Coronavirus … all but vanquished
Iceland has virtually eliminated the coronavirus, and at the time that this article is written there are only two active cases in the country. This is good news for those planning on travelling to Iceland.
Swimming pools, gyms, and bars are currently open (gyms and bars are operating at 50% capacity, and bars may not be open later than 11.00 pm). Icelanders are currently allowed to gather in groups of 200 legally.
Get tested at the airport or before you arrive
In light of this relative success, the authorities plan on opening the borders on or before June 15 (ca. 40% of Iceland’s export revenue comes from tourism).
Individuals travelling to Iceland from abroad will be given two options:
- Go into 14-day quarantine upon arrival.
- Submit to a SARS-CoV-2 test, with results expected to be ready the same day (passengers will have to pay for the test from July 1st. – 15.000 ISK or ca. 100 EUR).
Whether by submission of certificate, quarantine, or negative test result, once you are free to travel in the country, there are a few things that you should keep in mind.
Fewer tourists, less chaos
Like other countries in the world, there will be fewer tourists in Iceland this summer, which means that the most popular destinations in Iceland – the Blue Lagoon, stops along the Golden Circle, etc. – will be less crowded than previous summers. Therefore, the summer of 2020 presents a unique opportunity of visiting these sites without the usual “chaos” (expect lower prices, too).
Note: The relative scarcity of foreign travellers will be slightly offset by the many Icelanders who plan on travelling locally this summer.
Safety first, nonetheless
It is important not to celebrate one’s health by neglecting one’s safety. During your stay, make sure to wash your hands regularly and keep indoors if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms. While masks are not a bad idea, few Icelanders have chosen to wear them in public.
Visitors will be encouraged to download a Covid-19 tracing app on their phone, during their visit in Iceland.
Furthermore, Icelandic nature can be hazardous, and so it is essential to keep the following in mind. Iceland’s emergency number is 112. Keep an eye on the weather forecast. Visit Safetravel.is before heading out (for info on road conditions and weather warnings). Stay on the path and follow instructions on signs.
Use the opportunity to visit less-popular places
Given that the most popular sites in Iceland will be less cramped than usual, the less-visited sites are expected to be even less crowded. Here are a few photogenic sites that could prove well worth a detour:
- The baby-blue church in Seyðisfjörður (East Iceland), which is foregrounded with a colourful boardwalk.
- Stöng, a reconstructed medieval farm in Southwest Iceland (featured on Game of Thrones).
- The white house on the Snæfellsnes peninsula (West Iceland).
- Hvítserkur, the 15-meter high basalt rock formation in North Iceland.
- The Stuðlagil canyon in East Iceland, basalt rock formations.
Contact What's On for further information on worthwhile destinations and private tours.