Iceland Travel Restrictions
Updated: a day ago
For the past few months, the world has been more uncertain than usual about the future. With the arrival of COVID-19, travel everywhere became restricted. Holidays were canceled or postponed, social distancing measures were adopted. But now the light at the end of the tunnel is visible. Restrictions are slowly being lifted globally, and in Iceland, where the virus has been almost completely eradicated, life is mostly back to normal. So, that trip to Iceland you’ve always dreamed of can happen now. However, there are details to be aware of, which I will discuss below.
Here's the breakdown of this post:
Our Safety Measures and Booking Policy
Coronavirus Testing in Iceland
Current Status of the Icelandic Borders
While in Iceland
Flights to Iceland
We Are Open! Our Safety Measures
We are open and working harder than ever to make sure your rental car in Iceland experience is better and safer.
Every vehicle is thoroughly cleaned inside and out with a powerful sanitizing solution.
Our providers wear masks and gloves and follow a minimum contact protocol.
Key contact areas in the office are constantly cleaned.
No crowds, no hassle, no risk!
Booking Flexible Policy
At Reykjavik Cars, we understand these are uncertain times, that is why we offer our valued customers a flexible policy. We got you covered!
No Change Fee: You can reschedule your dates with no admin charges. Do you need to move your dates to later this year? That's fine! Maybe to this upcoming one? That's OK too!
Book now, pay later: When booking with us, you only need to pay 15% of the total. The remaining balance is paid directly in Iceland.
What is your COVID Refund Policy?
Times are a-changing, so are our client's needs.
Credit voucher: was your travel put on hold and you have a non-refundable reservation? we will gladly offer you a credit voucher which can be used on a future reservation with us. As simple as that!
Do you have any special requests, questions, or need further information? drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
Iceland Coronavirus Testing
All travelers originating from risk areas that enter Iceland have two options:
Go into a 14-day quarantine and avoid testing.
Do a double testing practice and go into a 5-6 days quarantine, regardless of the duration of the intended stay or the purpose of their visit. The base of quarantine must have a permanent fixed address. Visitors will be tested once upon arrival and a second time several days later.
For those who opt to be tested upon arrival, there are several recommended instructions to follow while waiting for their results. These instructions, prepared by the Government of Iceland, can be read here.
Risk areas: Every country and territory in the world.
Exceptions: Those born in 2005 or later.
Traveling to Iceland requirements:
Preregister electronically before departure. This can be done here.
Submit a certificate of a negative PCR-test for COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) before boarding an aircraft or ship to Iceland and again upon arrival. The negative test result must have been collected no more than 72 hours before departure. Rapid antigen tests are not valid. The test should meet the following requirements:
Must be in Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, or English.
First name and last name (as in travel documents).
Date of birth.
When was the test performed (date).
Where was the test performed (country/city/address).
Name of laboratory/issuer of the certificate.
Date of the certificate.
Phone number of laboratory or responsible authority.
Type of test performed (PCR-test or antibody test with ELISA/serologic assay).
Result of the test (PCR-test positive for SARS-CoV-2 or antibodies present).
3. Take two tests to screen for the presence of COVID-19 once arriving in Iceland, with a mandatory 5-6 day quarantine between each test. Sampling is free of charge. Please note you are exempt from this quarantine if:
You are able to submit proof of a prior COVID-19 infection with a PCR test or an antibody test issued by an EEA/EFTA country. Note that a positive PCR test must be at least 14 days old.
Those who have a valid certificate of full vaccination issued by an EEA/EFTA country with an approved vaccine against COVID-19.
Those presenting a valid full vaccination certificate with an approved vaccine against COVID-19.
Iceland vaccination certificate requirements
The vaccination certificate should meet the following requirements, Certificates can be hard copies or electronic:
Must be submitted in Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, English, or French. A certificate in another language may be valid if submitted along with a translation in one of the approved languages and verified by a certified translator.
First name and last name as in official documents
Date of birth
Name of the vaccinated disease (COVID-19)
When the vaccinations took place (dates)
Vaccination must be completed; see below for the number of doses required to complete the vaccination for each vaccine.
Information on the issuer of the certificate (Healthcare Professional/Institution), along with a signature in the case of an international vaccination certificate.
Name of the vaccine.
Manufacturer of vaccine and batch number.
Current Vaccines approved by the EEA / EFTA:
1. Comirnaty; Pfizer BioNTech
2. COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna
3. COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca
Price of Coronavirus Test in Iceland
The Minister of Health of Iceland has announced that testing of travelers for COVID-19 at Iceland’s borders is to be free of charge, on a temporary basis, as there is a double testing rule currently applied in Iceland, the second taste will not be charged either.
Before I go into more detail about testing and results, let's see the current situation of the Icelandic borders.
Are Iceland borders open?
Yes, they are. All nationals are now allowed to visit Iceland as long as they provide either:
Certificate of full vaccination against COVID
Certificate of previous COVID infection
For further details on the requirements, please check the Iceland vaccination certificate requirements paragraphs above.
Iceland now opens its borders to visitors worldwide! This measure is valid from tomorrow (18.3.21) ahead.
The European Union contains the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden. The European Economic Area includes all 27 countries in the EU plus Liechtenstein, Iceland, and Norway. The European Free Trade Association includes these 30 countries, plus Switzerland. UK Nationals are also exempt from the travel ban. As the situation improves, restrictions for other countries will be lifted, so check for new updates.
