After Greece’s decision to open its borders for international visitors on May 14, Iceland is the latest country to follow suit. Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, the country’s Justice Minister, announced today that the Icelandic authorities have decided to allow travelers from the U.S. and U.K. to visit the country without having to quarantine. In order to do so, they will have to present a certificate of vaccination for COVID-19 or a certificate of previous COVID-19 infection. Sigurbjörnsdóttir explained that only certificates for vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency will be accepted. These include the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines.
“These changes are substantial,” Sigurbjörnsdóttir told mbl.is.“Most of our tourists come from these countries [i.e. the U.S. and the U.K.], and they have a great impact on our economy, and they are well underway with vaccinations, using vaccines that the [European Medicines] Agency has approved.”
Iceland’s Minister of Tourism, Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir, also expressed her support for the decision, saying: “From the point of view of disease prevention, it does not matter where an individual is coming from if he has a certificate to the effect that he has been vaccinated.”
The Center for Disease Control has so far authorized Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines. The new rules come into effect on March 18, 2021.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Iceland had closed its borders for all citizens from non-Schengen countries.