• Covid19Landamaeri

Stricter requirements for quarantine of arriving passengers coming from high-risk areas

29. Apr 2021

A new regulation by the Minister of Health on quarantine and isolation and COVID-19 testing at the Icelandic border took effect on Tuesday 27 April. The regulation introduces obligation for arriving passengers to stay in a quarantine facility if they come from countries with high infection rate of COVID-19 as defined by the regulation. The Icelandic authorities will regularly issue a list of high-risk countries, which will be updated as needed.

See here from the Icelandic government 

The main changes that came into effect on Tuesday 27 April

Those who come from defined high-risk areas will be obliged to quarantine in a quarantine facility unless exempted by the Chief Epidemiologist. No exemptions will be granted to those arriving from regions or countries where the 14-day incidence rate exceeds 700 per 100,000 population. High-risk areas are defined as regions or countries where the 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population exceeds 500 or more or from where sufficient information is not available.

Quarantine in a quarantine facility without exceptions: Passengers arriving from areas where the 14-day infection rate is 700-1,000 cases per 100,000 must without exceptions quarantine at a quarantine facility while awaiting results from the second test after arrival in the country.

Quarantine in a quarantine facility with the possibility of an exemption: Passengers arriving from areas where the 14-day infection rate is 500-699 cases per 100,000 must quarantine at a quarantine facility unless the Chief Epidemiologist grants an exemption. Such an exemption must be applied for at least two days before arrival in Iceland.

Home quarantine: Those arriving from areas where the 14-day infection rate is below 500 cases per 100,000 can quarantine in a facility of their own choosing provided it fulfils the requirements of the Chief Epidemiologist for home quarantine.

The provisions on compulsory stay in a quarantine facility have a legal basis in Act no. 23/2021 on amendments to the Communicable Diseases Act and the Act on Foreigners, which were passed by the Althingi Parliament on 22 April. The change in the law includes contains for example a temporary provision authorizing the Minister of Health to issue a regulation obliging tourists who either reside in or are coming from a high-risk area, or an area for which adequate information is not available, to quarantine or isolate in a quarantine facility. The provisions of the Minister of Health's regulation on the definition of high-risk areas shall be based on proposals by the Chief Epidemiologist.

COVID 19: Zaostrzenia kwarantanny dla podróżnych, biorąc pod uwagę stan epidemii w poszczególnych krajach

Ban on unnecessary travel from high-risk areas


See here from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of Justice

The Minister of Justice has issued a regulation banning unnecessary travel from specified high-risk areas due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The regulation enters into force, 27 April, and remains in force until the end of May.

Until 31 May 2021, all foreigners who arrive from or have stayed in, for more than 24 hours within the last 14 days, an area where the 14-day incidence rate of infection is higher than 700 persons out of every 100 000 inhabitants, or where sufficient information about the area is not available, are forbidden from entering Iceland. The ban applies to all foreigners, including citizens of the EEA and EFTA, as well as all citizens of third countries.

The ban does not apply to foreigners residing in Iceland, including on the basis of a residence permit or other kind of right of residence, family members of Icelandic citizens and foreign nationals residing in Iceland, foreigners who are in long-term domestic partnerships with Icelandic citizens or foreign nationals who are legally residing in Iceland, foreign nationals who are able to show a certificate of vaccination or a certificate that they have had COVID-19 and are no longer infectious, in keeping with Article 6 of the Regulation on quarantine, isolation and testing at the border of Iceland in connection with COVID-19.

Furthermore, the ban does not apply to foreign nationals who have to travel to Iceland for essential reasons, including the following:

  1. Transfer passengers.
  2. Healthcare and elder care personnel.
  3. Goods and services transport personnel.
  4. Individuals in need of international protection.
  5. Individuals who need to travel due to an urgent family situation.
  6. Individuals and delegations arriving in Iceland at the behest of the Icelandic authorities, diplomatic mission staff and other representatives of foreign states, staff of international organisations and individuals invited by them to visit the country due to the operations of those organisations, armed forces representatives, humanitarian assistance and civil protection staff, and the families of all of the above.
  7. Students.
  8. Individuals who need to travel due to business or work that, due to its characteristics, can not be postponed or carried out abroad.
See Government.is and Covid.is for more information