Travel in Iceland with confidence - Covid 19
At Terra Nova the wellbeing and safety of our travellers are at the heart of everything we do!
Health and hygiene: When you travel with us, you can rest assured we are following and implementing measures that were developed in alignment with government authorities and health providers across our destinations. For example, we have implemented the World Travel & Tourism Council’s “Safe Travels” protocols and the Icelandic Tourist Board’s “Clean & Safe” pledge.
Transportation: We only work with trusted transport providers. Any vehicle that you travel in will be cleaned to keep you safe. For example, if you are on a self-drive tour, your car will be thoroughly cleaned before you collect it. If you join one of our group tours, your transportation will be equipped with a hand sanitizer and disinfected regularly.
Accommodation: We are working with our accommodation partners to ensure that they meet our new health and hygiene protocols. You can relax knowing that all key touchpoints will be sanitized regularly, and hand gel will be provided at the hotels you stay in. When renting camping gear, it will be sanitized in advance.
Trained guides: In terms of guided tours and day trips or excursions, your guide will be well-trained and prepared for any situation. They are there to keep you safe and help you have an unforgettable trip. Leave it to them to provide you with an authentic experience and to support you from start to finish.
24/7 support: We are with you every step of the way. If you urgently need to contact us, you can always access our support line. Should anything unexpected occur, we will take care of rearranging your itinerary wherever necessary at no additional cost to you.
Terra Nova is certified by Vakinn, the Quality System of the Icelandic Tourism Authorities, ensuring our clients that we operate in an ethical, professional, and environmentally sustainable way.
Travel updates for Iceland
As of Monday 26th July 2021 all passengers with vaccination againt Covid-19 or proof of prior Covid-19 infection need to present a negative PCR test certificate againt Covid-19. Rapid antigen tests are also valid. The test must have been taken within 72 hours before departure on the first leg of journey.
This includes citizens from outside the EU/EEA.
Entry: read the latest advice about visiting Iceland from the Icelandic Directorate of Health.
While in Iceland: see the latest restrictions in Iceland.
Frequently asked Questions
To help your client to travel with confidence, we have prepared some answers to commonly asked questions here. Hopefully, these answers will enable you to provide answers to your clients.
Q1 Is it safe to visit Iceland?
When it comes to safe leisure travel, we follow the advice of official advisories such as the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as the EU, Iceland’s Directorate of Health and the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management. When you travel with us, you can rest assured your safety, and that of our staff, is our priority.
Q2 I’m vaccinated, can I travel to Iceland? What are the restrictions?
Yes! But as of Monday 26th July 2021 vaccinated travellers need to present a negative COVID-19 test result when arriving in Iceland.
Both PCR test certificates and the quicker lateral flow test certificates are accepted. Tests must be less than 72 hours old.
This includes citizens from outside the EU/EEA.
Please note that a vaccination certificate is only considered valid when 14 days have passed from the second dose (or 14 days from Janssen/Johnson & Johnson dose). If a certificate is not valid the individual needs to undergo 2 tests and quarantine for 5 days in between.
Please note that even if you submit a vaccination certificate or a certificate of a prior infection, you will have to undergo 1 test upon entry into the country. But you will be exempt from quarantine if it provides a negative result.
Q3 What vaccination certificates are accepted in Iceland?
A vaccination certificate with one of the following vaccines with marketing authorization in Europe:
1. Comirnaty; Pfizer BioNTech
2. COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna
3. COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca
4. COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen
The International Certificate of Vaccination (“the yellow book”) issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) is also valid in those cases where WHO has discussed and approved a vaccine that is listed on the certificate, regardless of where the vaccination was made.
Here is a list of vaccines that are accepted
1. Tozinameran-COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine (Comirnaty®) Pfizer/BioNTech Manufacturing GmbH.
2. COVID-19 Vaccine (Vaxzevria®; ChAdOx1-S) AstraZeneca AB.
3. COVID-19 Vaccine (ChAdOx1-S) AstraZeneca/SK Bio (SK Bioscience Co. Ltd).
4. COVID-19 (ChAdOx1-S) Vaccine AstraZeneca (Covidshield™ Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd).
5. COVID-19 Vaccine (Ad26.COV2-S) Janssen-Cilag International NV.
6. COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna (mRNA-1273), Moderna Therapeutics.
7. SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine BIBP (Vero Cell) (Sinopharm/Bejing Institute of Biological Products Co., Ltd.)
