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Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health

COVID-19: The rules about restrictions at the border will be changing as of 1 October

The requirement that individuals with ties to Iceland must present a certificate of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival in Iceland will be abolished. Connecting passengers who do not leave the border station will also be exempt from presenting such a certificate. Individuals with ties to Iceland, except children born in 2005 or later, will still have to undergo testing after arrival.

This is the main content of the changes made to the COVID-19 restrictions at the border that were determined by the Minister of Health in line with the recommendations of the Chief Epidemiologist. These restrictions are expected to be in force until 6 November. 

Vaccinated travellers, and those with proof of prior infection, without specific ties (such as most tourists and business travellers) will still be required to present a negative COVID test prior to boarding, but do not need to be tested after arrival.

The Chief Epidemiologist’s memorandum states that the daily rate of infection and the number of hospitalisations in the country have gone down since the tightening of restrictions in the country and at the border in July and August. He says that it is clear that infections will continue to be carried into the country and that sequencing by deCODE Genetics shows that infections from a small number of individuals, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, is enough to set off a widespread local epidemic. 

Restrictions at the border as of 1 October 

Passengers with ties to Iceland will no longer need to present a certificate of a negative COVID-19 test at the border, but will be required to undergo testing upon arrival, regardless of their vaccination status. Unvaccinated passengers will continue to undergo a five day quarantine following testing, and to undergo a PCR test at the end of the quarantine period. 

Vaccinated passengers with no ties to Iceland will continue to be required to present a certificate of a negative COVID-19 test outcome that is no older than 72 hours, instead of undergoing testing upon arrival. If they are not vaccinated, they will also have to undergo double testing with a five day quarantine in-between. 

The same rules continue to apply to vaccinated individuals as for people carrying a certificate of prior infection.

Children born in 2005 and later, and connecting passengers who do not exit the border station are not subject to any disease prevention restrictions at the border.

Please be advised that all tourists are required to pre-register at the Covid.is website before their arrival in Iceland. 

The Chief Epidemiologist’s memorandum includes a proposal to stop accepting SARS-CoV antibody test results as a confirmation of a past COVID-19 infection. The minister has decided to look further into this proposal and to gather more information before a final decision is made.


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