Iceland will open borders to vaccinated travelers from outside the Schengen zone.

By Cailey Rizzo
Updated April 01, 2021
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Iceland
Credit: Joaquin Gomez Sastre/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Vaccinated tourists from the U.S. and UK will be able to visit Iceland beginning April 6 without having to quarantine or take a test for COVID-19.

During the pandemic, Iceland's borders have been closed to visitors from outside Europe's Schengen zone. Previously slated for a March opening for vaccinated visitors, the Icelandic government delayed the date, to specifically open borders to travelers outside the Schengen zone who have been vaccinated or who have recovered from COVID-19.

Anyone will be allowed entry whose vaccine has been approved by the European Medicines Agency, which includes Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, or Johnson & Johnson. However, those from certain countries, like Russia for example, will have to wait for entry to Iceland until their vaccine (Sputnik V) has been approved by the agency. But it's only a matter of time. Iceland Minister of Health Svandís Svavarsdóttir told reporters that "clearly, it will soon qualify."

"Our experience and data so far indicate very strongly that there is very little risk of infection stemming from individuals who have acquired immunity against the disease, either by vaccination or by prior infection," Iceland's Chief Epidemiologist Thórólfur Gudnason said in a statement Tuesday. "When people are protected against the same disease, with the same vaccines that are produced by the same companies, there is no medical reason to discriminate on the basis of the location where the jab is administered."

Iceland has required a negative PCR test to enter the country since Feb. 16. A five-day quarantine period and an additional test at the border were also required, but Europeans with the vaccine were exempt from the measures.

Beginning May 1, Iceland will begin using a risk assessment color code at its borders to open up to even more travelers. Arrivals from low-risk areas (which will be coded green and yellow) will not be required to quarantine if they can present a negative PCR test at the border.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.