It’s been a short while since I wrote with A Luxurious Journey Weblog however I’m glad to be again and sharing such illuminating information. Hopefully I’ll be sharing extra excellent news on Iceland extra often once more going ahead.

Iceland drops all border and home restrictions

As of the 25th of February 2022, the Icelandic authorities have made the bottom breaking choice to not simply cut back present restrictions however take away all of them collectively. As a resident of Iceland, I can say that this can probably create an enormous increase for journey within the nation and permit us to do our jobs in an analogous method as we did earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic. In that respect, it’s nice information.

With that stated, there’s at all times the concern that the loosening (or eradicating) of security measures will create one other surge. It’s a daring transfer. However, and it’s an enormous BUT, issues usually are not the identical in Iceland anymore. Not in comparison with earlier surges.

The truth is, the Chief Epidemiologist has suggested that eradicating all testing, quarantining, border controls and even obligatory social distancing and masks carrying, is the correct factor to do to guard us from the virus. For one easy motive, specifically that herd immunity is inside attain. A daring assertion however one that’s doubtlessly a future actuality.

Is herd immunity inside attain?

Firstly, Iceland has one of many highest vaccination data on the planet with over 80% of all individuals over the age of 5 years previous being absolutely vaccinated.

Secondly, 123,000 individuals have already been identified with the virus thus far with many extra believed to be undiagnosed. For reference, meaning virtually 1/third of the inhabitants have had the virus formally and one other 1/third could have been contaminated with out understanding it too, primarily based on antibody testing. Subsequently, if near 2/3rds have already had and recovered from the virus already, then we’re not removed from reaching the mandatory 80% herd immunity mark.

Thirdly, regardless of Iceland seeing an enormous surge in circumstances for the previous few months, the overwhelming majority is the omicron variant with only a few individuals getting critically ailing. At time of writing solely 2 individuals in the complete nation are held within the ICU for covid associated signs.

Ought to I nonetheless defend myself in Iceland?

That may be a resounding sure from me. Defending your self ought to at all times be of paramount significance. I personally will nonetheless be carrying a masks every time I’m more likely to be nearer than 1 metre from individuals round me in an enclosed area. Hand-sanitising will nonetheless be an enormous issue throughout the nation and in probably the most half I imagine people and corporations alike will stay as prudent as they’ve ever been, even when it’s not a authorized requirement to take action. In spite of everything, nobody desires to catch covid, even when the signs are probably much less extreme than prior to now. Additional extra, simply since you received’t must quarantine anymore when you catch it, it doesn’t imply the nation you come house to will help you to re-enter if in case you have the virus so it’s finest to play it protected and stay cautious anyway.

The truth is, the Chief Epidemiologist agrees, regardless of their assertion that herd immunity is inside attain,

We are able to actually rejoice at this turning-point, however nonetheless I encourage individuals to watch out, observe private an infection prevention measures and to not work together with others in the event that they discover signs

So my ideas are that it is best to nonetheless keep away from pointless interactions, keep away from giant gatherings when attainable and put on a masks whenever you really feel uncomfortable.

So what are the brand new guidelines now?

My colleagues and I quipped that the brand new guidelines are that ‘there are not any guidelines’, which isn’t distant from the reality (for now). To be trustworthy, Iceland has been very spectacular at switching the principles to go well with the state of affairs at lightning pace which has protected us from any severe outbreaks over the previous 2 years. So take what’s written beneath with a pinch of salt and at all times seek the advice of the official COVID web page earlier than travelling.

In brief, that is what has been eliminated:

1. There’ll not be a requirement to check when coming into Iceland.
2. You don’t want to be vaccinated or present proof of earlier an infection to enter Iceland.
three. No quarantine measures are in place when you catch covid, although particular precaution is beneficial (isolate for five days and so long as you have got signs, although this isn’t a authorized requirement).
four. Giant gatherings are allowed once more.
5. Bars and golf equipment will return to regular hours.
6. Masks carrying and social distancing are not required, although prudence continues to be beneficial.
7. Though testing shouldn’t be required, you continue to have entry to free testing centres in varied places in Iceland.
eight. Iceland’s home guidelines haven’t any bearing on future journey so seek the advice of together with your airline and nation of origin for what you must do to re-enter your personal nation.

Ought to I journey to Iceland? Is the time lastly proper for me?

As at all times, this can be a very private choice. Not one to be taken flippantly.

On the one hand, visiting Iceland has by no means been extra open. Issues virtually really feel like they’re again to regular (in probably the most half).

Alternatively, the diminished restrictions could have an effect on the chance of you catching the virus whereas in Iceland. This implies, regardless of the diminished guidelines, private safety and preserving protected distances ought to stay a precedence.

Subsequently, crucial questions you must ask yourselves are;
1. Do you (or shut family members) have underlying well being issues that might make catching covid-19 a bigger concern?
2. What limitations do you have got for travelling house when you do contract the virus in Iceland?

If the dangers related to journey usually are not one thing you’re snug with, then maybe now shouldn’t be the time to journey for you.

With that stated, journey has turn into a actuality for many individuals once more. Fortunately, a few of these individuals have thought of Iceland to be a fantastic vacation spot in the course of the pandemic, exhibiting a small rebound in vacationer numbers within the final 6 months. In spite of everything, Iceland is ready as much as permit for loads of distant actions, typically in out of doors settings. Good for social distancing and immersing your self in nature away from the crowds. One thing that has turn into much more vital in a cautious world.

In some way, Iceland will likely be prepared and ready when the time is best for you.

See you in Iceland… when the time is correct.

Ryan Connolly is Co-Founding father of Hidden Iceland. Hidden Iceland specialises in personal journeys, taking you to a number of the hidden gems of Iceland with a passionate and skilled information.

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