Covid-19

Covid-19 (1)


Covid -19: 
From July 1st:
There will be a charge for Covid-19 testing to the amount of ISK 11.000 (approx. US$ 80 / € 71 ) if paid upon arrival in Iceland.
The testing charge is ISK 9.000 (approx. US$ 65 / € 58 ) if pre-paid
Children born 2005 or later do not have to be tested. 

The European Union states have as of June 30th. deemed 15 countries "safe" in regards to Covid-19 and the member states are free to allow travelers from these countries to enter their borders: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay - and China (subject to conformation of reciprocity).
Iceland is working on a regulation regarding this matter and until this regulation is in effect, no change will be at the borders of Iceland.

More info:  Please see updated travel restrictions to Iceland here

As of June 15th:

As of June 15th Iceland has opened its borders to citizens of EU/EEA. 

Mandatory testing of Covid-19 is upon arrival (or a 14 day quarantine). People go to their destination and are expected to act responsibly. The test results are expected within 24 hours by electronic communication.

Limit on mass gatherings/persons in any one locale: 500

Minors born 2005 or later do not have to be tested or quarantined.

If people test positive, they will be subject to traditional process and be called in for a blood test to determine if the are infection carriers; if infection needs to be traced, need of remote health care, etc

May 25th guidelines apply.

More info:  Instructions from the Epidemiologist for tourists

As of May 25th:

Restrictions on how many can be in any one locale: Max 200

All businesses are open, with restrictions on how many can be in any one locale to make social distancing of 2 meters possible and with restrictions on opening hours.

Social distancing of 2 meters is recommended as possible but is optional as many professions require close contact to the customer, such as hairdressers and masseurs.

Use of masks is not required.

Regular handwash is required and disinfection and cleaning of public spaces is still required.

Iceland Locations reaction to Covid-19 while traveling in Iceland:

Up to date local information and requirements will be available upon purchase of services.

Iceland Locations will be following all requirements an recommendations of the Iceland Epidemiologist at any one time and making any updates available to customers.

The vehicle: Is sanitized for every group and contact areas in the vehicle disinfected.

Masks -  driver/guide: will be wearing a mask at all times when social distancing to customers of 2 meters is not possible, such as in the vehicle while traveling.

Masks - customers: will be provided with a mask to use at will.

Hand cleaning alcohol: is available in the vehicle at all times.

Covid-19 statistics June 30th 2020:

1842 persons have tested positive to the virus

12 persons are now infected and in isolation

10 persons have died

65.169 in-land and 13.887 at borders have been tested for the virus.

How the pandemic was handled in Iceland:

The pandemic was taken very seriously in Iceland from the start.

The government stepped back and let a civil protection team of health scientists and police handle the case. The faces of the civil protection team, the team of three: the public epidemiologist, the surgeon general and a police lieutenant did an excellent job and were trusted by all. They held daily news meetings on public television at 2pm every day to keep the public up to date on what was happening and what was expected, so everyone was on the same page and on the same team. Access of visitors to health institutions and elderly homes was heavily restricted for a time. People infected by the virus were put in isolation and anyone coming in contact with them was put in quarantine. A special tracking team located anyone possibly exposed to infection. A tracking app for mobile phones was developed to help them track people for possible infections. The public health system tested sick and individuals with symptoms. A private medical research company, DeCode, tested people at random.  An outpatient facilities were established to help infected individuals that didn't need hospitalization. There was never a curfew in Iceland, but mandatory social distancing of 2 meters, and regular hand cleaning with soap strongly recommended and the use of hand cleaning alcohol. Locales were restricted to limits of customers to keep mandatory social distancing, with a max of 20 persons per any one locale when the restrictions were strictest. Then later to 50 persons when the pandemic was coming down and then to 200 persons when the pandemic seemed to be close to over. For six weeks professions that needed close contact with customers, like hair solons and massage parlors were made to close, but will be compensated by the government. The government came up with financial support packages to help companies to survive and workers to keep their jobs as long as possible. Anyone that could work from home did so. The public epidemiologist figured that children were not as sensitive to the pandemic as grown ups. Kindergartens and primary schools were open, but for a time students were split up in smaller groups so there was a limit how many were in the classroom at the same time. These groups that were not supposed to mingle with other groups of students. Parents were kept away from schools. Secondary school and university students were made to work online from home, and the did spring tests online. There was a lot of online work and most meetings were online. 

The wheels of the economy are slowly coming up to speed gain, but unemployment is on the rise to figures never seen before.  

The travel industry is large in Iceland, both in share of the workforce and foreign income, and it has been hit very hard. The local airline is fighting for survival and many travel companies and establishments are on the verge of survival. What happens in the next few months will determine the outcome.
June 15th the borders were opened to traffic and testing at the border started. June 30th., 13.887 have been tested. 24 have been tested positive for the virus, but only 4 of these infections are contagious, the other 20 are old inactive infections. These infections have affected decisions on mass gatherings; to keep them at 500 persons for time being.

Post-Covid-19 travel:

For the tourists traveling in the post-covid-19, Iceland may be good destination. The pandemic has been dealt with here very responsibly and nowhere have as many per capita been tested for the virus. Most people come to Iceland to experience nature and in the close future there will be less tourists. Tourists coming to Iceland do not need to be exposed to large crowds to get the most out of their visit. The currency has also taken a dive so prices are more favorable.