8. COVID-19 Vaccine Sinovac-CoronaVac (Vero Cell), Sinovac Life Sciences Co., Ltd.
Certificates can be hard copies or electronic. Iceland’s border guards will assess whether a certificate is valid and will contact a representative of the Chief Epidemiologist as necessary to issue the final decision regarding the validity of the certificate.
The document should include medical information such as the vaccine type, the date of the shot or shots, and where the vaccination happened.
Q4 Is the CDC card accepted in Iceland as a valid vaccination certificate?
Yes, the CDC card is currently accepted as a valid proof of vaccination in Iceland.
Q5 Do I have to take a Covid-19 test before traveling?
Currently, Iceland requires all travelers to submit a certificate of a negative PCR-test for COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) before boarding an aircraft or ship to Iceland and again upon arrival. The negative test result must have been collected no more than 72 hours before departure (on the first leg of the journey). Rapid antigen tests are not valid.
Q6 I'm not vaccinated nor have I had a previous diagnosis of Covid-19 infection. Can I travel to Iceland?
Everybody that is not vaccinated nor has had a previous Covid-19 infection must on arrival to Iceland go for a Covid-19 test at the borders and then quarantine for five days. After that you go for another test at the end of quarantine. People may quarantine at home provided that their accommodation meets certain conditions. If not, they need to stay at the governments quarantine facility during their quarantine.
Q7 What should we prepare before flying?
All passengers traveling to Iceland are required to fill out a pre-registration form before arrival. The form should include their contact information, confirmation of negative PCR-test, address during their quarantine in Iceland, and a declaration of health.
Q8 What should I expect at airports and on my flights?
Please allow extra time for heightened security and health checks at airports. You can find out more details about what to expect at airports and on flights from your airline provider. For example, you may need to wear a face mask, but they will confirm this with you.
Check with your policy provider to find out if you are covered for coronavirus-related claims. They may be able to give you an upgrade on your policy to include this. If not, we suggest you search for insurance providers that do offer Covid-19 cover.
In general, we always recommend all travelers to get comprehensive travel insurance. Plus, if you are from an EEA country, we advise that you bring your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you.
When you arrive
Q1 Do I need to take a PCR test in Iceland if I can present a valid certificate of a previous diagnosis or full vaccination?
Yes, until July 1st 2021 this is neccessary. Even if you have been vaccinated, the government has implemented requirements for everyone to be tested upon arrival in the country. This is due to indications that those individuals can pass on infections. They are required to stay in quarantine until a negative result from the test is obtained.
After July 1st 2021 you will not need to take a PCR test on arrival in Iceland.
Q2 Do I need to pay for the PCR test and how much does it cost?
Once you arrive in Iceland, you’ll have to take a COVID-19 test, but it is free of charge.
Q3 For how long do I have to wait for my PCR test results?
Test results usually come back within 5-6 hours but may take up to 24 hours.
Q4 Where can I wait until I get my PCR test results on arrival?
Vaccinated passengers are required to wait for the result of this test at their accommodation. You’ll be asked to drive directly to your hotel and wait in your room until the results come back negative.
Please be aware that if you land in Iceland early in the morning after an overnight flight, your hotel room might not be ready before noon or even later in the afternoon, depending on your accommodation. Since you will technically be in quarantine until you get your results, you are not allowed to visit public places, go on hikes, drive around to sightsee (even if you are not stepping out of your car).
Q5 Will children who aren’t vaccinated need to quarantine?
Children born in 2005 or later can travel along with you and will also need to undergo one screening test for COVID-19 at the border. If the parent or guardian is exempt from quarantine, the child’s quarantine will be lifted if the child’s entry test at the border comes back negative. If the parent or guardian must quarantine, the child will be required to quarantine with them.
Q6 What happens if I test positive upon arrival in Iceland?
If you test positive on arrival you will be required to enter self-isolation (at your hotel or government-provided accommodation) unless further tests determine the infection is inactive.
Q7 What if I am detained at the airport due to health checks?
If for any reason you are detained at the airport, for example, if you are showing symptoms of Covid-19, contact us on our 24/7 support line. Our travel team will support you and make rearrangements of your tour details if necessary.
During your tour
Q1 What are you doing to ensure high standards of hygiene and safety on your tours?
Our top priority is your and our employees’ health and safety. For that reason, we’ve been proactive in implementing new health protocols across our tours, in line with local laws and regulations regarding Covid-19.
We have adopted the “Clean & Safe” pledge from the Icelandic Tourist Board as a reflection of the steps we are taking to protect our customers. We are committed to increased cleaning, availability of hand sanitizer, and social distancing.
To maintain our high safety standards, we ensure that all our guides and suppliers carry out specialized Covid-19 health and hygiene training.
Q2 What can I expect from a self-drive tour with you?
If you book one of our self-drive tours, your vehicle will be meticulously cleaned before you collect it. This is in line with the Clean Pledge policy that our rental car partners in Iceland, Enterprise and Reykjavík Rent a Car, are committed to.
Q3 What can I expect from a city break with you?
If you will be joining day trips and excursions during your stay in Reykjavík, you can also expect to travel in a thoroughly cleaned vehicle. Your bus will be disinfected every day and hand sanitizer will also be provided. You’ll have a designated seat and may be asked to wear a face mask.
Q4 What can I expect from a guided tour with you?
On a guided tour, your driver/guide will sanitize the vehicle before and after you travel in it.
Q5 Are accommodations taking any health measures?
Rest assured that the accommodations where you will stay during your tour are committed to strict hygiene measures. Our accommodation providers disinfect all major touch points regularly and provide hand sanitizer for guests’ use. Social distancing and wearing face masks may also be required in some locations.
Q6 Will I have to wear a face mask on my tour?
You may be required to wear a face mask at certain points during your tour. We are following the rules and regulations set forth by the Icelandic government. If the use of face masks is recommended or required at the time of travel by the local government, we will follow those guidelines.
Q7 What procedures are in place if I become sick during my tour?
Should you become unwell at any point on your trip, contact us on our 24/7 support line. Our team will be there to support you throughout your tour and will react quickly to the situation. They’ll advise you on the next steps, such as where to go to seek medical attention.
They’ll also rearrange details of your tour where necessary and do everything to ensure you are well looked after. If you need to end your trip early after your arrival, you will receive a travel credit for any unused services.
Q8 Will there be changes made to the itinerary and inclusions of my trip due to Covid-19?
If any changes must be made to your itinerary due to Covid-19, we will arrange for this in collaboration with the travel agency/tour operator.
Rest assured you will not make any financial losses in this case. You’ll receive appropriate upgrades or alternative tour options to make up for any changes. For example, if an activity that you paid for is no longer available due to Covid-19, you will be given alternative activities to choose from instead.
Q9 What happens if the national guidelines of Iceland change during my tour?
Your travel agent will inform you of any changes in national guidelines, should they occur. If tighter restrictions are put in place, your agent will make adjustments to your itinerary, where necessary. They may need to amend the route or make some other changes. You would not be charged any additional fees if rearrangements had to be made.
Q10 If someone on my trip gets Covid-19 will I get my money back?
Should you no longer be able to continue your tour due to a fellow traveler contracting Covid-19, you’ll receive a travel credit for any unused services.
Before you leave
Q1 Where and how can I get my PCR test before I return home?
Many countries, including the USA, now require passengers to present negative COVID-19 test results before their journey. The test results must be recent, taken within the last 72 or 24 hours, depending on the rules of each country.
To get tested in the capital area, register online at travel.covid.is. Once ready, the certificate will be sent to your email address. Please check with authorities at your destination if they accept an electronic or printed certificate.
Q2 What is the cost of a PCR test?
The cost is 7,000 ISK for those not insured in Iceland. As of publication, this is around 47 EUR or 56 USD. You’ll also need to pay for the certificate, which should bring you to a total of around 100 EUR (around 120 USD).
Additional information on Border restrictions in Iceland during the Covid-19 pandemic by Visit Iceland!
Below you find a link with access to relevant rules and regulations from the Icelandic authorities regarding border restrictions and procedures regarding travelling to Iceland. The website is in English and is regularly updated by Visit Iceland.