Regarding travel restrictions to Iceland as a result of COVID-19

IMPORTANT: BREXIT – Important information – Travel to Iceland for British nationals will change from 1 January 2021. Further information can be found here.

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This site contains all the necessary information on the travel restrictions in effect for travel to Iceland due to COVID-19.

The Icelandic authorities do not grant any authorisation before travelling to Iceland. Passengers need to bring the necessary documents confirming exemption from travel restrictions to submit at the border on arrival in Iceland. No exemptions other than those explicitly mentioned below will be granted and consequently all such requests will be rejected.

The final decision on entry is made by border guards on arrival.

Border crossings will only be authorised based on the rules in effect on the day of entry. It is important, therefore, that passengers have familiarised themselves with the current rules before travelling, as the rules could have changed. It is also important that passengers familiarise themselves with the rules that apply in all the countries that the passenger will travel to or transit through, as different rules apply between different countries. The Icelandic authorities cannot be held accountable for the execution of border controls in countries other than Iceland. The website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs contains a link to a list of countries that have issued travel restrictions and travel guidelines. The list, however, is not exhaustive.

All information on who can travel to Iceland and examples on which documents the traveller in question needs to provide in each case can be found below.

It is important, therefore, that everyone travelling to Iceland read the effective COVID-19 preventive measures on www.covid.is/english. Exemptions from travel restrictions do not grant exemption from testing and quarantine requirements.

 

IMPORTANT 

if you are not eligible for the above exemptions to travel restrictions or believe that you cannot provide verification for an exemption by means of the appropriate documentation, we recommend that you do not travel to Iceland while the restrictions are in force. Foreigners who arrive at the border without having valid reason to enter the Schengen area will be turned back. The Icelandic government does not grant any authorisation to passengers before travelling. The final decision to allow or deny entry into the country is made by border guards upon arrival.

 

What are travel restrictions?

Travel restrictions are limits that are in place due to COVID-19 and are intended to prevent unnecessary travel while circumstances remain unpredictable and to reduce the risk of travellers bringing the virus to Iceland.

Travellers, most of whom can usually travel without any hindrances to Iceland, are now obliged to provide proof for the reason of travelling upon arrival.

Do travel restrictions apply to me?

Travel restrictions apply to all third-country citizens*, irrespective of whether the traveller needs a visa or can travel without a visa to the Schengen area. There are, however, certain exemptions from the travel restrictions that are addressed more closely below.

*Third-country citizens are individuals who are neither citizens of EEA/EFTA states (incl. UK) nor citizens of Andorra, Monaco, San Marion or the Vatican – irrespective of whether they can normally travel without any restriction.

 

Travel restrictions do not apply to:

1. Icelandic citizens

2. EU/EEA and EFTA citizens (including the UK citizens) as well   as citizens of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican

3. Relatives* of Icelandic or other EU/EEA or EFTA citizens        (including the UK citizens) or citizens of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or the Vatican

*Relatives of Icelandic or other EU/EEA or EFTA citizens or citizens of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or the Vatican who are exempt from travel restrictions are:

  • Spouse or cohabiting partner.
  • Child, stepchild, grandchild or step-grandchild of the person living in Iceland, his/her spouse or cohabitating partner.
  • Parent, stepparent or step-grandparents of the person living in Iceland, his/her spouse or cohabitating partner.
  • Siblings or step-siblings of the person living in Iceland, his/her spouse or cohabitating partner.

Relatives are permitted to travel to Iceland with their children (considered minors) who have not reached the age of 18 on arrival to Iceland. The condition is set that the relative and the child are travelling together and can provide proof of familial relationship.

Children (considered minors) who have not reached the age of 18 on arrival to Iceland and fulfill the entry conditions are permitted to travel to Iceland with a parent/legal guardian even though that individual is not eligible for exemptions to travel restrictions to Iceland. The condition is set that the child and the parent/legal guardian are travelling together and can provide proof of familial relationship.

Relatives are only exempt from the travel restrictions if they are travelling to Iceland in order to visit a relative who legally resides in Iceland, or in another Schengen country if they are in transit, and the relevant state grants permission for entry to the traveller in question.

