Travel advice for your trip to Iceland
Travelling to Iceland in 2021
Iceland is open to fully vaccinated travellers from the UK. It was put on the UK Government’s list of ‘green’ countries as soon as travel opened up in May 2021.
Read on for further details of the requirements for visiting.
We are with you every step of the way
We've created this detailed travel FAQs for Iceland, which is continually updated, to help you in the planning stage.
Our team will help you navigate the requirements from clarifying entry rules to talking you through the testkit websites and we’ll pay for 50% of your testing requirements.
Our Flexibility Promise has been designed to provide a cushion around uncertainty giving you the reassurance to book.
What is the procedure for travelling to Iceland?
You’ll need to adhere to rules set by both the UK and Icelandic governments.
Before departing the UK
- Pre-register electronically no more than 72 hours before your scheduled arrival in Iceland.
- You will need to pre-order your PCR test to take on Day 2 of your return to England. See section below ‘Where can I obtain a PCR test?’
- If you have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 you will need to demonstrate this status on arrival in Iceland. You are considered fully vaccinated from the 15th day after your second vaccination. There are three ways demonstrate your vaccination status and you can find more information here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/demonstrating-your-covid-19-vaccination-status-when-travelling-abroad
- If you have a smart phone or tablet download the NHS patient APP from the App Store or Google Play – Please note this is NOT the NHS Covid-19 App. It is important to download this as soon as you book your holiday as it can take a while to register. Once the app is registered check that your vaccination status is fully up to date.
- If you do not have access to a smartphone or tablet you can get a digital version from the NHS website where you can download a PDF or have it sent to you in an e-mail, or you can call the NHS helpline on 119 and ask for a letter to be posted to you. This must be at least 5 working days after you’ve completed your course of the vaccine. The letter will take up to 7 working days to reach you. The letter will be sent automatically to the address registered with your GP. The 119 call handler you speak to will not be able to see your address to check this with you. If you’ve recently moved house, make sure you’ve given your new address to your GP practice before calling 119.
- If you live in Scotland or Wales, Iceland will accept your respective NHS letter to demonstrate your Covid-19 vaccination status.
- From 26 July 2021, double vaccinated travellers, or those with proof of previous infection, must present a negative Covid-19 test before boarding the flight to Iceland. Both PCR and lateral flow tests are accepted and must be within 72 hours prior to departure. The tests cost £40 and Discover the World will cover 50% (£20) of this test. Providers include Qured, Medicspot and Randox. It is your choice and your responsibility which supplier you choose to use, but we would advise that you only use a test provider that is on the Gov.uk approved list.
- We recommend that you take this test at least 2 days before departure to allow sufficient time to receive your verified negative test certificate prior to your flight.
Upon arrival in Iceland
- Fully-vaccinated travellers do not have to take a test upon arrival. To qualify, a traveller’s second vaccination dose must have been at least 14 full days before arrival in Iceland, that is, travel is permitted on or after the 15th day. Children (born after 2005) and those who present valid certificates of a previous COVID-19 infection will also no longer be required to test upon arrival. A further review will take place on 15 August 2021.
- Passengers without exception certificates are required to show a negative PCR test against COVID-19 upon arrival in addition to following a double screening procedure. One test upon arrival followed by another 5-6 days later. During this period, passengers must stay in quarantine in case of a possible infection.
- It is recommended that you download the Rakning C-19 app during your stay in Iceland. It is used, among other things, to communicate negative results from screening and helps to trace infections if necessary.
- Children born in 2005 or after are exempt from the obligation to present a negative PCR certificate upon arrival. If a child travels with a person who is required to be quarantined, the child stays with them and is released from quarantine when their travelling companion is allowed to be released. If the companion is exempt from double screening and quarantine, so is the child.
Vaccination certificates must meet the following criteria:
Certificates may be on paper or in electronic format for one of the following vaccines authorised in Europe: 1) Pfizer BioNTech, 2) Moderna, 3) Oxford AstraZeneca, 4) Janssen.
Both vaccines must have been received.
- Be in Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, English or French. Certificates in another language may be valid if a translation stamped by a certified document translator is included in one of the required languages.
