Iceland Confirms Plans to Ease Restrictions for Arriving Tourists

From Keflavík International Airport.

From Keflavík International Airport. Jóhannesson

Vala Hafstað

The June 15 easing of restrictions regarding arriving passengers in Iceland was just announced by the Icelandic government .

According to an economic assessment done at the request of Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir and introduced at a government meeting this morning, the economic effects of keeping Iceland’s borders closed would be enormous. A limited interest in traveling worldwide is seen as an opportunity to take cautious steps toward opening the borders.

Minister of Health Svandís Svavarsdóttir has approved the suggestions of Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason, discussed at the meeting, concerning changes to rules regarding the arrival of passengers to Iceland.

Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason.

Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason. Jóhannesson

As of June 15, passengers will have the option of being screened for the novel coronavirus upon arrival at Keflavík International Airport, and later on at other international ports, or of presenting a certificate from abroad, showing that they have recently been screened for the virus. Passengers who choose not to be screened before or upon arrival must spend two weeks in quarantine, as currently required.

The chief epidemiologist will be in charge of the collection and analysis of samples, in cooperation with the Capital Area Public Health Service, the Department of Microbiology at Landspítali National University Hospital, and deCode Genetics, and the prime minister has appointed a coordinating team to assist with the preparations and the execution of the project.

A preliminary estimate suggests that the cost of testing arriving passengers at Keflavík International Airport for the first two weeks, starting June 15, will be ISK 160 million (USD 1.2 million; EUR 1 million), assuming 500 people are tested a day. In the coming days, the cost per passenger will be announced.


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