A third citizen may, moreover, travel with their relative to Iceland provided that the person is an Icelandic citizen, an EEA/EFTA citizen or a citizen of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or the Vatican and the plan is to stay together here in Iceland. The same applies if the plan is to travel to one of the above countries provided that the person in question is permitted to do so.

≠ Family members other than those specified above are not entitled to this exemption.

 

4. Foreign nationals with a valid residence permit or another type of right to stay or reside in Iceland or any other EEA/EFTA state (including the UK) or Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or the Vatican.

5. Relatives* of residence permit holders in Iceland or any other EEA/EFTA state (including the UK) or Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or the Vatican.

*Relatives of valid residence permit holders in Iceland or any other EEA/EFTA state (including the UK) or Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or the Vatican that are considered exempt from travel restrictions:

  • Spouse or cohabiting partner.
  • Children, stepchildren, grandchildren, step-grandchildren.
  • Parents, stepparents, grandparents, step-grandparents.
  • Siblings or step-siblings.

Relatives are permitted to travel to Iceland with their children (considered minors) who have not reached the age of 18 on arrival to Iceland. The condition is set that the relative and the child are travelling together and can provide proof of familial relationship.

Children (considered minors) who have not reached the age of 18 on arrival to Iceland and fulfill the entry conditions are permitted to travel to Iceland with a parent/legal guardian even though that individual is not eligible for exemptions to travel restrictions to Iceland. The condition is set that the child and the parent/legal guardian are travelling together and can provide proof of familial relationship.

Relatives are only exempt from the travel restrictions if they are travelling to Iceland in order to visit a relative who legally resides in Iceland, or in another Schengen country if they are in transit, and the relevant state grants permission for entry to the traveller in question.

A third citizen may, moreover, travel with their relative to Iceland provided that the person is an Icelandic citizen, an EEA/EFTA citizen or a citizen of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or the Vatican and the plan is to stay together here in Iceland. The same applies if the plan is to travel to one of the above countries provided that the person in question is permitted to do so.

≠ Family members other than those specified above are not entitled to this exemption.

 

6. Foreign nationals in a long-term* intimate relationship with a person who legally resides in Iceland.

*Long-term means that the couple have been in a relationship for at least six months and have met at least once in person before

» Boyfriends/girlfriends are permitted to bring their minor children (under the age of 18 at arrival).

≠ Please note that the exemption does not apply to persons in an intimate relationship with Icelandic citizens residing overseas.

 

7. Foreign citizens that are verifiably residents in and travelling from one of the following countries*:

  • Australia
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Rwanda
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Uruguay

*NOTE! The list of countries can change on relatively short notice.

 

8. Exemptions due to essential travel.

» Foreign citizens who are entitled to exemption from travel restrictions due to essential travel are permitted to bring their minor children (under the age of 18 on arrival) if necessary in order to be able to travel to Iceland.

  1. Passengers in airport transit.
  2. Employees in healthcare services and geriatric services.
  3. Employees responsible for the transportation of goods and services.
  4. Individuals needing international protection.
  5. Individuals travelling because of an acute family incident.
  6. Individuals and delegations who travel to the country under the aegis of the Icelandic government, staff of diplomatic missions; and other representatives of foreign countries; international organisation staff and their guests who need to travel to the country due to the activities of these organisations; members of armed forces travelling to Iceland for duty; humanitarian aid workers; staff of civil protection; and family members of the aforementioned parties.
  7. Students.
  8. Persons who essentially need to travel to Iceland for business purposes or work of such a nature that it cannot be postponed or performed abroad.

Which documents do I need to bring with me to Iceland?

All passengers travelling to Iceland need to have a valid travel document (passport).

Foreign citizens who are subject to a visa requirement must still be issued a visa before travelling to Iceland. Visa rules can therefore restrict the right of individuals to enter the country even if the travel restrictions do not apply to them.

Citizens of the following countries need a visa to visit Iceland: https://www.utl.is/index.php/en/who-needs-a-visa

Please note that since the issuance of visas is still closed in many countries that issue visas on Iceland‘s behalf, individuals who need a visa to travel to Iceland might need to postpone their travel until the issuance of visas starts again, despite being exempt from travel restrictions.

