Iceland to require COVID-19 testing for vaccinated travellers over Delta variant concerns

A traveller outside of the Hallgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik, Iceland in September 2020. (John Sibley/Reuters)

Iceland will reinstate negative COVID-19 test requirements for travellers on July 27 after a rise in infections, most of which have been attributed to the more contagious Delta variant.

The new rule will apply to fully vaccinated people as well as people who have proof of prior COVID-19 infection.

“According to research, fully vaccinated individuals can get infected by COVID-19 and can infect others,” the government said in a news release on Monday. 

“The chief epidemiologist believes that unchanged measures will increase the risk of the virus spreading and therefore action must be taken to halt the spread and avoid domestic restrictions on gatherings.”

Once the rule comes into effect, travellers will have to present a negative rapid antigen test, or PCR test, taken 72 hours prior to departure for Iceland.

Children still exempt

Residents of Iceland, and others that have large social networks in the country, are also being asked to get tested as soon as they can after arriving in Iceland, in case they’re asymptomatic carriers.

Children born in 2005 or after continue to be exempt from border testing rules.

The rules remain unchanged for unvaccinated travellers, who are still required to present a negative PCR text within 72 hours of leaving for iceland , as well as undergo double PCR screening after arriving in the country with a five-day quarantine between the two tests.

As of last Thursday, the most recent data available, Iceland was reporting 6.3 domestic infections per 100,000 people, and 10.9 cases per 100,000 people at the border.

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)

Related stories from around the North: 

CanadaNunavik tourism reopening reason for optimism, vaccination uptake still a concern, Eye on the Arctic

Sweden: Swedish health agency reinstates test recommendation for travelers outside of Nordics, Radio Sweden

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."

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.
Netiquette »

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *