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Does the images of Iceland with its dramatic landscapes dotted with snow-capped valleys, geysers, volcanoes, and lava fields fuel your wanderlust? A trip to this mesmerising nation might be closer than you think as the country is ready to welcome tourists back from next month onwards! By Manya Saini
The prime minister of Iceland Katrin Jakobsdottir has announced that the country will reopen its doors to travellers as early as June 15. It is looking to come up with testing systems that will ensure that tourists can forego the two week quarantine period upon arrival. People will be given a choice between taking a test or going for the self-imposed isolation for 14 days.
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In its official statement, it said that professionals including scientists, filmmakers, athletes among others will be able to enter the country from May 15, with a similar choice to take a test or choose a modified quarantine. If a person has tested negative in their home country, they will be required to produce a certificate, which if deemed acceptable will exempt them from both.
As it focuses on reviving tourism, travellers are expected to receive the results of their Coronavirus test on the same day at their booked accommodations.
Among the newly introduced measures is the government’s decision to make its official contact tracing application mandatory for travellers. The app has high standards of privacy and the location data is not released unless it is to trace an infection which the person may be vulnerable to.
As per reports, Thordis Kolbrun Reykfjord Gylfadottir, the minister of Tourism, Industry and Innovation of Iceland said that when travellers return to the country they will find all possible safeguards to ensure the pandemic remains under control. He reiterated, that the strategy adopted by Iceland, to do large scale testing, tracing, and isolating has proven extremely effective.
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In the month of May, Iceland has only reported three new infections with none in the last week. The success with curbing the spread has helped it kickstart the process of welcoming visitors again. The country is heavily dependent on tourism with many businesses and livelihoods riding on it.
The country is looking to build tourist experiences in the summer as safe places to unwind after what has been an extremely difficult and extraordinary spring.