Individuals who believe they are exempted from the travel restrictions must be able to show proof of exemption by providing all necessary documents upon arrival. The same goes for travellers in transit who intend to travel through Iceland to another Schengen country.

All documents need to be authenticated by the relevant authority in the respective country. Documents in a language other than English or a Nordic language must be accompanied by a certified English translation.

 

Other necessary documents when travelling to Iceland

All passengers need to  have a valid travel document (passport) and a valid visa (if applicable)

Icelandic citizens, citizens of other EEA/EFTA states (including the UK) or citizens of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or the Vatican. 

  1. No other documents

Foreign nationals with a valid residence permit or another type of right to stay or reside in Iceland or any other EEA/EFTA state (including the UK) or Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or the Vatican.

  1. A valid residence permit card OR a notification from the Directorate of Immigration that a residence permit or a long-term visa has been granted.

Spouse or cohabitating partner of Icelandic or other EEA/EFTA citizens (including the UK) or citizens of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or the Vatican.
Relatives are permitted to travel to Iceland with their children (considered minors) who have not reached the age of 18 on arrival to Iceland. The condition is set that the relative and the child are travelling together and can provide proof of familial relationship.

  1. Confirmed documents to prove the citizenship of a spouse/cohabitant (e.g. copy of passport) who is to be visited in Iceland.
  2. Confirmation of the legal residency of a relative in Iceland (e.g. certificate from Registers Iceland). Only the confirmation of the citizenship of either spouse/cohabitant is required if couples or cohabitants travel together to Iceland.
  3. Certified marriage certificate, OR Certified cohabitation certificate (other documents to prove cohabitation – i.e. that you have the same residence – can for example be a certificate of residence or lease contract).
  4. Confirmation of family relationship (i.e. birth certificate, (if travelling with own child under the age of 18)).
  5. OR (if in transit) If spouse or cohabitating partner are transiting through Iceland on their way to another Schengen country, then he/she must be able to provide proof of his/hers spouse’s or cohabitating partner’s nationality in the relevant state and that he/she is permitted to travel there as a family member and has proof thereof.

A spouse or cohabitating partner of a residence permit holder in Iceland or any other EEA/EFTA state (including the UK) or Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or the Vatican.
Relatives are permitted to travel to Iceland with their children (considered minors) who have not reached the age of 18 on arrival to Iceland. The condition is set that the relative and the child are travelling together and can provide proof of familial relationship.

  1. Copy of a valid residency permit of a spouse/cohabitant that will be visited in Iceland.
  2. Confirmation of the legal residency of a relative in Iceland (e.g. certificate from Registers Iceland). Only a valid residency permit of either spouse/cohabitant is required if couples or cohabitants travel together to Iceland.
  3. Certified marriage certificate, OR Certified cohabitation certificate (other documents to prove cohabitation – i.e. that you have the same residence – can for example be a certificate of residence or lease contract).
  4. Confirmation of family relationship (i.e. birth certificate, (if travelling with own child under the age of 18).
  5. OR (if in transit) If spouse or cohabitating partner are transiting through Iceland on their way to another Schengen country, then he/she must be able to provide proof of his/hers spouse’s or cohabitating partner’s legal residence in the relevant state and that he/she is permitted to travel there as a family member and has proof thereof.

Other close relatives of Icelandic or other EEA/EFTA citizens (including the UK) or citizens of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or the Vatican:
Child, stepchild, grandchild or step-grandchild of the person living in Iceland, his/her spouse or cohabitating partner. Parent, stepparent or step-grandparents of the person living in Iceland, his/her spouse or cohabitating partner.
Siblings or step-siblings of the person living in Iceland, his/her spouse or cohabitating partner.

Relatives are permitted to travel to Iceland with their children (considered minors) who have not reached the age of 18 on arrival to Iceland. The condition is set that the guardian and the child are travelling together and can provide proof of familial relationship.

Children (considered minors) who have not reached the age of 18 on arrival to Iceland and fulfill the entry conditions are permitted to travel to Iceland with a parent/legal guardian even though that individual is not eligible for exemptions to travel restrictions to Iceland. The condition is set that the child and the parent/legal guardian are travelling together and can provide proof of familial relationship.

