At a press conference (Tuesday, June 12), the Icelandic Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir announced that from June 15, the 14 day quarantine will not be mandatory for passengers arriving at Keflavík International Airport. Instead, tourists and Icelandic residents entering the country will be given the option of being screened for the novel coronavirus.
After being screened at the airport, arriving passengers will go to their overnight accommodations, where they await the results. In addition, every arriving passenger will be asked to download the COVID-19 tracing app “Rakning C-19“ which helps authorities trace the origin of transmissions.
Thordis Kolbrun Reykfjord Gylfadottir, Minister of Tourism, Industry, and Innovation says:
- “When travellers return to Iceland we want to have all mechanisms in place to safeguard them and the progress made in controlling the pandemic. Iceland's strategy of large-scale testing, tracing and isolating have proven effective so far. We want to build on that experience of creating a safe place for those who want a change of scenery after what has been a tough spring for all of us.”
The proposed border opening depends on the continued decline of cases in Iceland. At this point, only three cases of the virus have been diagnosed in May, only 15 individuals have the virus in Iceland, and more than 15% of Iceland's population have been tested. Authorities stated it could also be implemented earlier than June 15 if preparations go well, and the number of cases remains low. The testing may be used toward further research of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19.
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