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Iceland offers free Covid-19 tests as tourism restarts

Iceland offers free Covid-19 tests as tourism restarts

Iceland is now welcoming tourists from all EU and Schengen countries, and the UK, as the country reopens from the Covid-19 shutdown.

The destination is also offering visitors the option of getting tested for coronavirus upon arrival, instead of a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

With the coronavirus epidemic having receded in Iceland the Icelandic Government has significantly eased prior restrictions on daily life.

As of now, gatherings of up to 500 people will be permitted, and all prior restrictions on maximum capacity at gyms and public pools will be removed.

Since May 18th all businesses, entertainment, restaurants and bars have been open with restrictions on operating hours.

This has led the way to ensuring that the country is ready to welcome international tourists to enjoy the nature and culture of Iceland.

Iceland has achieved success against the Covid-19 pandemic through the use of targeted measures.


This includes early and high-volume testing, effective tracing efforts, quarantining of at-risk individuals and isolation of confirmed cases.

These targeted efforts have spared Iceland from some of the harsher measures that other countries have endured.

Primary school have remained open, general lockdowns were avoided, and the use of facemasks has not been recommended by the authorities.

To safeguard Iceland’s success against the pandemic, the government has decided that visitors arriving to Iceland can choose to be tested for Covid-19 if they elect not to go into quarantine.

Children born in 2005 and later will be exempt from quarantine and screening requirements.

For the first two weeks testing will be free.

From July 1st, passengers will pay ISK15,000 (approximately £90) for a single test.

Presently, 2,000 samples can be analysed daily.

Passengers are required to fill out a pre-registration form before departure to Iceland, which requires passengers to provide their personal details and contact information, flight information, travel dates and address during their stay.

Sigríður Dögg Guðmundsdóttir, head of Visit Iceland, commented: “Tourism represents approximately 35 per cent of our foreign currency revenue and 15 per cent of our jobs, so it is a hugely important industry for us.

“We are excited to offer a way for international visitors to enjoy visiting the country again, and with our current situation we believe Iceland can offer a reprieve from the difficult situation of the last few months.

“Our decisions will continue to be based on science, the best available evidence and our aim to minimise the risk of new outbreaks, while welcoming those who are willing to enjoy travelling responsibly.

“The choice of a Covid-19 test or two-week quarantine on arrival is in line with the chief epidemiologist’s recommendations to ensure the success achieved managing the virus in Iceland is not jeopardised.”