Iceland opens to all travellers, including unvaccinated
All Covid-19 restrictions have been removed in Iceland – including rules on international travel.
Holidaymakers and business travellers will be able to visit regardless of vaccination status.
Iceland’s health minister, Willum Thor Thorsson, called the move a “turning point”. He said that low cases of serious illness amid current high infection rates enabled the rule relaxation.
“We can truly rejoice at this turning-point, but nonetheless I encourage people to be careful, practise personal infection prevention measures and not to interact with others if they notice symptoms,” he said.
No disease prevention measures will be in place at the border, regardless of whether arriving travellers are vaccinated.
The leading specialist tour operator to Iceland is Discover the World. Its founder, Clive Stacey, said: “We have been operating holidays in Iceland safely for the greater part of the pandemic.
“The country’s scientist and politicians have acted in an exemplary way, gaining the respect of its people, and vaccination rates are amongst the highest in Europe.
“Although infection rates are also high right now, hospitalisation from Covid is extremely low.
“Iceland as a holiday destination is ready and willing to welcome visitors and we are receiving an unprecedented number of enquiries.
One of the UK’s leading travel bosses described the move as “an enormous step towards normality for international travel”.
Steve Heapy, chief executive of Jet2, said: “It represents a country saying that travel is back to how it looked before the pandemic.
“We applaud the Icelandic government for leading the way when it comes to reopening international travel and we are confident that other nations will follow suit.
“We are already seeing very strong demand for flights and trips to Iceland and we expect that demand to step up even further following this extremely positive news.”
Iceland is recording about 2,500 new infections daily – an extremely high number for a country of under 370,000 people. It means that around one in 20 residents are contracting Covid-19 each week.
“About 110,000 individuals have already been diagnosed with Covid-19 but it is estimated from antibody testing that the same number already has been infected without being diagnosed,” the official statement read.
Separately, outside the capital Reykjavik, the “Imagine Peace Tower” has been lit in response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine.