The recent spread of Coronavirus has had an immediate impact on all aspects of life, with devastating effects on global economies. One country however to take note of is Iceland, whose authorities have taken realistic and preventative steps to contain the potential spread of the virus in the country. With few points of entry and the lowest population density in Europe, Iceland has implemented all essential measures to swiftly stop the spread of infection and keep the rate to a minimum. With only 1,802 infections and 10 deaths, the country is definitely one to learn from. In this blog we cover what the spread of the COVID-19 virus means for Iceland, especially focusing on the impact to travel and the future of the country.
Iceland, or also known as the Land of Fire and Ice, is especially reliant on its bustling tourism industry. The country’s breathtaking waterfalls, bubbling hot springs, and characterful towns and villages attract over 2 million tourists every year, so is no wonder that 10% of Iceland’s economy is reliant on tourism.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in January, Iceland has taken quick action to protect its country from the spread of the virus. Being home to no more than 364,134 people, the small island nation followed government rules and restrictions carefully, helping to keep the virus contained. Not only has the spread of infection been kept at a minimum, the country has also tested more of its population than anywhere else in the world. In fact, even people showing no symptoms were tested. Iceland’s progress has enabled it to locate, isolate and contain the virus quickly and effectively.
Data from Iceland Review
What does this mean for travel?
Due to its low rate of infection and ability to effectively reduce spread, Iceland is starting to allow tourists back into its country. At no later than June 15th, Icelandic authorities are welcoming arriving passengers with three choices:
1 - Stay in quarantine for 2 weeks
2 - Get a screening for the COVID-19 virus at Keflavik International Airport upon arrival
3 - Present a health certificate, which shows a recent screening approved by Icelandic health authorities
As well as being given these choices, all tourists will be asked to download the Coronavirus tracking app, Rakning C-19.
All of Iceland’s future visitors are being trusted to be responsible globetrotters, and whilst the above rules are followed, tourists can enjoy the incredible sights of the country without being overwhelmed with bustling crowds. Thankfully, because the population is so low in Iceland compared to the size of the country, you can rest assured that you will have plenty of space to yourself when you visit.
When looking at Iceland’s strategic planning and successful containment of the virus, it is very hopeful that Iceland will take a clear emergence from this social and economic downfall. Our small island nation has managed to test, trace and contain the virus quickly and effectively and can hopefully kickstart tourism in upcoming weeks.
If you have any questions about travelling to Iceland, please get in touch with a member of the team today or read our Covid-19 policy information.