New rules on quarantine, isolation and screening at the border
Passengers arriving in Iceland on and after 19 August 2020 may choose either to submit to two screening tests for COVID-19, separated by five days’ quarantine until the results of the second test are known, or else not to undergo border screening but instead to spend 14 days in quarantine after arrival. The ministerial regulation announcing this takes effect as from midnight on 18 August. The requirement regarding quarantine and/or testing applies to all people who have spent more than 24 hours during the past 14 days in locations that are defined as potential infection risk areas; at present, this means all countries. Children born in or after 2005 are exempt from the screening and quarantine requirements, and the same exemption applies to persons who have been certified by the Icelandic health authorities, following a PCR test, as having previously been infected with COVID-19 and have completed a period of isolation, or if they have been shown by antibody measurements to have recovered from COVID-19. Transit passsengers who do not leave the terminal facilities at the border are not required to undergo screening or quarantine.
Persons entering Iceland must pre-register by filling out an online form with their contact details, where they have been, where they intend to stay in quarantine in Iceland and health information. Carriers of passengers to the country are required to draw travellers’ attention to this pre-registration requirement with suitable advance notice.
The quarantine rules are as follows:
Persons in quarantine:
a. may only leave the home or premises where they stay in cases of necessity, e.g. to go for necessary medical services. They may, nevertheless, go for walks, providing they maintain a distance of at least 2 metres from other people.
b. may not receive guests in the home or other premises during the quarantine period.
c. may not use public transport; they may, however, use taxis.
d. may not go to work, school, etc., where other people are.
e. may not attend meetings, parties or localities where numbers of people gather; this includes shops and pharmacies.
f. may not be in the common parts (shared spaces) of multi-owner dwellings or hotels, or similar places, including staircases, laundry rooms or shared gardens/outdoor areas, except when exiting and entering the building.
The fee for border screening remains unchanged at ISK 9,000 if this is paid in advance when pre-registering; if the screening fee is paid at the point of entry, it is ISK 11,000. No charge is taken for the second screening test.
As hitherto, an epidemiologist may permit persons, individually or in groups, who are subject to the quarantine requirement on entering Iceland in order to work or perform specific tasks to undergo employment-related quarantine instead of quarantine in their home or other premises. Under employment-related quarantine, the person is permitted to travel to and from the workplace during the quarantine period. The rules on employment-related quarantine remain unchanged.