COVID-19 information & support
Covid-19 Information About Traveling to Iceland

Covid-19 Information About Traveling to Iceland

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Iceland is the top travel destination for vaccinated travelers. On this page, you can find up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 in Iceland and what impact it may have on your travel plans when visiting Iceland. This page was last updated on October 19, 2021, and will be updated once a week. 

Below you can read about the latest COVID-19 numbers in Iceland, the current Icelandic border policy, how to safely travel in Iceland during COVID-19, the vaccination progress in Iceland, and the COVID-friendly policies at Guide to Iceland, among others.

What is the border policy in Iceland right now?

The Icelandic border is open. Travelers who are fully vaccinated are exempt from the 5-day quarantine and testing upon arrival at the border. However, as of July 26, all travelers without close ties to the Icelandic community who have been vaccinated or have had confirmed cases of previous infection will need to present a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test or PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before departure on the first leg of their journey.

Vaccinated travelers with strong ties to the Icelandic community are no longer required to present a negative COVID-19 test certificate. However, these travelers must still take a COVID-19 test within 48 hours of arriving in Iceland. This also applies to children born in 2015 or earlier who will be involved with the Icelandic community. The test can be taken at the border in Keflavik or health care centers around Iceland. To find out more information about this regulation and whether you are considered to have close ties with the Icelandic community, please visit this public information portal

Children born after 2005 will no longer be tested. Travelers who are not fully vaccinated are required to undergo 2 COVID-19 tests, with a 5-day quarantine between. 

Non-vaccinated passengers will also need to provide negative COVID-19 test results taken no more than 72 hours before entering Iceland. Non-vaccinated travelers abroad who do not have a negative COVID-19 (PCR test) certificate may be fined up to 100,000 ISK ($777). 

Who can enter Iceland during COVID-19

Icelandic borders will be open to anyone with a valid visa who can provide certificates showing proof of vaccination or COVID-19 antibodies, along with the required negative rapid antigen or PCR test results. Travelers must register with Icelandic authorities by filling out a pre-registration form before arrival, indicating their arrival and departure dates. Please note that foreign travelers subject to a visa requirement must have a valid visa issued before traveling to Iceland. You can find more information on the requirements for traveling to Iceland on the police force website.  

Three options upon arriving at the Icelandic border

The information below is for travelers who do not have close ties to the Icelandic community. If you aren’t sure if this applies to you, please visit this government website

Option 1: Present proof of full COVID-19 vaccination

Travelers must present a valid certificate showing full vaccination with a European Medicines Agency or World Health Organization-approved COVID-19 vaccine. An example is the International Certificate of Vaccination (the Carte Jaune/Yellow Card) from the WHO. The administered vaccine must be approved in Europe: Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen, Sinovac, or Sinopharm. The Directorate of Health has the specific requirements of the certificate listed on their website. The certificates can be in electronic or paper form.

As of July 1, travelers without close ties to the Icelandic community who provide a vaccination certificate will no longer have to be tested at the airport for COVID-19 but will need to provide a recent negative rapid antigen or PCR testing result. 

Option 2: Provide the Icelandic health authorities with a certificate from the EEA/EFTA proving that you have previously contracted COVID-19 with a confirmed antibody test

A certificate showing a positive PCR-test for SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 that is older than 14 days or showing the presence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 measured by ELISA serologic assay is accepted. A rapid diagnostic test will not be accepted. The Directorate of Health has the specific requirements of the certificate listed on their website. 

Option 3: Take 2 COVID-19 tests with a five day quarantine period between them

Iceland continues to process hundreds of tests per day, the majority of which are from the airport. If you are not fully vaccinated, you will have to take a quick test at the border. After you are tested, you must proceed to your accommodation to quarantine until you receive your second test results. Even if your first test is negative, you cannot leave quarantine until the second test results are negative.

You can check the official COVID-19 information website for more details on the certificate requirements and current border policy. 

Important Information Regarding Certificates

Border control will review the certificate and contact a Chief Epidemiologist (health care worker) representative as needed. If the certificate is deemed invalid, the traveler will have to take 2 COVID-19 tests with the 5-day quarantine in between and provide a certificate of negative PCR testing. 

Quarantine in Iceland

Travelers must provide an address where they will be spending their quarantine. If unable to demonstrate an adequate quarantine location, local authorities may require the traveler to quarantine at an official Red Cross quarantine center.

The stay in a quarantine facility is free of charge. The Icelandic health authorities can also require travelers to quarantine at a quarantine facility if they breach quarantine rules.

Any travelers with a preexisting medical condition can choose a 14-day quarantine instead of testing. 

Children born in 2005 or later must go into quarantine with their parents or guardians when they arrive in Iceland.

Many different hotels and guesthouses have made changes to ensure a safe quarantine. If you have already booked accommodations, please reach out to them to make sure they accept quarantined travelers’ responsibility. If you are looking for a place to quarantine, you can find the list of businesses here

Is it safe to travel to Iceland right now?

The latest COVID-19 status in Iceland in October 2021

Iceland has been following a strict testing and tracing protocol through this pandemic. 

With a population of fewer than 370,000 people, Iceland is a relatively small country that has worked hard to tackle the spread of COVID-19. As of October 19, 2021, there are 520 active infections in Iceland.

Health authorities are processing hundreds of tests per day and have asked everyone to download a tracking app to help with contact tracing. With these practices in place, leaders can quickly isolate new cases to lessen the virus’s spread.

Public gatherings are limited to 2,000 people, excluding children born after 2016. With the 1-meter rule in effect, bars and restaurants may remain open until 2:00. Cultural events up to 2,000 people are now allowed to take place with the use of rapid testing. Public swimming pools and museums can admit guests at full capacity. 

What makes Iceland safe during COVID-19?

Every country in the world is dealing with COVID-19 in one way or another. However, there are a few things that make Iceland a safer place to visit than other countries. 

Small population

With just under 370,000 people, Iceland is one of the smaller countries in the world. Having a smaller population makes the virus easier to track and allows travelers to travel without interacting with many people. 

Low population density

Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, has a population of around 200,000.

Almost 70% of the population lives in the capital area. This leaves much of the country to be explored without many people. The population density is low at a little over three people per square kilometer. As a comparison, China’s population density is 153 people per square kilometer and in the United States is 36 people per square kilometer. 

Typical exploration activities in Iceland

Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon under the Northern Lights. No city light or crowds to disturb the magical experience.

Iceland is known for its vast open spaces and unique landscapes. The majority of Iceland’s activities are centered around nature. Whether chasing the northern lights or exploring the 10th waterfall of the day, travelers will likely spend most of their vacation outside in nature. This gives them a unique opportunity to protect themselves by keeping a safe distance from other people. 

What is the vaccination status in Iceland in October 2021?

277,837 people have been fully vaccinated, and another 4,501 have gotten one vaccine shot as of October 19, 2021. That means 89% of the adult population (12 and older) in Iceland have been fully vaccinated. In addition, 12 to 15 year-olds have now been invited to their first shot, which will substantially increase the number of people in the process of being fully vaccinated.

How do I get a PCR test before departure?

Many countries require travelers to have a negative PCR test taken within a specific period before traveling back from Iceland. For many, it is within 72 hours of departure. Please be sure to check your particular home country requirements to know how close to your departure you need to take the test. 

There are multiple testing centers around the country where you can go for your PCR test.

What if COVID-19 affects my travel booking?

Testing positive & travel delays 

If you purchase a day tour, multi-day tour, or rent a car on Guide to Iceland but test positive on arrival to Iceland or your flight gets delayed or canceled, you can choose to reschedule your trip to another date. If that is not an option for you, you will get a full refund. If you purchase a self-drive tour or guided tour package, you will also get a full refund.

As long as you cancel your booking with at least 24-hours notice, you will be able to reschedule or completely cancel your trip. Accommodation bookings are the only exceptions to this policy. Each establishment has its own cancellation policy. You can find detailed information regarding the individual policy in your email voucher.

Guide to Iceland has honored all refund requests for COVID-19 related cancellations to date. To cancel and get a full refund after arrival, don’t hesitate to contact us via email with your booking details and test result within 4 hours after receiving the test result.

You can find the full terms of service on each of our product pages.

Are businesses and tours still operating?

Guide to Iceland makes sure that every customer receives the services they have purchased. Guide to Iceland will always offer alternative options or free upgrades if a customer books a service with a company that can not deliver it. As in many countries, COVID-19 has put a strain on Icelandic businesses. However, many continue to offer tours and other services throughout the country and welcome travelers back.

While some mild domestic restrictions like the obligatory 1-meter social distancing remain in place, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, tours, and other attractions remain open and able to accept customers with minimal disturbance to their services and hours of operation. This makes it the perfect time to plan your visit to this magnificent island.

Iceland’s main attraction - nature, remains open even when restrictions are in place.

Please visit Iceland’s Official Ministry of Health website for the most up-to-date information on Iceland’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Can I book after I arrive?

Yes, you can. But we highly recommend that you book in advance. You will get a full refund if your flight gets canceled or you test positive for COVID-19 on arrival. Booking after arrival will limit your options as availability is limited in Iceland right now.

If you have further questions, please drop us an email, and we will help you with your trip.

Which airlines are flying to Iceland during COVID-19?

Iceland’s flag carrier airline now runs flights to over 30 destinations, including Amsterdam, Boston, Copenhagen, and London.

Other airlines have already started flying again or are planning to soon. For example:

  • Play - now flying to and from Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, and more
  • Lufthansa - now flying to and from Frankfurt and Munich
  • Wizz Air - now flying to and from Budapest, Vienna, Milan, and more
  • EasyJet - now flying to and from London, Edinburgh, and Manchester
  • Vueling - now flying to and from Barcelona

Find more options for flights to Iceland here. You can visit Keflavik International Airport’s Airlines and Destinations page for the most current airline information and flights traveling to Iceland.

Am I safe to make a booking with Guide to Iceland?

Yes, absolutely. Here at Guide to Iceland, we’re committed to ensuring those enjoying our experiences’ safety and welfare. Therefore, we are honoring our cancellation policy fully, which you can read more about in our terms and conditions. In short, you can never lose a booking with us. If you choose to cancel your booking, please email us at info@guidetoiceland.is, and we will process your request. 

We look forward to seeing you in Iceland!