Travel to and within Iceland

In very short:

People who present a vaccination certificate or a certificate of previous infection are allowed to enter the country.
Unnecessary traveling of people who don´t live in Iceland, from high-risk countries is banned.
Further information below.

People living in Iceland are strongly advised against unnecessary travel to high-risk areas due to COVID-19. Greenland and Faroe Islands are the only countries in the world that is not considered a high-risk area.Special rules apply when travelling to Iceland, and it is important that everyone who travels to Iceland familiarise themselves with the current infection prevention measures. Exemptions from travel restrictions do not grant exemption from testing and quarantine requirements. New rules at the border apply from 27 April 2021. Here are some FAQ from the ministry of foreign affairs.

Who can travel to Iceland?

Icelandic citizens and their families.
People with permanent residency in Iceland.
Residents of the EEA/EFTA area.*
Citizens of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or Vatican City.*
Others need to apply for exemptions in advance.*

* PLEASE NOTE that unnecessary travelling from high-risk countries is banned. You can apply for an exemption from the travel ban on the National Commissioner Office’s website. The ban does not apply to foreigners residing in Iceland, including on the basis of a residence permit or other kind of right of residence, family members of Icelandic citizens and foreign nationals residing in Iceland, foreigners who are in long-term domestic partnerships with Icelandic citizens or foreign nationals who are legally residing in Iceland, foreign nationals who are able to show a certificate of vaccination or a certificate that they have had COVID-19 and are no longer infectious. Further information on exceptions from the ban can be found here.

The main rules at the border on testing and quarantine:

All travellers must pre-register before arriving in Iceland and confirm their departure day, if available.
Presenting certificates. A negative PCR test certificate against COVID-19 must be presented. Rapid antigen tests are not valid. The test must have been taken within 72 hours before departure on the first leg of the journey. Passengers with an approved vaccination certificate or a certificate of previous infection do not need a PCR test.
Everybody must undergo testing on arrival to Iceland. This includes children, those who have been vaccinated and those who have already had COVID-19.
Everyone should quarantine, but passengers who present a vaccination certificate or a certificate of previous infection only need to be quarantined until a negative result is obtained from the border testing. If you don´t get a message within 24 hours the result is negative.
Testing and quarantine Those who do not present a vaccination certificate or a certificate of previous infection at the border must quarantine for five days and go for another test at the end of quarantine. Passengers coming from high-risk areas are required to stay in a quarantine hotel during quarantine.
Passengers from other countries may quarantine at home provided that their accommodation meets certain conditions.
It is recommended that travellers download the Rakning C-19 app. It is used, amongst other things, to communicate negative testing results and helps to trace infections if necessary.

Conditions for home quarantine: Those who are quarantined must stay in accommodation that meets the conditions and rules of conduct according to the instructions of the Chief Epidemiologist. This means that an individual must be alone at the place of residence, but if additional people stay there, they are all subject to the same quarantine conditions. Those who cannot stay in accommodation that meets the requirements of the Chief Epidemiologist must stay in a quarantine hotel.

Violation of home quarantine: If an individual is found to be breaking quarantine, the Chief Epidemiologist can decide that the individual should complete quarantine in the quarantine hotel.

Quarantine hotel: Those who are not able to stay at home during quarantine and/or prefer to stay in a quarantine hotel have this option. Passengers from high-risk areas abroad are required to stay at the quarantine hotel. The stay is free of charge. Special consideration is given to children in quarantine hotels, e.g. for outdoor activities and other facilities.

Go directly to the quarantine location from the border entry point by airport bus, taxi, rental car or private car. Travellers are advised to stay overnight at a guesthouse near the border entry point if they are tired or the weather is bad.

Testing and quarantine of children: Children born in 2005 or later are tested at the border. They are exempt from the obligation to present a negative PCR certificate upon arrival. If a child travels with a person who is required to be quarantined, the child stays with them and is released from quarantine if the second test from the companion is negative. If the companion is exempt from double screening and quarantine, so is the child. A child travelling alone must be quarantined until a negative result is obtained from border testing.

Special precautions

Measures taken due to counterfeit certificates: If the slightest suspicion arises that an individual has presented a forged certificate, he/she will be obliged to be tested twice with quarantine in between.

If your stay is short: A tourist is obliged to pre-register a departure date from Iceland if it is available. If the length of stay is shorter than the required time in the quarantine, it will be examined separately, as there is a risk that the person in question will not follow the rules on quarantine.

The current measures at the border are valid until 31.5.2021

In quarantine

You may

Take a short walk around your quarantine accommodation
Use the airport shuttle bus from the airport
Use a private car from the airport
Use a taxi from the airport
Go to the doctor, but call first

You may not

Go to tourist destinations
Go to the site of the volcanic eruption
Be in a crowded place
Use town buses, domestic flights or public transport
Go for a drive
Go to the shops or restaurants.
Stay in a motorhome/caravan
Stay at a youth hostel

Further guidance for quarantining at home

Exemptions from border testing and quarantine rules

Exemptions from double testing and quarantine are passengers who:

Arrive from Greenland and have not stayed outside Greenland for the past 14 days.
Connecting passengers who do not go beyond the respective border-crossing point neither have to quarantine nor undergo testing.
Connecting passengers who stay less than 48 hours in Iceland but come from a high-risk area must stay at a quarantine hotel. They are transferred to quarantine hotels by border guards. Connecting passengers coming from other areas are not required to stay at the quarantine hotel but must be quarantined.

Exemption certificates at the border must meet certain conditions.

Exemptions may be granted to those who have confirmed by a PCR test or antibody test that they have previously had a COVID-19 infection. Note, a positive PCR test must be at least 14 days old.

Those who have a valid certificate of full vaccination with an approved COVID-19 vaccine.

Double testing and quarantine

The first screening is performed at the border on arrival. Thereafter, arriving passengers are to undergo quarantine for 5–6 days according to the instructions for home-based quarantine or at a quarantine hotel.

List of accommodations that accommodate guests in quarantine

It is not possible to book accommodation in the epidemic house or the quarantine hotel run by the government.

The second testing is done at health centres around Iceland. A bar code is sent to a mobile phone the night before testing. Please note the different opening hours for testing.

A positive result will always result in isolation, and in such cases, the instructions on home isolation must be followed. If an individual is diagnosed with a variant of the virus that is more contagious and/or causes a more serious illness, the person in question is unconditionally required to stay in a quarantine hotel. Isolation in the epidemic house is free of charge, and referral is in the hands of the infection tracing team and the COVID Outpatient Department at Landspítali.

Please note that violations of quarantine or isolation rules are subject to fines and the involvement of the authorities to prevent violations.

Other important information

It is recommended that individuals who are travelling familiarise themselves with the travel advice of the authorities as regards to COVID-19.

Icelanders and residents in Iceland who have problems returning home, e.g. due to travel restrictions, can contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ civil service by e-mail at hjalp@utn.is or on Facebook. Inquiries are answered during office hours.

In an emergency, the civil service emergency number is open 24 hours a day.

Principal information on the rights of travellers as regards to COVID-19 can be found on the website of Ferðamálastofa.

Defined high-risk areas – Travel from Iceland

It is important to know what rules are in effect at any given time as regards defined infection risk areas and the rules that apply to travelling across borders. The list of countries defined as risk areas is regularly revised. There is a regularly updated list of areas that are considered high-risk areas.

Icelandic residents are advised to avoid travelling to risk areas.

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