Opening Iceland’s Borders Is Important

Vala Hafstað

Icelandic Foreign Minister Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson tells Morgunblaðið that various ways of reopening Iceland to tourism are being discussed by members of the Icelandic government and officials and specialists in the health care sector. One of the options under discussion is whether traveling should be allowed on certain conditions.  There is great emphasis on ensuring that there won’t be a setback in the fight against COVID-19.

There are major interests at stake. “The goal is clear,” he states. “Neither Icelanders nor other nations will experience a full economic recovery unless borders reopen. In order to be able to open the door to some travel, all sorts of precautions must be taken, which we, as well as everyone else, are looking into.”

“As a foreign minister, I have stressed this view in my communications with my counterparts in the Nordic countries and the Baltic states. In addition, I have asked our embassies to informally investigate whether there is interest in bilateral communication in countries that have fared the best in their fight against the virus.”

When asked whether travel to Nordic countries might be allowed in August, Guðlaugur responds it is too early to discuss specific dates in that regard. He reiterates that the matter is a cooperative effort of the government of Iceland.

“What counts,” he stresses, “is being ready when opportunity knocks.”

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