Ban on Non-Essential Travel from High-Risk Areas to Iceland

Vala Hafstað

A ban on non-essential travel to Iceland from specified high-risk COVID-19 areas took effect today and will be in effect through May 31. The minister of health has issued a regulation to that effect.

This was announced on the government website.

The ban affects foreign nationals, regardless of whether they are citizens of the European Economic Area (i.e. the EU or the European Free Trade Association) or from outside it, who come from or have spent more than 24 hours during the past 14 days in an area with an infection rate of 700 or more per 100,000 inhabitants, or where satisfactory information regarding the infection rate is unavailable.

Exempt from the rule are foreign nationals whose permanent residence is in Iceland, family members of Icelandic citizens or of foreign nationals who reside in Iceland, foreign nationals who are long-time partners of Icelandic citizens or of foreign nationals who legally reside in Iceland, and foreign nationals able to present a certificate of vaccination or prior COVID-19 infection.

Exempt, too, are foreign nationals whose travel is essential, including:

-connecting passengers

-health care workers and nursery home workers

-people who transport goods and services

-people in need of international protection

-people who need to travel due to urgent family circumstances

-people who arrive on official visits invited by the Icelandic government, staff of diplomatic missions and other representatives of foreign states, staff of international organizations and individuals invited by them who must arrive in Iceland in connection with the operation of those organizations, military representatives, and staff of humanitarian organizations and civil protection, as well as family members of the aforementioned groups


-those who urgently need to travel for business reasons or other urgent job-related reasons, provided the work cannot be postponed or completed abroad

In addition, new rules regarding quarantine, detailed in our report yesterday, took effect today. See here.




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