The government just announced new and stricter travel restrictions at the Icelandic border. All travelers are now required to quarantine and take two COVID-19 tests. If you are a Happy Campers traveler, please read about what this means for you specifically in the second part of this post below. For everybody else, let’s dive in.
Prior to this announcement, travelers did not have to quarantine as long as they took the COVID-19 tests. Travelers from Finland, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Finland, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands were not even required to take the tests at all. Now, with everybody having to take two tests and quarantine, let’s look at what those things actually mean, starting with the two tests.
When a traveler arrives to Iceland, they have the option of undergoing a 14 day quarantine or take two PCR tests, 4-6 days apart. A PCR test is a diagnostic test that looks for the presence of the virus from a sample taken from your nasal and throat swab. This is NOT an antibody test, which is another commonly talked about COVID-19 test that looks for antibodies in your body as an earlier response to the virus.
If your first PCR test comes back negative, you are required to take the test again 4-6 days later at a local healthcare facility. If any of your tests come back positive, you will be required to isolate completely. But what do you do while waiting to take the second test? The answer is, you quarantine.
As explained on the Directorate of Health’s website, a quarantine must be carried out in the same accommodations for the duration of the quarantine. You are only allowed to stay one night in the Keflavik area before traveling to your final destination where you quarantine. Both the first night and primary accommodations must meet certain requirements, such as offering single-family units, private bathroom facilities, and 1 mattress per occupant. You can also forget about going to the grocery store, pharmacy, or any other public places during your quarantine, so it’s important that your hotel offers these services. Unfortunately, this means that it is not legal to quarantine in a campervan.
The good news is, that if you get through these hurdles and have your negative test results, you are free to travel around Iceland. Of course, you still need to follow the general restrictions and take special precautions that applies to all Icelanders during your trip. You can keep up with the latest information at COVID.is
Have you already booked a Happy Campers van and are worried that these new travel restrictions will affect your booking? Here are some of the things you should keep in mind.
We still offer our generous 24-hour cancellation policy, so you can always get a full refund if you cancel with a 24-hour notice or more.
The government introduced these new restrictions very suddenly and without notice. Likewise, an announcement lifting these restrictions could be just as sudden and unpredictable. If your trip is two weeks away or later, we strongly suggest keeping a close eye on the situation and not cancelling until it’s clear that you will not be able to travel. Keep our 24-hour cancellation policy in mind.
We can move your booking as often and as far back as you want for no additional cost or penalty. But even if you know that you need to change your dates, chances are that you don’t know your new dates yet. If that’s the case, simply let us know and we’ll “freeze” your booking. This will guarantee your booking for the foreseeable future and we will change your dates as soon as you provide us with your new travel dates. We are here to work with you and make sure that your trip to Iceland becomes a reality.
By keeping your booking or rescheduling it to a later date, you can lock in our unprecedented promotional discounts without any risk to you. Instead of re-booking when the promotion is over, you keep your highly discounted price for a more affordable trip.
If you have no choice but to cancel, we understand. We are true to our word and offer a full refund. Please write us an email at email@example.com with your booking number to start that process.
But before you cancel, check out our latest blog post where we detail how you can successfully travel to Iceland under these current conditions and actually create an awesome experience.