- First name and last name (equivalent to travel document)
- Date of birth
- Name of vaccinated disease (COVID-19)
- When and where vaccinations were given
- Vaccination must be completed; the number of doses should be in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Information on the issuer of the certificate (healthcare professional / institution), with signature if the international vaccination certificate
- Name of vaccine
- Manufacturer of vaccine and batch number
Certificate of previous COVID-19 infection must meet the following criteria:
- Certificates must be in Icelandic, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian or English.
- First and last name (equivalent to travel document)
- Date of birth
- When sampling took place (date)
- Where the sampling took place (country / city / address)
- Name of laboratory / issuer of certificate
- Date of certificate
- Telephone number of the person responsible for issuing the certificate or laboratory
- Type of test (PCR test or antibody test by ELISA test)
- Test result (PCR test positive for SARS-CoV-2 or antibodies present)
What are the requirements on return to the UK from Iceland?
From 4 October 2021
- You do not need to take a pre-departure test for returning to England.
- You need to take a PCR test after you arrive in England on day two. You’ll need to book this before you travel. When you make your booking you should receive a test reference number. You will need this number to enter on to the online form that you need to complete before you return to the UK. This Day 2 PCR test will be replaced by cheaper lateral flow test later in October.
- Discover the World will cover 50% (£22) of the cost of this PCR test for our clients.
- You will also need to fill in an online form to provide your journey and contact details before your return journey. You cannot submit this form until 48 hours before your arrival time in the UK. You will need your PCR test reference number to complete this form.
For full details and to see regional variations for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, visit https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control.
Where can I obtain a PCR test?
As a member of AITO (Association of Independent Tour Operators) we have negotiated a discount with Randox Health who have agreed the reduced price of £43 (reduction from £48) per PCR for Discover the World clients. You will need to quote AITO43 to claim the discount. Please note that this is just one of many suppliers of PCR tests. It is your choice and your responsibility which supplier you choose to use, but we would advise that you only use a test provider that is on the Gov.uk approved list. Discover the World will cover 50% (£22) of the cost of this PCR test for our clients. This will be in the form of a discount on your holiday.
What do I need to prepare when planning a trip to Iceland with the current Covid-19 situation?
Before you travel, you should check the details of your travel insurance carefully to ensure that you are covered for Covid-19 illness should you be unable to travel, and the cover for any medical treatment abroad. Contact your insurer if you are uncertain. You may need to consider a specialist policy. We can recommend a comprehensive travel insurance policy that provides extensive Covid-19 cover for medical, cancellation and curtailment.
How has Iceland responded to the Covid-19 pandemic?
Iceland has been widely praised for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. An island nation with a small population, they have focused on getting the virus under control with large-scale testing, contact tracing, and early and extensive quarantine and isolation measures. As such, Iceland is now virtually Covid-free.
Is everything in Iceland open?
Yes, though a 1-metre distance limit between people who are not closely linked is required. Gatherings are limited to a maximum of 200 people and there are some limits on capacity for instance, 75% in swimming pools.
Do I need to wear a face mask in Iceland?
Face masks are to be worn on public transport, in shops and other locations where ventilation is not sufficient or it is not possible to ensure a 1-metre distance limit. Hand washing and sanitising are still considered the most important hygiene rules.
What happens if I think I have Covid-19 symptoms while on holiday in Iceland?
If you become ill or think you may have symptoms of COVID-19 you can contact the health care helpline through the app Rakning C-19, the information portal www.covid.is, or through the national online health portal Heilsuvera. All travellers are encouraged to maintain 2 metres distance as much as possible.
What if my plans change?
In these unpredictable times our Flexibility Promise means you can book a trip to Iceland knowing that should you need to change your plans you can, including free cancellations for most 2021/22 holidays up to 7 days before departure and fee-free postponement. You can also keep track of the latest advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) via our Travel Updates page.
Further Information and Resource Links
- For the latest public health advice on coronavirus in the UK, visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
- For the latest data and health information on coronavirus in Iceland, visit https://www.covid.is
- For important travel advice and tips on travel to your destination, visit https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/
- For information about safe travel with Icelandair during Covid-19, visit https://www.icelandair.com/support/covid-19/safe-travels-shared-responsibility/
- For information about the measures in place at London Heathrow, visit https://www.heathrow.com/customer-support/faq/coronavirus-covid-19
Read our comprehensive Iceland Travel guides for more information about the country generally.
Recommended Iceland Holidays for 2021/22
All holidays are covered by our Flexibility Promise, which includes cancellation up to 7 days prior to departure for a full refund.