Iceland Just Dropped All of Its COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

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As of March, Iceland has lifted all COVID-19 restrictions at the border. It’s the latest in a long list of countries trying to emerge from the pandemic and restart tourism. This means that Iceland has no entry requirements for vaccinated or unvaccinated travelers. You don’t have to provide a negative test prior to entry, you don’t have to show a vaccine passport, and there’s no mandatory quarantine period.  

Instead, the Nordic island nation, known for its dramatic volcanoes, lava fields, and hot springs, is embracing widespread herd immunity. In a government meeting held near the end of February, Iceland’s chief epidemiologist, Þórólfur Guðnason, said that in his opinion, it’s the only way out of the pandemic.

“We can truly rejoice at this turning-point, but nonetheless I encourage people to be careful, practice personal infection prevention measures, and not to interact with others if they notice symptoms,” said Minister of Health, Willum Þór Þórsson, in a press release.  

Prior to lifting the restrictions, foreign travelers were required to show proof of vaccination within the last nine months, and unvaccinated travelers were forced to quarantine.

In addition to lifting border restrictions, Iceland has also dropped all domestic restrictions, including mask mandates, indoor capacities, and curfews. 

In February, the country did see a peak in Omicron cases, averaging between 2,100 to 2,800 per day. But severe illness has stayed low, Guðnason said during the government meeting. Hospitalization rates during Omicron have stayed between 0.2-0.3%, whereas during the Delta strain it hovered around 2%.

With flights cheaper in the spring than the summer, this might be the perfect time to visit Iceland. The island’s snow is melting, revealing stunning waterfalls, black sand beaches, and glacier lagoons, plus by the end of May, Iceland will bask in 16 hours of daylight.

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