Iceland opened its borders on June 15
Prior to visiting, tourists will have to fill out a preregistration form and download the C-19 app on their phones. Upon arrival, passengers can choose between taking a PCR test at the airport or self-isolating for two weeks.
The PRC test will be free of charge for the initial two-week period. From July 1, the price will be set at ISK15,000 (€97). After undergoing the PCR test, tourists can leave the airport, but are advised to travel with caution until the test results are confirmed. Those can be expected within five hours and will appear in the C-19 app or text message.
“It has been amazing to watch the Icelandic nation tackle the coronavirus, where cooperation and complete trust in authorities has been key. Months of hard work are now paying off,” says Gyda Guomundsdottir spokesperson for Cruise Iceland, an association which includes 22 ports. Being an island, it is easy to monitor the population and track new cases with aggressive testing.”
The corona crisis has taken its toll on the Icelandic economy, which is heavily dependent on tourism. “We are very pleased with the authorities’ decision to open the borders, with next-to-no new cases, we are ready to welcome vessels again in Iceland,” says Petur Olafsson, port master of Akureyri and chair of Cruise Iceland.
“This might even be the perfect time to visit, since there will be a lot less tourists than previous years. We will definitely not be facing any congestion problems and passengers can enjoy the services offered by ports and tour operators, and thereby contributing to the local community, where many have been sitting idly since the corona-crisis started,” he adds.
Expedition vessels are expected to arrive in Iceland from mid-July, with new operating measures in place, such as social distancing, increased medical personnel on board and frequent health monitoring of passengers.
With Iceland so scarcely populated, those passengers can look forward to immersing themselves in the spectacular nature, away from crowds and away from their homes, where many have been isolating. Small group, nature-based tourism is what Iceland does well.