The High North begins to carefully open up for visitors

Nordic and Nordic-Arctic countries are beginning to carefully open up from COVID-19 lockdowns and travel restrictions. Greenland which was on total lockdown for over three months, even domestically, has opened its borders, but arrivals are limited to visitors from Denmark, Iceland and the Faroe Islands.

Authorities in the Faroe Islands sent early on a clear message appealing to tourists not to travel to the Faroes until June 30th the earliest and currently travel is only open to people from Denmark and Greenland.

In general all the Nordic countries have from June 15th reopened their borders for travel between the Nordic countries, although that does not apply to Sweden, except for the Swedish Gotland island.

Denmark began lifting travel restrictions on June 15th allowing tourists from Germany, Iceland and Norway to enter and plans to add more countries towards the end of the month.

Iceland has kept its borders open to EU and other Schengen countries throughout the pandemic under the condition that passengers quarantined for 14 days upon arrival. Since June 15th visitors from within Schengen borders have been given the choice on arrival at Keflavik airport or to Seyðisfjorður if travelling with a ferry – to be tested on the border or to go directly into a 14 day quarantine. Most, or roughly 6000 visitors have chosen to be tested since the border testing began and of those, two people have been detected with new and active COVID-19 infections and placed in isolation.

The quarantine requirement in Iceland applies to people, regardless of nationality, arriving from countries and areas defined with high risk of infection. At present, this applies to all countries except the Faroe Islands and Greenland. The border testing is free of charge until July 1st, but will thereafter cost 15.000 ISK for each visitor and all visitors are required to download and activate the COVID-19 tracing app.

Photograph from Tromsø in North Norway JONAA ©Helge M. Markusson

Read more about Nordic and Arctic life in the COVID-19 era here: Diaries From A Socially Distanced North

For information on travel restrictions and other COVID-19 connected issues in the Nordic countries, here are official websites with information in English:

Iceland: COVID-19 in Iceland
The Faroe Islands: Coronavirus in the Faroe Islands
Norway: Coronavirus and travelling to Norway
Norwegian Institute of public health: General COVID-19 travel information for the Nordic countries
Denmark: Controlled re-opening of Danish borders
Greenland: Greenland’s reopening strategy and FAQs
Finland: Practical information for travellers during corona pandemic
Sweden: Travel restrictions for Sweden