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

Unlike most health related tests, many eager travelers around the world are hoping for a result which says they’ve had the virus, and now have antibodies to fight it off, which new studies suggest make them unlikely to be able to spread it to others as well. In Iceland, you’ll soon be able to get that test for free, if you’re one of the adventurous types who plans to hop on a plane to the incredible destination when it opens to outsiders on June 15th.

Iceland In June 2020, Anyone?

In unison with Europe’s opening of external borders, Iceland plans to open its doors to outside visitors, including those beyond Europe on June 15th. With currently scheduled flights and affirmative words from the government, this means US travelers can visit too, giving them one of the few places on earth they can currently visit.

According to MBL Iceland, Those making the trip in June will be rewarded with a trip perk worth up to $350, via complimentary covid-19 testing on arrival. The free coronavirus testing will last two weeks, effectively until the end of the month of June 2020 where upon further review, a price of 50,000 ISK or $350 USD is likely to be levied on anyone attempting to arrive in Iceland without a recent cerified negative result.

Those with a negative result won’t be encumbered by any form of quarantine, and can travel as close to “normal” as “normal” will be for a while. As a country with boundless natural beauty, Iceland isn’t a place you’d cram into tight spaces anyway, and the vast majority of interests are outdoors, which makes it a more likely candidate to succeed than others.

a blue ice cave with rocks and a rocky ground
Inside an ice cave in Vatnajokull, Iceland. The ice is thousands of years old and so packed it is harder than steel and crystal clear.

Anyone testing positive for an active infection will be quarantined for 14 days, and as such, hotels have been instructed to section off potential quarantine areas, since visitors won’t be made to wait at the airport before a result is delivered. The test result is expected to be delivered within 5 hours, and travelers are able to proceed into the city before the result shows, albeit with a few notable details.

  • All travelers must download a tracing app and register accurate contact info
  • Regardless of result, travelers will be informed of their testing result, if needed.

For the adventurous, dare to dream travelers at low risk, this is a large incentive to be among the first to visit Iceland as it reopens to the world. Famous for its winter delights, Iceland is arguable more beautiful in summer as natural mossy grasses take over, setting outrageous contrast to the dramatic scenery.

Social distancing measures will remain in place on the island, and all is subject to change if significant new cases or issues emerge, but if you’re looking for a place to visit, one that’ll save you a bunch of money on a test, or let you in right away if you can provide one certainly isn’t a bad option.

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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  1. Glad to see some measures like this being tried out. I think this concept has a lot of merit. I’d certainly be open to the idea of visiting under such a scenario.

  2. What happens if I arrive for my 5 day trip and am tested positive? Will I have to pay for a hotel for 14 days just to sit in my room? Sounds very risky to me.

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