Iceland had tried to open up to Americans last year but closed up again quickly as cases began to go up. Now, a year later, Iceland is now open again to anyone that wants to visit – as long as they provide the required Covid-19 paperwork.
Iceland Open to Americans and the World
As more and more people receive the vaccine, we should see more countries open up to those who have been vaccinated. But, they will also be opening to those that can show that they have previously been infected (this is important as some places, like Israel, is not even vaccinating those that have already had Covid-19).
Covid-19 Vaccine Paperwork Requirements
To start, anyone that has received the full dosage of a Covid-19 vaccine will now be allowed to enter Iceland without having to undergo any tests or quarantine. Here is what Iceland says is required for this paperwork – see this link for more information (note that they removed a previous part of the requirement that stated that the certificate had to have the passport number and nationality on it as well, something that CDC certificates do not have).
Certificates of vaccination with a vaccine authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), that are listed here (this list is updated as needed). Certificates are accepted wheter they originate from countries within or outside the EEA-area:
1. Comirnaty; Pfizer-BioNTech
2. COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna
3. COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca
4. COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen
- Certificates from the the World Health Organization (WHO) (the International Certificate of Vaccination or the Carte Jaune/Yellow Card) is also accepted for vaccines the WHO has validated. The following is a list of vaccines validated by the WHO (this list is updated as needed):
1. Tozinameran-COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine (Comirnaty®) Pfizer/BioNTech Manufacturing GmbH.
2. COVID-19 Vaccine (ChAdOx1-S) AstraZeneca/SK Bio (SK Bioscience Co. Ltd).
3. COVID-19 (ChAdOx1-S) Vaccine AstraZeneca (Covidshield™ Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd).
4. COVID-19 Vaccine (Ad26.COV2-S) Janssen-Cilag International NV.
Certificates may be in paper or electronic format. Border control will evaluate whether a certificate is valid and will consult a representative of the Chief Epidemiologist (health care worker) as needed. The final decision of whether a certificate is valid is at the discretion of the Chief Epidemiologist. If a passenger presents a document that is deemed invalid, i.e. if any of the necessary requirements are missing, the passenger must, as other arrival passengers, undergo double testing with quarantine in between.
A vaccine certificate is required to include the following:
- Be in the Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, English or French. A document in another language can be valid if the original document accompanied by a certified stamped translation in one of the languages required.
- First name and last name (as in travel documents).
- Date of birth.
- Name of disease vaccinated against (COVID-19)
- Where and when vaccination(s) was/were performed (date(s)).
- Vaccination must be complete; see below the required doses for full vaccination for each vaccine.
- Issuer of the certificate (supervising clinician/administering centre), with signature and stamp if the International Certificate of Vaccination.
- Vaccine administered.
- Manufacturer and batch/lot no. of vaccine.
Requirement for Those Not Vaccinated
Iceland will also allow travelers in that have not received the vaccination, good news indeed since many countries are still on elderly or at-risk populations. This is also helpful since some countries are not vaccinating children so having other methods of entry will help here as well.
For this, if a person can provide proof that they have already had the coronavirus, that will also suffice. It must be a test that shows positive and is at least 14 days old. It does need to be a PCR test and not a rapid test. Here is the information provided by Iceland about these tests and also negative tests that can be used:
Certificates may be in paper or electronic format. Border control will evaluate wether a certificate is valid and will consult a representative of the Chief Epidemiologist (health care worker) as needed. The final decision of whether a certificate is valid is at the discretion of the Chief Epidemiologist. If a passenger presents a document that is deemed invalid, i.e. if any of the necessary requirements are missing, the passenger must, as other arrival passengers, undergo double testing with quarantine in between.
The following certificates are considered a valid confirmation of a previous COVID-19 infection:
- Positive PCR-test (RT-PCR) results for SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 that is older than 14 days.
- Presence of antibodies (IgG) against SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 measured by ELISA serologic assay*.
Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are not accepted (antigen or antibody tests).
A certificate of previous COVID-19 infection is also required to include the following details:
- The certificate should be in the Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish or English language. A document in another language can be valid if the original document is accompanied by a certified stamped translation in one of the languages required.
- First name and last name (as in travel documents).
- Date of birth.
- When test was performed (date).
- Where test was performed (country/city/address).
- Name of laboratory/issuer of certificate.
- Date of certifcate.
- Phone number of laboratory or responsible authority (at least enough information, such as a website, to be able to verify the results).
- Type of test performed (PCR-test or antibody test with ELISA/serologic assay*).
- Result of test (PCR-test positive for SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 or antibodies (IgG) present).
*EIA, ECLIA, ELFA, CMIA, CLIA, CLMIA are equivalent tests to ELISA
What Happens if Iceland Does Not Accept Your Paperwork?
All decisions are final and are made by the Chief Epidemiologist. If it is determined that any of a passenger’s paperwork is not approved, that passenger must have a test taken (which must be negative), quarantine for 5 days, and then have another negative test to clear the quarantine and be free to move around the country.
All of this has gone into effect as of today, March 18, and there are Americans already on their way to the beautiful island nation. While this is not as easily done as before (due to cancellation/suspension of routes), it is possible and many are eager to satisfy their travel desires – and visiting Iceland is a great way to do this!
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