Iceland Lifts All COVID-19 Travel Restrictions
Iceland will lift all COVID-19 restrictions this week, including all border-related travel restrictions, becoming the latest country to do away with pandemic-era protocols.
Starting Friday, Iceland will no longer require travelers to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter the country, according to the Ministry of Health and Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The country will also welcome both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.
Going forward, the government said, "no disease prevention measures will be in place at the border, regardless of whether individuals are vaccinated or unvaccinated."
"We can truly rejoice at this turning-point, but nonetheless I encourage people to be careful, practice personal infection prevention measures and not to interact with others if they notice symptoms," Iceland's Minister of Health, Willum Þór Þórsson, said in a statement.
Previously, travelers to Iceland were required to show proof of vaccination completed within nine months or show proof of a booster shot, according to the country's COVID-19 website. Alternatively, travelers could show proof they contracted COVID-19 and recovered.
In addition to border restrictions, the Icelandic government will lift all limits on social gatherings and remove the quarantine requirement for those who test positive for the virus, preferring to instead adopt a "wide-spread herd immunity" model.
Previously, the country imposed curfew and capacity restrictions on bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.
Iceland is currently seeing a peak of COVID-19 infections with more than 2,600 new infections reported each day, according to Reuters. But the country's chief epidemiologist said "serious illness has not increased in the same manner."
Iceland joins other countries in easing border restrictions, including Israel, which plans to welcome unvaccinated travelers next month, and France, which is waiving all pre-departure testing for fully vaccinated travelers.
Those who do plan a trip to Iceland can take advantage of the upcoming long summer days (the country gets 24 hours of daylight in June) and peak whale watching season.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.