Important COVID-19 travel guidance
Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not leave home or travel, including internationally, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. Check the rules that apply to you in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
If you intend to travel to England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland from abroad, including UK nationals returning home, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival.
If you are legally permitted to travel abroad, check our advice on your country of destination. Some other countries have closed borders, and may further restrict movement or bring in new rules including testing requirements with little warning.
The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.
The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)
Entry to Iceland
From 1 January all non-essential travel by British citizens from the UK/other non EU/EEA country to Iceland is not permitted, unless you are resident in Iceland or fall under their exempt category of traveller.
Essential travel is still permitted and a list of exemptions for entering Iceland can be found here.
These restrictions do not apply to UK nationals who are legally resident in Iceland. You will be allowed to re-enter the country, but will need to show proof of residence. We strongly advise you have a C-122 residence certificate with you at the airport to avoid issues at check-in.
Most passengers arriving need to take two COVID-19 tests, one on arrival and another 5-6 days later. The test can be booked in advance. Children born in 2005 or later are exempt from testing but will be required to self-isolate along with their parents or guardians on arrival. You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.
Between the 2 tests you must follow quarantine measures until the result of the second test is known. This will significantly affect what you can and cannot do on arrival. If you have booked a trip to Iceland you should contact your tour operator and travel insurer about what this means for you and your plans.
The Icelandic Authorities are now accepting certain certificates regarding previous COVID-19 infection at the border. If you hold one of these you will be exempted from testing or quarantine requirements. However, Border control will evaluate whether the certificate is valid and correct. If you present a document that is deemed invalid then you must undergo the double testing requirements.
You must also fill in a pre-registration form before departure. You can find further information, including exemptions, and a video walk through of the process from the Icelandic authorities at Covid.is (available in English).
Upon arrival you will be encouraged to sign up to the contact tracing app Rakning C-19. Further information, including how to download it, data usage, privacy and scope is available on the Rakning C-19 website.
Testing / screening on arrival
If you test positive on arrival you will be required to enter self-isolation (at your hotel or government-provided accommodation) unless further tests determine the infection is inactive.
You may also need to be tested again or enter self-isolation if you are exposed to a possible infection during your trip eg during the flight to Iceland.
Regular entry requirements
The rules for travelling or working in European countries changed on 1 January 2021:
you can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training.
if you are travelling to Iceland and other Schengen countries without a visa, make sure your whole visit is within the 90-day limit. Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel count towards your 90 days.
to stay longer, to work or study, for business travel or for other reasons, you will need to meet the Icelandic entry requirements. Check with the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration what type of visa and/or work permit you may need.
if you stay in Iceland with a visa or permit, this does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.
Any time you spent in Iceland or other Schengen countries before 1 January 2021 does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.
At Icelandic border control, you may need to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. You may also need to:
- show a return or onward ticket
- show you have enough money for your stay
If you are a British resident in Iceland, you are advised to obtain a letter confirming your status from Registers Iceland. Our Living in Guide contains more information.
Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip, and renew your passport if you do not have enough time left on it.
You must have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland).
If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed.
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Iceland.