Coronavirus Testing in Shipping Containers at KEF Airport

This is what the shipping containers look like.

This is what the shipping containers look like. Photo/mb.is/Eggert Jóhannesson

Vala Hafstað

Arriving passengers at Keflavík International Airport  are tested for COVID-19 inside shipping containers, which have been installed in the parking lot, Morgunblaðið reports. A total of 24 booths for testing are located inside the containers.

About 2,000 travelers are expected to arrive at the airport today, compared with only 800 yesterday. Sigurgeir Sigmundsson, the airport’s chief superintendent, expects the daily number of arriving passengers to rise considerably in the coming weeks.

From Keflavík International Airport.

From Keflavík International Airport. mbl.is/Eggert Jóhannesson

Most of the people handling border control are contractors from the Security Center (Öryggismiðstöðin), responsible for coronavirus testing and for checking certificates of vaccination, prior infection or negative PCR tests. Most of them have worked at the airport before. Certificates are checked at designated desks in the arrival hall of the airport.

Sigurgeir states that since all the passengers from the US are vaccinated and able to present standardized certificates, they can move through border control the fastest. Passengers arriving from Europe, however, take longer. “We need to check their PCR certificates, which is a slow process, since they come in countless versions,” Sigurgeir explains.

The shipping containers were installed to speed up testing, and they have worked well, he states. “There are no delays there,” he adds. “It’s checking the certificates that’s causing delays.”

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