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Reykjanes Volcanic Eruption: Tourism Response Team Meeting and Media Centre Reopened

Reykjanes volcanic eruption, 19 December 2023 - myndAlmannavarnir / Civil Protection

A Volcanic Eruption started yesterday northwest of Grindavík in the Reykjanes peninsula. This eruption follows intense seismic activity over the past few weeks. The international airport in Keflavík is functioning normally and international flights have not been affected.

Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir, Minister of Culture and Trade, met early this morning with the Tourism Response Team, which operates under the Government and tourist service provider emergency response plan.

The status meeting this morning included the Director General of the Icelandic Tourist Board, representatives from the Ministry, Business Iceland, ISAVIA, ICE-SAR association, SafeTravel, The Icelandic Tourist Board and Visit Reykjanes.

Media all over the world are now covering the eruption, and the Minister places great emphasis on good and coordinated information for the media and tourists. It is necessary to prevent disinformation.

Later today the media centre will reopen. It was first set up in November for foreign media teams who visited the country due to the earthquakes at Reykjanes. The Icelandic Tourist Board oversees the project as before in collaboration with Íslandsstofa, SafeTravel and Civil Protection. The centre will be in Hafnarfjörður as before.

The Safe Travel page is regularly updated and the Icelandic Tourist Board will inform all tourism companies in Iceland of the situation. It is important to get updated information to tourists who are in Iceland and those who are expected to visit Iceland.

As before, the message is very clear:

The area in question had previously been evacuated and the eruption does not pose an immediate threat to people. No additional evacuations are necessary at this time. The international airport in Keflavík is functioning normally, All flights are currently operating on schedule. The impact of volcanic eruptions tends to be limited to specific, localized areas near the eruption site. Notably, previous eruptions in the area did not impact air travel to and from the country.

The Tourism Implementation Group, which is part of the Tourism Contingency Plan, will meet later today.

Iceland is no stranger to volcanic activity, and there have been three other eruptions on the Reykjanes Peninsula in the last two years. Icelandic authorities and the public are highly prepared for such events, and Iceland has one of the world's most effective volcanic preparedness measures. Iceland's geoscientists possess vast experience in dealing with volcanic activities.

Visitors to Iceland are encouraged to follow news bulletins for further information on the development.

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