HI Hostels around the country. You’ll also receive a free HI membership card, guaranteeing low prices around the world, and a 10% discount. For inspiration, check out our range of sample itineraries. 

James Taylor is a travel journalist from Australia who lived in Iceland for three years.

Falling in love with the country, he began to write about his travels for magazines and websites in Australia, Europe and the U.S.A.