Iceland Will Not Only Welcome Back Tourist But Provide A Free Covid-19 Test On Arrival
It seems more positive news about pandemic is coming to light each day. Of course there is still inevitable suffering and difficult times for individuals and families to endure but there is beginning to be a theme emerging of silver linings sprouting out amongst the clouds.
Iceland believes that tourism is integral to their economy and are planning on opening borders on June 15th. There are also expected to be a slew of restrictions eased around mid-June across European countries to varying degrees.
Iceland feels they’ve successfully contained the virus and are now preparing to welcome foreigners once more. They’ve conducted more tests per capita than anywhere else (which is understandable given the small population and relative wealth) and that has led to them seeing only 15 cases of COVID-19 thus far.
Upon arrival, it’s being planned that visitors will be given a free test to ensure they do not contaminate the country leading to a spike in cases. They will be quarantined in their home or hotel for 2 weeks in the unfortunate event that they test positive. Presently all arrivals, including Icelandic citizens must under-go a mandatory 2 week quarantine period.
If tourists can prove they’ve recently been screened for the virus and have been given the all clear then they will not be required to take another test. One more caveat for visitor entering will be the request to download Iceland’s tracing app.
This will help track tourists and ensure should they contract the virus the government will quickly be able to isolate any of those who have come in contact with recently, helping to stem the spread as soon as possible.
It’s of course not an overnight fix, but it's a good reason for all of us to be optimistic about the near future and the travel sector returning to its former glory.
If incoming travelers have reliable documentation that they have already taken a coronavirus test, and tested negative, they will be exempt from taking another one. Everyone, however, will be asked to download Iceland’s contact tracing app, which tracks users movements and helps the government inform those who may have come into contact with an infected person.
Authorities have said that if the screenings prove successful at Keflavik Airport, Iceland may open other entry points like ferry routes and smaller airports.