Iceland is where travellers go to revel in nature’s raw power. Among spurting geysers, luminous glaciers and steaming hot springs, visitors to the volcanic island find a warm native population – with a knack for chunky knitwear, plus some of the freshest seafood on earth, thrown in. And as Europe’s most sparsely populated country, Iceland is tailor-made for socially distanced summer adventures, with the Northern Lights as their backdrop.
Is Iceland on the green list?
Iceland has been put on the UK’s green list of countries, which comes into effect from May 17. Prior to this date, it is illegal to travel abroad from the UK for the purpose of a holiday.
Will I have to quarantine?
The government has set up a traffic light system, which categorises countries based on risk alongside the restrictions required for travel. The Department for Transport said that key factors in the assessment include:
- the percentage of their population that have been vaccinated
- the rate of infection
- the prevalence of variants of concern
- the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing
After May 17, people arriving in the UK from green list countries will need to take a pre-departure test in that country. On or before the second day after arriving in the UK, they will need to take a PCR test, but will not need to quarantine on their return – unless they receive a positive test.
Since April 6, all travellers are welcome to visit Iceland as long as they can show certified evidence of either being fully vaccinated against Covid-19, or having recovered from Covid-19. Iceland’s Directorate of Health page details what certificates are officially accepted.
On arrival, you’ll need to take one Covid test (free of charge) and self-isolate at your accommodation for up to 24 hours to receive the results. Vaccinated travellers don’t need to quarantine for any longer, unless the test comes back positive.
Non-vaccinated travellers to Iceland must present a negative PCR test on arrival, which was taken within 72 hours of departure. They then need to take another test on arrival, followed by a secondary test five or six days into their stay, and quarantine at their accommodation until the second test result comes back negative. These entry requirements will be reviewed on June 1.
What happens if Iceland moves to the amber list?
After May 17, people arriving from amber list countries will have to quarantine for 10 days at home. They will have to take a pre-departure test, then a PCR test on days two and eight, but there will be an option for “test to release” in which they can end self-isolation early if they test negative on day five by purchasing an extra PCR test.
How do I get there?
There’s been an upsurge of interest in Iceland holidays since the green list announcement. Jet2.com and Jet2CityBreaks have responded by bringing forward the start of scheduled services between the UK and Iceland to the beginning of September 2021, with extra services from Manchester Airport. Tui and easyJet will resume flights and holidays to Iceland from May 17, and Icelandair is already operating flights between the UK and Reykjavik.