a body of water with rocks and smoke with Blue Lagoon in the background

Iceland is always a super hot travel destination, thanks to Northern Lights, epic waterfalls, natural hot springs and unique cuisine you’ve gotta try at least once. It’s been one of the most sought after tourism destinations in recent years, but the global pandemic brought a swift halt.

Now, it’s looking to heat things up again, with free testing for travelers, which will save each visitor roughly $70 or €56 per person on current costs..

Iceland’s New Limited Time Free Testing

When testing as a solution for safer travel first became a thing, Iceland was the first country to offer free covid-19 testing to anyone who dared come for a vacation. As a constant favorite, it wasn’t a hard sell.

Entry into Iceland is still subject to EU rules, which means only travelers from the EU, UK or a handful of outside countries are currently eligible.

But free testing is expensive for any country and eventually Iceland moved to a double testing regime paid for by the traveler. The visitor program requires mandatory double testing, at a cost of at least 9000 ISK, which is about $70USD. Well, it did!

Eligible travelers entering Iceland have the option of quarantining for 14 days, or taking one test on arrival and isolating for 4-5 days, before a second test result can spring you from isolation, at your own expense. Obviously, this makes shorter trips pretty much impossible, but for longer journeys, 4-5 days ain’t bad.

To bring travelers back to this truly dreamy year round destination, perfect for outdoor, socially distanced hangs, Iceland is bringing back free double covid-19 testing for all arrivals until January 31st, 2021, effective immediately. You’ll still obviously still need to lay low in isolation for the first 4-5 days of your trip until your second test result, but free is free.

It’s a generous offer, saving over $140 in extras on a two person trip.

a body of water with Blue Lagoon in the background

Of course, like all ‘test on arrival’ destinations, rather than testing before departure, there’s a risk of testing positive and remaining in quarantine for 14 days anyway, but that’s a risk safe travelers who’ve been mostly isolating at home have been willing to take. Particularly so, with recent air travel study results showing an incredibly small chance of contracting the virus in flight.

If you’ve been looking for a winter getaway, and don’t mind some Netflix and room service for the first 4-5 days, this is a tempting offer. Iceland is heading into what is typically it’s busiest season, with millions of travelers hoping to witness the Northern Lights and experience the unique joys of the Blue Lagoon. With lower numbers, this should certainly draw extra interest.

If you’ve been considering a trip to Iceland, and perhaps a journey around Ring Road, or just to stare at the Northern Lights, this is a great way to keep traveling safely, in a country which is balancing desire to visit, with needs to protect all involved. Is Iceland on your list?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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