Denmark partially opening to Icelanders

29.05.2020 - 16:16
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The Danish government today decided it will open the country’s borders to people from Iceland, Norway, and Germany from 15th June. In a separate decision, Icelanders will also be allowed to enter the Faroe Islands without quarantine or COVID-19 testing from 15th June. The Faroe Islands are only opening for unimpeded travel from Iceland, Denmark, and Greenland, but that list of countries is expected to grow soon.

Icelandic foreign minister Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson says he expects similar news about travel between Iceland and Norway soon as well. Estonia is also opening its borders to people from Iceland starting from 1st June, though it is not clear when (or if) direct flights to the Baltic nation will start. 

Sweden is conspicuously absent from pan-Nordic efforts to re-open borders at this stage and although Stockholm has been one of Icelandair’s only three destinations throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Icelandic authorities do not recommend Icelandic residents to travel to the country at this time. Things are changing quickly, however, the foreign minister added. 

The definition of an Icelander has not yet been made crystal clear by the Danish authorities, but it is expected to mean anybody who lives in Iceland, regardless of their citizenship—though that remains speculation at this stage. 

What is already clear is that the flow of people between Iceland and Denmark will not be completely free. Icelandic, Norwegian, and German visitors must present evidence at the border that they have already booked accommodation; though that accommodation may not be in Copenhagen. Tourists will be welcome to take day trips into the capital city, however. The rules will stay in place until at least the end of August. 

The Copenhagen rule appears to be as much to protect the tourists as anything, because Denmark’s recent COVID-19 cases have been almost exclusively in the capital. The Danish government also calls on Danes travelling to the other three countries to avoid big cities where possible. 

Danes coming from all countries other than Germany, Iceland, and Norway will be told to home quarantine for 14 days. 

The exact details of Iceland’s open borders from 15th June are still being finalised but the country hopes to allow citizens from all countries to enter, provided they submit to COVID-19 testing at the airport or immediately before leaving their home, and use the Rakning C-19 contact tracing app while in the country. 

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Alexander Elliott
Project manager
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