If there’s anything more liberating than stripping off and plunging into the most picturesque bath on earth, we’re yet to hear it.
While the above scenario, for most of us, is a non-starter until at least next year, for those unencumbered by international flight restrictions, Iceland, otherwise known as the world’s coolest influencer hotspot, is now set to open to tourists by the 15th of June.
Even better, unlike some countries, which are discussing the need for tourists to be tested before departing their home country (and if their country of residence does not have the capability to do this, you – presumably – can’t travel), Iceland plans to test tourists on arrival.
This means, unlike Greece and Sardinia’s recent plans, Iceland’s – potentially – may not depend so strongly on multilateral co-operation and the creation of a European bubble.
Or so you might think.
The catch, however, is that your home country might not allow you to travel in the first place (or at least not to come back), even if Iceland were to allow you to enter via their system. Which brings us back to where we started – the need for a travel bubble to go along with tourist testing.
That’s all speculation though.
To the known facts: Iceland’s prime minister Katrin Jakobsdottir announced on Wednesday, if all goes to plan, visitors will be tested for The Virus at the airport instead of having to undergo two week’s isolation on arrival.
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On top of that, from the 15th of May (tomorrow) some professionals arriving in Iceland (scientists, filmmakers, athletes etc.) will be eligible for a “modified quarantine,” officials said.
The Icelandic government also said travellers will probably be required to use the official tracing app already in use by 40% of Icelanders.
“Iceland’s strategy of large-scale testing, tracing and isolating have proven effective so far. We want to build on that experience of creating a safe place for those who want a change of scenery after what has been a tough spring for all of us,” Thordis Kolbrun Reykfjord Gylfadottir, minister of Tourism, Industry and Innovation said.
The land of waterfalls and wild horses is coping with the current global pandemic better than many countries around the world.
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As The Lonely Planet reports, “May saw Iceland recording only three reported cases of COVID19, something that makes the country cautiously optimistic that it can find a way to safely welcome visitors once again.”
“To date Iceland has had 1801 cases of COVID-19 and ten deaths.”
Iceland is not alone in its decision to encourage back tourists as soon as possible. As we reported last week, Greece, Sicily and Sardinia are currently constructing similar plans, with Sicily even offering to pay for some tourists’ flights and accommodation.