Travelers to Iceland Can Skip Quarantine or Testing If They've Had COVID-19

The new policy will be implemented on Dec. 10.

Travelers heading to Iceland will be able to skip the country’s quarantine and testing requirements starting next week if they prove they have previously tested positive for the coronavirus and recovered, according to the government.

The new policy, set to go into effect on Dec. 10, will allow visitors who have already recovered from the virus to submit either a positive PCR test at least 14 days old or an antibody test from a European laboratory or epidemiologist in Iceland, according to the Office of the Medical Director of Health. Rapid or spot tests are not acceptable for the program.

While this measure will expand the ways people can travel to Iceland, visitors from the U.S. are still not allowed to visit, the Directorate of Immigration noted.

"These measures are intended to limit the risk of infections getting into the country across the border,” Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir said in a statement. “While we can never guarantee that all potential sources of future outbreaks can be stopped, it is prudent to aim to minimize this risk as much as possible. We are hopeful that the development of effective vaccines will allow us to review the border measures in the first weeks of the new year."

Austurstraeti street in downtown Reykjavik, Iceland
Ernir Eyjolfsson/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Currently, Iceland requires visitors to either quarantine for 14 days upon arrival or get tested twice: once upon arrival and then quarantine for five to six days before getting tested again. Those who quarantine in Iceland are now allowed to visit tourist attractions (like Iceland’s breathtaking waterfalls), but they can go for a remote walk, which is not difficult to find in the country’s vast landscapes.

Iceland has closed its famous swimming pools and requires restaurants with a license to sell alcohol to close at 9 p.m., according to the government’s COVID-19 website. Masks are required whenever people are within two meters of each other.

While U.S. citizens can’t visit Iceland for a quick vacation, they can apply for a long-term visa and stay for up to six months for the ultimate WFN (work from nature) experience as long as they make about $88,000 per year.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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