Iceland Begins Opening its Borders to Visitors

Iceland, the island nation known for hot springs, stunning landscapes, and being the place where much of Game of Thrones was filmed, has just opened its borders to international visitors.

According to the government, anyone who has been fully vaccinated, or who has previously been infected with COVID-19, can now enter, as long as they’re able to provide proof of vaccination and/or prior infection.

This is positive news that shows governments feel tourism will return quickly. It’s also a great indication of what’s to come. As more and more of the world gets vaccinated, more borders will continue to open, and life will begin to feel more and more normal with each passing day.

Iceland is also a great first-trip destination after the pandemic because much of the country is wild, untamed landscapes. The entire population is just 357,000, in a country that’s larger than all of New England combined. This means ample amounts of space to roam, explore, and discover…all while being as far away from others as you’re comfortable with.

Iceland is also ensuring that travelers can’t use the country to gain access to other countries via layovers. In the rules, Iceland states that further travel from Iceland to the rest of Europe is currently not permitted for non-Schengen residents.

Beginning May 1st, the country is also going to change its border policies for non-vaccinated people. It will conduct a risk assessment of each nation, and then label them Green, Orange, or Red. Then, incoming visitors from each destination will have different procedures to follow. According to Icelandair, here’s what the three categories will look like:

According to the government’s website:

  • Green means that the 14-day incidence rate is below 25 per 100 thousand inhabitants, and less than 4% of tests are positive.
  • Orange means that the 14-day incidence rate is below 50 per 100 thousand inhabitants, but the positivity rate exceeds 4%; or the 14-day incidence rate is between 25 and 150 but the positivity rate is below 4%.
  • Red applies if the situation is more severe.

So while the government will keeping track of a country’s COVID status, it seems that both Green and Orange nations will be treated similarly when it comes to entry requirements.


For more information on international travel, visit the CDC’s travel and COVID page. 

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