Coronavirus: Iceland eases travel requirements for some vaccinated passengers

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Iceland announced it will be easing its travel requirements for passengers from some countries if they can prove they have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to the country’s Directorate of Health.

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Travelers from the European Union (EU), Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland will not have to take a PCR test and quarantine once they arrive in the country.

However, vaccinated passengers must show an approved digital or paper vaccination certificate in Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish or English to Border Control officials.

The certificate must mention where, when, and what vaccine they received, a statement from the Icelandic Directorate of Health said.

The vaccine’s manufacturer and batch lot must also be mentioned.

Only passengers who have taken either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna vaccines – the only two currently authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) – will be exempt from taking a PCR test and quarantining.

Both doses of each vaccine must be taken for the exemption to be made, the health directorate said.

“If a passenger presents a document that is deemed invalid, i.e. if any of the necessary requirements are missing, the passenger must, as other arrival passengers, undergo double testing with quarantine in between,” the directorate added.

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Iceland requires unvaccinated passengers to take one test on arrival and a second five days later. All travelers who have not been vaccinated must quarantine while they await the results of their test.

The quarantine is lifted once a passenger tests negative for COVID-19.

Iceland’s new regulations come at a time of increased debate on whether vaccination passports should be a global travel requirement.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently stated that it opposes enforcing vaccine requirements for travel because of the uneven global distribution of the vaccines and the limited knowledge on the long-term efficacy of the doses.

“At the present time, do not introduce requirements of proof of vaccination or immunity for international travel as a condition of entry as there are still critical unknowns regarding the efficacy of vaccination in reducing transmission and limited availability of vaccines,” the WHO advised countries last week.