Iceland Lifts COVID-19 Restrictions for Locals and Visitors

As Iceland's vaccination rates continue to soar, the government has decided to lift all COVID-related restrictions at the border and within the country.

As of midnight on Saturday, June 26 both visitors and residents of Iceland are no longer required to wear face masks, social distance, or limit the number of attendees at gatherings.

Additionally, starting July 1 vaccinated travelers who submit valid vaccination certificates or certificates of prior infections will not need to be tested at the border. Children born after 2005 and fully vaccinated travelers will also no longer be required to present a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival. Only travelers with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency will qualify for this change in regulations.

"We are regaining the kind of society which we feel normal to live in and we have longed for," Iceland's Minister of Health Svandís Svavarsdóttir said in an announcement on Friday, noting that the decision to lift all restrictions on gatherings was made in accordance with Iceland's Chief Epidemiologist.

The country initially opened to vaccinated travelers, including Americans, in April.

About 87% of Icelanders have received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, while about 60% are already fully vaccinated, and everyone is eligible to receive the vaccine.

"Continuous and honest communication between the people and our trusted scientists have contributed mightily to the population's willingness to take part in the effort to minimize the harms of the pandemic. There has been a focus on maintaining a proper level of vigilance, without either downplaying or exaggerating the risk," Svavarsdóttir said.

For the sporadic cases that occur, the Minister also added that Iceland will continue to aggressively test, perform contact tracing, and ask likely contacts of an infected person to quarantine.

Jessica Poitevien is a Travel + Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but always on the lookout for the next adventure. Besides traveling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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