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Iceland: New COVID-19 Rules for Incoming International Travelers Take Effect

(May 4, 2021) On April 27, 2021, new rules took effect in Iceland governing international arrivals in the country. The rules prohibit nonessential travel to Iceland from countries that register more than 700 new cases of COVID-19 infections per 100,000 inhabitants on a rolling 14-day average in accordance with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s color-coding system. The ban does not apply to residents, certain family members of Icelandic citizens and residents, and persons who have had COVID-19 and can prove that they are no longer infectious. At the time of the ban’s adoption on April 23, 2021, the countries subject to the ban were Andorra, Bahrain, Bermuda, Curaçao, France, the Netherlands, Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Poland, Puerto Rico, San Marino, Sweden, Turkey, Hungary, and Uruguay. The ban will remain in force until May 6, 2021.
Under the rules, any person arriving in Iceland is subject to quarantine rules requiring specific types of government-approved quarantine accommodations that depend on the infection rate in areas they arrive from. Persons from high-risk areas are required to quarantine in specific designated facilities for 14 days, whereas persons coming from areas with less than 500 cases per 100,000 can quarantine in a facility of their own choosing. Persons in quarantine may not visit grocery stores or restaurants.
At the time the ban entered into effect, countries with an infection rate of between 500 and 699 cases per 100,000 included Argentina, Aruba, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Chile, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Liechtenstein, Northern Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovenia, Mainland Spain, and the Czech Republic.
The new restrictions come on the heels of eased travel rules for fully vaccinated travelers that took effect in Iceland on April 6, 2021. Under those rules, non-Schengen citizens (also known as third-country citizens) were allowed to travel to Iceland provided they presented a vaccination record. The rules were initially scheduled to enter into force on March 26, 2021, but were postponed to review the process of deciding what documents to accept. When the rules were finally implemented, the following types of documents were designated as acceptable proof of vaccination :

Certificates of vaccination against COVID-19 that fulfill the requirements set forth by Iceland’s chief epidemiologist
Certificates of vaccination with a vaccine authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA)
Certificates of vaccination from the World Health Organization (WHO)

The vaccine certificate must be issued in Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, English, or French and include the following information:

First name and last name (as in travel documents)
Date of birth
Name of disease vaccinated against (COVID-19)
Where and when the vaccination(s) was/were performed
Certification that the vaccination is complete
Issuer of the certificate (supervising clinician/administering center), with signature and stamp if the certificate is the International Certificate of Vaccination
Vaccine administered
Manufacturer and batch/lot number of vaccine

As of May 4, 2021, Iceland had reported 6,483 positive cases of COVID-19, including 29 fatalities. As of April 29, 2021, 110,199 persons had reportedly received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 36,376 were fully vaccinated.

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