Iceland is planning to start easing restrictions on international arrivals no later than June 15. Although details are still being developed, it is expected that travelers will have the choice between a test for the virus on arrival or a two-week quarantine.
It is also likely that travelers will be required to download and use the official tracing app already in use by 40 percent of its population. The app has been developed with privacy standards in mind, with location data stored locally on the user’s device unless released for tracing purposes in case of an infection.
“When travelers return to Iceland we want to have all mechanisms in place to safeguard them and the progress made in controlling the pandemic. Iceland’s strategy of large-scale testing, tracing, and isolating have proven effective so far. We want to build on that experience of creating a safe place for those who want a change of scenery after what has been a tough spring for all of us,” says Tourism Minister Thordis Kolbrun Reykfjord Gylfadottir.
With only three infections confirmed in May, Icelandic authorities are committed to controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. “Although Iceland is an island, it has always thrived through international trade and cooperation. With only three cases of the virus diagnosed in May, we are once again ready to carefully open our doors to the world. While we remain cautious, we are optimistic as a country that we can successfully begin our journey back to normality,” said Foreign Minister Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson.
While Iceland’s borders have remained open to other Schengen countries throughout the pandemic, quarantine measures for all international arrivals have been in place in Iceland since April 24 and all Icelandic nationals and all residents arriving from high-risk areas have been required to quarantine for two weeks since January.