Iceland to require COVID-19 testing for vaccinated travellers over Delta variant concerns
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)cbc.ca
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Nunavik 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