Now, the government has decided to open its doors for the residents of the following countries:
China (subject to confirmation of reciprocity)
Can US citizens travel to Iceland?
Yes, as of the 18th of March 2021 US citizens can travel to Iceland. This was agreed by the Minister of Justice and the Board today.
US citizens will be able to travel to Iceland as long as they provide the COVID infection or vaccination certificate.
Prior to Arriving in Iceland
Before you arrive in the country, you must pre-register on this website: https://visit.covid.is/ . You must verify your phone number and confirm where you will be staying during your time in Iceland (only the first 14 days are required if you plan to stay longer). If you are traveling around Iceland in a car or campervan, you can enter the address of the first campsite you will stay at. This pre-registration cannot be completed until 72 hours before your arrival in the country. You are also encouraged to download the Rakning C-19 tracing app for use during your time here.
Testing Upon Arrival
If you are entering Iceland either through Keflavík Airport or Seyðisfjörður (if you travel on the Smyril Line) you will be tested before leaving the airport or port. For those arriving through Keflavík, the wait time is expected to be about one hour. If you fly into another airport (Reykjavík, Akureyri, or Egilsstaðir) you will be tested at a local healthcare center. Some vaccinated travelers may be tested upon arrival as well, this requirement will be based on the possibility of carrying or passing on the infection.
The test is a PCR, or Polymerase chain reaction, which involves inserting a long pin through the nose or mouth to collect a sample. You will receive your results within 24 hours, either through the Rakning C-19 app or via text message. While you are waiting for your results, you do not need to self-quarantine, but you must take preventative measures. If you have tested positive, you will receive a phone call and instructions will be provided. You will not be sent home if the test results are positive, as you will not be allowed to travel.
You can opt to not be tested, but if you do you must quarantine for 14 days. Proof of previous test results cannot be accepted.
Once you are out of the airport, you can travel on via bus, coach, taxi, or rental car as you desire.
While you are in Iceland
Maintaining a 2-meter distance from other people is no longer mandatory, but strongly encouraged. No more than 200 people may gather in a public place or building. This includes museums and shops, and hand sanitizers will be available. Swimming pools are open, as are gyms and restaurants. Thorough hand washing and the use of disinfectants is also encouraged. You can find advice on how to avoid infection here.
Because Iceland dealt with the situation swiftly and decisively, our number of cases remained low. As of July 1st, there will not be a lot that you cannot do. If you have certain places in mind to visit, it is worth checking whether they are open before traveling to them. Some businesses have decided to close temporarily until tourism increases. However, you may be pleased to hear that the Blue Lagoon is now open to visitors again.
You can travel to the airport in whatever way you choose; bus, coach, taxi, or via rental car (you may drop your rental car in Iceland at our airport office before checking in). It is up to you to check what restrictions your airline will have in place regarding the flight, and what restrictions your next destination will have.
As of June 15th, Icelandair requires all of its crew and passengers to wear a mask for the entire duration of the flight. Until further notice, only one personal item per passenger will be allowed on board, which must fit under the seat. There will be no in-flight meal service for economy passengers, but Saga Premium passengers will be given water upon boarding and a light meal. It is recommended to purchase water after passing through security but before boarding, to bring on the plane with you. There is currently no in-flight shopping available.
Keflavík Airport has made various changes to reduce the risk of infection, such as an increased number of hand sanitizer stands, displaying information posters and videos, and handling planes with passengers arriving from high-risk areas in accordance with plans from Iceland’s Civil Protection Agency. The shops and restaurants in the airport have reduced their opening hours due to a reduction of flights, but there will always be access to food.
Note that some other countries, such as the UK, also require you to pre-register before arriving in the country. So, check the restrictions in your destinations after Iceland, and keep in mind that they may have stricter procedures in place. Other airlines and airports will also have similar restrictions to Icelandair and Keflavík.
Flights to Iceland
Here are some of the airlines that will soon be operating flights to Iceland:
British Airways: Flights to Iceland from 16th July, masks required in British airports and on all flights.
EasyJet: Flights to Iceland from 1st July, masks required in British airports and on all flights.
Finnair: Flights to Iceland from 20th June, masks recommended at Finnish airports and on all flights.
Icelandair: See above
Lufthansa: Flights to Iceland from 1st July, masks required at all German airports and on all flights.
Norwegian: Flights to Iceland from 2nd July, masks recommended at all Norway airports and required on all flights.
SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System): Flights to Iceland from 21st June, masks required on all flights.
Wizz Air: Flights to Iceland from 20th June, masks required on all flights.
Iceland Travel Restrictions
You can relax with the knowledge that, once you have endured even stricter airport procedures and sat on a plane wearing a mask to get here, the atmosphere in Iceland is calm and positive. Take care of your health, adopt good sanitary practices, and distance yourself when necessary, and you will have a wonderful time here. May’s weather was spectacular and June’s weather so far has been pleasant, so it’s looking to be a wonderful summer. Come and enjoy it with us and do not be worried. We have a saying in Iceland: ‘þetta reddast’, which means ‘it will all work out okay’.
The information provided is accurate as of the 9th of April 2021, procedures may be revised.
Samuel Hogarth, Reykjavik Cars.