Faroe Islands prolongs free COVID-19 testing for travellers until July 31

A view of Torshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands, in 2018. (Maja Hitij/Getty Images)
The Faroe Islands have decided to continue offering free COVID-19 testing for travellers until July 31.

The Faroese government instituted the testing policy on June 27, saying testing would be free until July 10.

After that date, authorities were planning to charge 390 Danish kroner (approximately $80 CDN) for travellers arriving by plane and 500 Danish kroner (approximately $100 CDN), if arriving by ferry. 

But in a news release on Thursday, the authorities said the free testing would now last the entire month.

Measures may also be prolonged until August 16.

Faroese society is small and vulnerable”

Authorities are also warning travellers waits may be long.

“Due to these testing requirements, lengthy waiting times can be expected upon arrival,” the news release said. “Everyone arriving in the Faroe Islands is advised to proceed directly into self-quarantine until test results are received.”

Children under 12 are exempt from testing. Results are usually ready within 24 hours.

View of the Vaga airport in the Faroe Islands in 2007. Authorities are warning travellers to expect long lineups upon arrival because of COVID-19 testing. (Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images)

No matter the results, the government also said visitors were still required to respect public health requirements.

“Faroese society is small and vulnerable and it is therefore crucial that utmost precaution continues to be taken to prevent the spread of infection,” the authorities said. 

The Faroe Islands, an autonomous region within the Kingdom of Denmark, has reported 187 total confirmed COVID-19 cases, but all people have since recovered.

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca10 

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Inuit gov. in Labrador, Canada tells out-of-province travellers to stay away despite ‘Atlantic bubble’, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Finland joins other Nordic countries in virtual tourism due to pandemic, Yle News

Greenland: Greenland extends COVID-19 entry requirements until July 20, Eye on the Arctic

Iceland: Iceland lowers price of on-arrival COVID-19 testing, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Norwegian Arctic wilderness tourism hit particularly hard by coronavirus, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: All Russia’s North Pole cruises rescheduled to 2021, Eye on the Arctic

Sweden: Sweden seen as major source of COVID-19 in Western Finland region, Yle News

United States: Airline shutdown creates new challenges for rural Alaska, The Associated Press

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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