Practical information regar­ding Covid testing for travellers arri­ving in Iceland

If you are planning to travel to Iceland in the coming weeks then be prepared for being tested for Covid-19 at arrival.

Námaskarð Pass is a geothermal area in north Iceland. CREDIT: ICELAND.IS

Passengers arri­ving in Iceland from 15 June can choose to be tested for COVID-19 or to go into quar­antine for two weeks. This is in line with the Chief Epidem­iolog­ist’s recomm­endations and the preparations are now underway for testing at the Icelandic boarder.

“Utmost care is being taken not to jeop­ar­dize the success achieved in Iceland during the COVID-19 pand­emic as Iceland prepares to offer tests for travelers on the 15 June 2020,” says Prime Mini­ster Katrin Jakobs­dottir in a statement.

On 15 June 2020 all passengers arri­ving in Iceland can choose to be screened upon arrival for COVID-19. Those who opt out of testing will have to self-quar­antine for two weeks. Children born in 2005 and later will be exempt from quar­antine and screening requirements.

The pre-registration process will facilitate testing and shorten wait times for passengers. The analysis of tests will be carried out by deCode genetics, an Icelandic company that has offered to loan equip­ment and facilitate testing in colla­boration with The Nati­onal University Hospital of Iceland.

Passengers are required to fill out a pre-registration form (available soon on www.covid.is) before departure to Iceland, which requires passengers to provide their personal details and contact information, flight information, travel dates and address(es) during their stay in Iceland. The form also includes a decl­aration of health and passengers are required to provide information on countries they have visited before arrival, whether they have any symptoms of COVID-19, whether they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 before their arrival, or if they have been in close contact with an infected indi­vidual.

Testing will be available at Keflavik airport and in Seyd­is­fjordur (for passengers arri­ving on the Smyril Line) for those who opt to be tested on arrival in Iceland. Passengers arri­ving in other internati­onal airports (Reykjavik, Akur­eyri, Egils­stadir) or ports may be tested at the closest local healt­hcare centre.

Those who test positive will be offered to undergo further tests to determine whether they have an active infection. In the case of an active infection, the passenger must self-isolate.

The preparations for the testing are now underway in colla­boration with the main stakeholders of the project. Presently, 2000 samples can be analysed daily. This will be a limiting factor for airlines and maritime comp­anies.
In accor­d­ance with Icelandic laws, the test will cost 15000 ISK and the Mini­ster of Health will issue a regulation setting out the fee and other issues regar­ding testing.

All travellers are encouraged to take precauti­onary measures to protect themselves and others, such as frequent handwashing, use of disin­fect­ants, the two-meter social dist­ancing guidel­ines, and to respect health safety regulations in place. You can find further information about testing and traveling to Iceland here on www.covid.is/english, the main information site for the COVID-19 pand­emic in Iceland.

Iceland will cont­inue to implement the travel restrictions imposed for the Schengen Area, which are currently due to remain in place until 15 June 2020. These restrictions may be extended until 1 July, but this remains to be decided by Schengen member states. While these restrictions are in place, foreign nati­onals, other than EU/EEA, EFTA or UK nati­onals, are generally not allowed to enter Iceland.