Iceland announces quarantine-free travel if you’ve had COVID-19

Follow Iceland's Ring Road to spot the Icelandic horses (Getty)
Follow Iceland's Ring Road to spot the Icelandic horses (Getty)

Travellers looking for a winter escape to Iceland will be able to bypass the country’s testing and quarantine requirements if they have previously tested positive for COVID-19.

The new regulations from the Icelandic government will encourage travellers to submit a positive test that’s at least 14 days old or an antibody test from a laboratory within the EEA/EFTA-area on arrival.

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"As of December 10, arriving passengers who have already recovered from a COVID-19 infection will [be] exempt from border measures if they can provide proof of prior infection,” a statement from Iceland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Luckily for Brits, this could mean quarantine-free travel each way as Brits are one of the nationalities currently permitted to enter Iceland (only UK and EU residents are allowed to enter).

The Northern Lights are one of Iceland's biggest draw cards (Getty)
The Northern Lights are one of Iceland's biggest draw cards (Getty)

Brits will also not need to self-isolate upon return as Iceland is part of the UK government’s travel corridor list.

Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir said in a statement: "These measures are intended to limit the risk of infections getting into the country across the border.

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“While we can never guarantee that all potential sources of future outbreaks can be stopped, it is prudent to aim to minimise this risk as much as possible. We are hopeful that the development of effective vaccines will allow us to review the border measures in the first weeks of the new year."

Under Iceland’s current regulations, visitors either need to quarantine for 14 days on arrival or get tested twice: once on arrival before quarantining for five to six days and receiving a second test.

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While it’s not clear whether these new rules will still apply to British travellers after December 31 (the UK is no longer an EEA member state but falls under its regulations until the end of 2020), it could be a great last-minute festive break to spot the northern lights this Christmas.

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