Iceland removes entry requirements for vaccinated travelers
Fully vaccinated tourists are free to travel throughout Iceland without any restrictions as of July 1.
The change is due to Iceland’s success in getting most of its residents vaccinated, which has led authorities to drop all national COVID regulations and bring the country closer to pre-pandemic normal like pretty much anyone Where in the world.
“We are returning to the type of society we feel normal to live in and yearn for since the Health Safety and Communicable Disease Act permissions to restrict gatherings were activated due to the pandemic over the years ago. one year, ”Health Minister Svandis Svavarsdottir said in a statement.
For travelers to Iceland, testing of those with valid vaccination certificates will be stopped and they will not need proof of a negative COVID test prior to arrival. Screening of children born after 2005 will also end.
Vaccines must be on the approved list of the European Medicines Evaluation Agency or the WHO. The three main vaccines used in the United States – Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson – are all on this list.
Visitors who are not fully vaccinated will continue to show proof of a negative test 72 hours prior to arrival.
Once in the country, visitors and residents alike will find that all regulations have been lifted. This means that social distancing, limits on gatherings, masks and limits on business hours have all been removed.
The decision to lift all restrictions follows a recommendation from the country’s chief epidemiologist.
“Continuous and honest communication between the public and our trusted scientists has greatly contributed to the willingness of the population to participate in efforts to minimize the damage from the pandemic,” said Svavarsdottir. “The emphasis has been placed on maintaining an appropriate level of vigilance, without minimizing or exaggerating the risk. We succeed by trusting the common sense of the Icelandic people.
More than 87 percent of eligible residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, one of the highest percentages in the world. Despite the numbers, officials still expect cases to continue to surface.
“We fully expect that we will continue to detect cases and that small groups of infection may appear,” said civil protection chief Vioir Reynisson. “But we are confident that our contact tracing capabilities, along with the public’s willingness to meet both quarantine and isolation requirements, will prove sufficient to manage any new outbreak.”
Iceland, with a population of just under 400,000, has recorded just 637 confirmed cases of COVID and 30 deaths during the pandemic. Currently, 12 people are in isolation with the coronavirus.