How HI Iceland is keeping our guests safe during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

(Article updated 26. August 2020) 
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.

How is HI ICELAND responding to COVID-19? 

HI Iceland is committed to your safety, the safety of staff and all those who work with or visit us are the top priority for us. We have made many changes to the way we do things because of COVID-19 and we will continue to seek advice and review our operations, policies, and procedures in keeping with The Health Authorities ‘law and guidelines. 
This is a summary of our actions; policies and procedures that have been implemented throughout our HI Hostels operation in Reykjavik. These actions may be updated at any time to reflect government requirements and our own learnings. 
  • Instructions and signage are in place to help guests understand their responsibilities with respect to using our facilities. Everyone is asked to take good care of their health, wash their hands thoroughly and be mindful of cleanliness. 
  • 2 metre social distancing is in place in public areas and occupancy is limited to private rooms only. Social distancing measures have informed the layout and seating arrangements and will be maintained and enforced by staff. Where the 2-metre rule cannot be enforced, face masks must be used, by guests and staff.  
  • We are managing guest numbers and expect guests to follow any reasonable request from staff to maintain good social distancing practice and healthy habits.  
  • Staff follow the same rules as guests with respect to hygiene protocols. They are advised to stay at home any time they feel unwell or have cold or flu like symptoms. 
  • We have installed hand-sanitising stations in all our public areas for the use of guests and staff. Disposable gloves are available in reception and in guest kitchen.  
  • We have increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting all guest rooms and public areas. This includes regularly disinfecting common touch points.   
  • For guests staying longer than 5 days, guest rooms will be serviced once per week only when guest is not in room.  
  • All payments are to be contactless and we have streamlined our check-in and check-out procedures.  
  • Guest key cards are sanitized immediately after checkout. 
  • For now, we have discontinued the buffet breakfast for hostel guests.   
  • We have increasingly targeted our offerings toward the local population and those traveling within short distances. We are offering meals and beverages in a safe and spacious areas.  
We will continue to be guided by the latest health and government advice and will make changes to our policies and procedures as required.  

Other important information

Guide on Travel to Iceland After Coronavirus Pandemic
Helpful information for tourists about Covid 19 and your safety if you are planning on travelling to Coronavirus free Iceland. More information.
How can travelers protect themselves from COVID-19? 
COVID-19, or ‘novel coronavirus,’ is a respiratory illness that was first detected in China in December 2019. Symptoms include high fever, cough and difficulty breathing. The virus can be spread via person-to-person contact or from contact with contaminated surfaces. To protect yourself and others, practice these healthy hygiene habits:
  1. Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
  2. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you can’t wash your hands
  3. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  4. Sneeze into a tissue. If you don’t have any, cough into your elbow, don’t use your hands.
  5. Avoid touching your face, mouth, nose and eyes with unwashed hands
  6. Avoid contact with people who are sick
  7. If you are sick, stay at home or call a medical professional
Those who have traveled from areas with a high risk of infection and have cold-like symptoms should contact the Healthline 1700 (+354 544 4113) for those calling from a non-Icelandic phone number). The helpline is always the first point of contact and people must always call before going to hospitals or clinics to avoid possible spread of infection.
General advice about the Covid-19 virus
The WHO (World Health Organization) offers general advice on effective ways for people to protect themselves against the Covid-19 virus. See information.
We advise you to refer to the website of the Icelandic Directorate of Health for the latest information and advice on Coronavirus / COVID-19 virus in Iceland and also The Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management.
Covid website about what is happening in Iceland
The Directorate of Health and the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management have launched a helpful and informative website on COVID-19 containing everything you could possible need or want to know about the virus, including how to protect yourself, how Iceland is responding, and special information for tourists.
We encourage everyone to take good care of their health, wash their hands thoroughly and be mindful of cleanliness.
We are monitoring the situation closely and will reassess our response as needed.
Please stay safe, in good health and look after yourselves as well as your neighbours and your communities. We are here for you. We will answer any questions you may have. Please contact us by email: