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Stricter COVID-19 measures at the Icelandic border

Photo: Ragnar Th. Sigurðsson /
Photo: Ragnar Th. Sigurðsson /
  • Children to be mostly subject to same border measures as adults
  • Measures to take effect 1 April and will expire at the end of the month

Iceland’s Minister of Health has decided to impose stricter border measures at the recommendation of the Chief Epidemiologist. Changes will take effect on 1 April and will affect children and those traveling from areas that are classified as dark red or grey by the ECDC (where the 14-day incidence rate exceeds 500 or insufficient data is available).

Children, who have been exempt from border measures until now, will be tested and required to quarantine (with some exceptions, see below). Travelers who have stayed in dark-red areas, in the previous 14 days, will be required to stay in quarantine facilities for the duration of the 5 day quarantine between tests. In case of a positive test, travelers will be required to stay in isolation in managed quarantine facilities.

According to the Chief Epidemiologist there has been an increase in the number of cases detected at the border. In a memorandum to the Minister of health, the Chief Epidemiologist, expresses worry that cases are being detected in second screening of individuals who have provided a negative PCR test prior to departures and have tested negative at the border. He speculates that this is most likely due to the high prevalence of the disease at the point of departure, and further, that the most likely source of new domestic wave stems from imported cases.

The rules will expire at the end of April.

Testing of children born in 2005 or later: All children born 2005 or later are subject to a PCR test at the border. In case of a positive test, they will be required to stay in isolation. Otherwise they would only need to quarantine  if they are travelling with parents or guardians who are required to quarantine.

Travelers to stay in quarantine facilities: Everyone who arrives from, or has in the previous 14 days stayed in, areas that are classified as dark red or grey, are required to stay in managed quarantine facilities.