≠ Family members other than those specified above are not entitled to this exemption.

  1. Confirmation of the citizenship of the family member to be visited in Iceland (e.g. copy of passport).
  2. Certified documents verifying familial ties to the guardian (e.g. birth certificate, marriage certificate, proof of guardianship) – also applies if travelling with own child under the age of 18 or if child who fulfills the entry conditions is travelling with parent/legal guardian who is otherwise not eligible for exemptions to travel restrictions.
  3. Confirmation of the legal residency of a relative in Iceland (e.g. certificate from Registers Iceland). Only documentation verifying the citizenship of a relative and familial ties need be submitted if the parties are travelling to Iceland together.
  4. OR (if in transit) If a relative is transiting through Iceland on his/her way to another Schengen country, then he/she must be able to provide proof of family member’s nationality in the relevant state and that he/she is permitted to travel there as a family member and has proof thereof

Other close relative of residence permit holders in Iceland or any other EEA/EFTA state (including the UK) or Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or the Vatican:
Children, stepchildren, grandchildren, step-grandchildren. Parents, stepparents, grandparents, step-grandparents. Siblings or step-siblings.

Relatives are permitted to travel to Iceland with their children (considered minors) who have not reached the age of 18 on arrival to Iceland. The condition is set that the guardian and the child are travelling together and can provide proof of familial relationship.

Children (considered minors) who have not reached the age of 18 on arrival to Iceland and fulfill the entry conditions are permitted to travel to Iceland with a parent/legal guardian even though that individual is not eligible for exemptions to travel restrictions to Iceland. The condition is set that the child and the parent/legal guardian are travelling together and can provide proof of familial relationship.

≠ Family members other than those specified above are not entitled to this exemption.

  1. Copy of a valid residency permit of a relative that will be visited in Iceland.
    Certified documents verifying familial ties to the family member (e.g. birth certificate, marriage certificate, proof of guardianship) – also applies if travelling with own child under the age of 18 or if child who fulfills the entry conditions is travelling with parent/legal guardian who is otherwise not eligible for exemptions to travel restrictions.
  2. Confirmation of the legal residency of a relative in Iceland (e.g. certificate from Registers Iceland). Only a valid residency permit of a relative and documentation of familial ties need be submitted if the parties are travelling to Iceland together.
  3. OR (if in transit) If a relative is transiting through Iceland on his/her way to another Schengen country, then he/she must be able to provide proof of family member’s legal residence in the relevant state and that he/she is permitted to travel there as a family member and has proof thereof.

Foreigners in a long-term* intimate relationship with a person who legally resides in Iceland.
*Long-term means that the couple have been in a relationship for at least six months and have met at least once in person before.
≠ Please note that the exemption does not apply to persons in an intimate relationship with Icelandic citizens residing overseas.

  1. Joint declaration on long-term intimate relationship (see form B).
  2. Certificate of residency from Registers Iceland (or other proof of legal domicile of either party in Iceland)
  3. Border guards may, if necessary, request further confirmation of intimate relationship, such as photographs; copies of e-mails, messages or any other form of communication that have been sent between the parties; and/or that the couple have met in person at least once (e.g. by stamps in passports or travel documents). It is recommended, therefore, that persons carry such documentation with them to confirm their relationship.

» Boyfriends/girlfriends are permitted to bring their minor children (under the age of 18 at arrival). The condition is set that the parent/legal guardian and the child are travelling together and can provide proof of familial relationship.

Foreign citizens that are verifiably residents* in and travelling from one of the following countries:
Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Uruguay.*Not based on nationality, only provable residency in the country in question.

  1. Declaration on exemption due to residency in permitted state (form C).
  2. Document/s demonstrating residence in one of the exempted states (i.e. a valid residence permit, a valid work permit, driving license or other ID or official data issued by the respective state of residence).
  3. Document confirming the travel route from the state of residence to Iceland (only short-term transit)

Exemptions due to essential travel:

» Foreign citizens who are entitled to exemption from travel restrictions are permitted to bring their minor children (under the age of 18 on arrival) if necessary in order to be able to travel to Iceland. The condition is set that the parent/legal guardian and the child are travelling together and can provide proof of familial relationship.

