Iceland Reopening its Borders June 15, Potentially Sooner

Iceland sunrise

At a press conference on Tuesday, the Icelandic Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir announced that from June 15, the 14-day quarantine will no longer be mandatory for passengers arriving at Keflavík International Airport outside of Reykjavik. Instead, tourists and Icelandic residents entering the country will be given the option of being screened for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). 

After being screened at the airport, arriving passengers will go to their overnight accommodations, where they await the results. In addition, every arriving passenger will be asked to download the COVID-19 tracing app, Rakning C-19, which helps authorities trace the origin of transmissions. 

Thordis Kolbrun Reykfjord Gylfadottir, minister of tourism, industry and innovation said in an announcement, "When travelers return to Iceland, we want to have all mechanisms in place to safeguard them and the progress made in controlling the pandemic. Iceland's strategy of large-scale testing, tracing and isolating have proven effective so far; we want to build on that experience."

The proposed border opening depends on the continued decline of cases in Iceland. At this point, only three cases of the virus have been diagnosed in May; only 15 individuals have the virus in Iceland; and more than 15 percent of Iceland's population has been tested. Authorities stated it could also be implemented earlier than June 15 if preparations go well, and the number of cases remains low. The testing may be used toward further research of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19.

This article originally appeared on www.travelagentcentral.com.

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