Iceland and Icelandair set to welcome visitors starting June 15th
Updated: Aug 17, 2020
One of the first countries to re-open post COVID-19 is Iceland
This is exciting news for our wanderlust travellers just itching to get away and back up in the air. As you can imagine our Post-COVID travel experience will be different. Here is what you need to know.
Travellers from outside the Schengen Area (including the United States and Canada) will have a choice on arrival at Keflavík International Airport. The first option is to provide personnel a clean bill of health obtained by health authorities in their home country. The second option is to get a coronavirus test (free for all during the first two weeks of Iceland's re-opening). The last option is to go into immediate 2-week quarantine.
Revised Entry Requirements for Iceland (as of August 19, 2020)
Entry Requirements for Iceland Beginning August 19, 2020, the following requirements apply to all passengers arriving in Iceland:
TESTING: Two COVID tests. The first test, for a fee of ISK 9.000, is administered at the border on arrival at Keflavík Airport. The second test is provided at no fee to the passenger by the primary healthcare service 4-6 days later. Fees are current as of the publication date of this newsletter and are the responsibility of the passenger.
QUARANTINE: Passengers must enter and remain in quarantine during the time between tests.
For further details and information on requirements to visit Iceland, please review official guidelines instructions from Iceland’s Directorate of Health. Additional information on visiting Iceland during COVID can be found online from the Icelandic government. Transit passengers: Travelers whose final destination is NOT Iceland are exempt from these requirements.
Flying to Iceland and Icelandair's enhanced health protocols
Safe Travels - a shared responsibility
Our new travel reality means that we all have a responsibility for our own health as well as those around us. Remember to be patient. The era of showing up 45-minutes before your flight and jetting off are gone. It will take more time to go through all the various enhanced safety screenings. So please be kind and pack your humour and patience.
If you are feeling unwell - stay home. You will be asked throughout your journey health questions and if any screener deems you unfit for travel you will be denied boarding.
Airport Check In
Airports will have enhanced cleaning protocols in place. This includes all high touch surfaces will be sanitized multiple times a day. You will find hand sanitizers at kiosks and check-in counters encouraging you to regularly wash and/or sanitize your hands frequently.
You will be encouraged to download and use Icelandair's App to check in and get your boarding pass. This helps to ensure a more touchless journey throughout the terminal building and into the aircraft.
You will be encouraged to keep safe social distancing and limit contact with people outside of your immediate travel group.
Icelandair as well as many airlines will be encouraging you to check all of your luggage and skip taking carry-on with you to minimize contact with others through security screenings and on board the aircraft.
The boarding experience will be much different in our post-COVID travel era. You will be asked to observe the 2-meter rule during boarding. Now will be the time to bring out your humour and patience as you can expect much longer lines and slower boarding process. Remember to be kind to each other. Icelandair's staff will be wearing personal protective gear (PPE) like gloves and masks.
On Board Icelandair
Once on board your Icelandair flight you will notice that the airline has strategic empty seats including the middle seat, unless you are travelling with someone and want to sit next to them.
The aircraft will be disinfected before you board: screens, seat belts and buckles, tray tables, arm rests and window shades, light switches and air circulation controls, head rests, overhead lockers, restrooms.
Service on their flights will be limited to minimize contact between passengers and crew members. For long-haul flights meal service will have been packed under enhanced health and safety conditions. You will be given a water bottle upon boarding, water re-fills will not be permitted mid-flight.
Icelandair's fleet is a mix of Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft, all of which have in common robust air circulation mechanisms which makes the on-board experience pleasant for both the consumer and employees. These features are especially important as we start to think again about traveling. Here’s how it works:
The air throughout each aircraft consists of fresh air that is constantly circulating in from the outside, as well as recirculated air already inside. The ratio between outside and inside air is approximately 50/50.
“Recirculated” air means that before returning to the cabin, the air is passed through HEPA filters (High-Efficiency Particulate Air). This process occurs every 2-3 minutes, and removes 99.9% of any particulate matter present.
What are “particulates”? These can be fungi, bacteria, and/or viruses, including COVID-19, which has an average size of .12-.125 microns, precisely what these filters are designed to catch.
Wearing of a non-medical face mask throughout the flight to help reduce your potential of expelling droplets into the air.
When we all observe hygiene guidelines and make sure to comply with personal safety recommendations, we all contribute to cleaner air on board.
click here to read another post on Airlines aiding passenger safety
Peace of Mind Policy - Book now, change later
All reservations booked and ticketed prior to December 31, 2020 can be changed without a fee provided that new travel dates are completed by December 31, 2021. In addition, destination changes are allowed. Check the Icelandair Peace of Mind Policy for further details. Click here for more information.
Iceland named on of the most COVID-free destinations
The magical island nation of Iceland has been one of Europe's and likely the world's most proactive in being prepared for a pandemic and has been able to maintain a low transmission rate throughout the global crisis. The Iceland government and the tourism bureau has a plan and ready to open up tourism once again starting June 15th.
There is a lot to discover in Iceland from the geothermal pools of the Blue Lagoon to the awe inspiring Gullfoss Waaterfall and the natural beauty of the island. Our friends at Vacaya still have a few cabins available on their August 30 - September 6th sailing on the uber luxurious explorer yacht - the Le Jacques Cartier by Ponant. Click here to learn more.
Where do you want to jet off this summer? Interested in learning more about Iceland - click here and I will be happy to set up a consultation.
Fun Facts on Iceland
Most Icelanders believe in elves and trolls
Iceland is one of the most eco-friendly countries in the world
11% of Iceland is covered in glaciers
Iceland expects their visitors' to be responsible and take their Pledge