 Passenger in airport transit

  1. Declaration on exemption from travel restrictions due to transit (see form C).
  2. Flight information – air transit confirmation.
  3. In case you are transiting via Iceland to another Schengen country, you must be able to show proof of your permission to travel to the relevant state.

Employees in healthcare services and geriatric services

  1. Declaration on employment in Iceland (see form C).
  2. Confirmation from employer on essential travel to Iceland for work.

  Employees responsible for the transportation of goods and services

  1. Declaration on employment in Iceland (see form C).
  2. Employer confirmation of work travel with information on arrival and departure dates

 Individual travelling because of an acute family incident
(i.e. serious illness, accident or demise).This exemption applies to: spouse, cohabitating partner, children, stepchildren, parents, stepparents, grandchildren, step-grandchildren, siblings, stepsiblings, grandparents, step-grandparents, parents-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law

  1. Declaration relating to acute circumstances (see form C).
  2. Confirmation of acute circumstances from the relevant physician, hospital or funeral service.
  3. Confirmation of family relationship (i.e. birth certificate, marriage certificate).

 Individuals and delegations who travel to the country under the aegis of the Icelandic government, staff of diplomatic missions and other representatives of foreign countries; international organisation staff and their guests who need to travel to the country due to the activities of these organisations; members of armed forces travelling to Iceland for duty; humanitarian aid workers; staff of civil protection; and family members of the aforementioned parties

  1. Declaration on exemption from travel restrictions due to work in Iceland (see form C).
    Confirmation from institution/employer regarding essential work in Iceland. OR Diplomatic passport if travelling as an official of the state.
  2. Confirmation of family relationship (i.e. birth certificate, marriage certificate, if applicable)

Students
Applies to any form of studies or education (e.g. interns, trainees, pupils or students attending secondary schools, language schools, boarding schools or vocational schools, exchange pupils, researchers, scientists, etc.).
≠ Class trips are not exempted from travel restrictions.

  1. Declaration on exemption from travel restrictions (see form C).
  2. Confirmation from the relevant school in Iceland on enrolment for studies/courses. OR Confirmation from the relevant school/institution in Iceland on the importance of the purpose of study visit to Iceland for research/scientific purposes.

Persons who essentially need to travel to Iceland for business purposes of short duration and it cannot be postponed or performed abroad.
applies to e.g. journalists, researchers and scientists, professional athletes and their staff for competitions, business trips and meetings.
It is important that foreigners who have not been issued a temporary work permit in Iceland may only work here if: i) the work of the person in question falls under the exemption for short-term employment, or ii) the work of the person in question is not considered to be within the domestic labour market, e.g. players of foreign sports associations and associated staff.

The condition is set that foreigners who come for work according to Item i) of the exemption rule for short-term work are registered with the Directorate of Labour. Such persons may work in Iceland for up to 90 days on the basis of such registration. The appropriate notification and registration must be submitted to the Directorate before the person in question begins working. For further details, see: https://vinnumalastofnun.is/atvinnurekandi/atvinnuleyfi-utlendinga/undanthagur-fra-atvinnuleyfi-vegna-skammtimavinnu

  1. Declaration from the employer regarding transactions or the work of a foreign national in this country and which cannot be performed later or overseas (see form A).
  2. Documentation confirming in greater detail the reason for the travel, e.g. meeting or conference schedule, confirmation of sports event, research work or information on the importance of gathering news.
  3. Electronic notification to the Directorate of Labour regarding the arrival of a foreign national to work in Iceland for a period of less than 90 days.(if applicable)
  4. The Directorate of Labour will issue a special confirmation to the effect that the notification has been received and that it fulfils conditions if so requested. Send enquiries to the e-mail address: atvinnuleyfi@vmst.is.

 

Form A – Declaration on essential business or work that cannot be performed elsewhere.

Form B – Declaration on long-term intimate relationship.

Form C – Declaration on exemption from travel restrictions.

Form D – Overview form for close family visits.