Iceland is finally ready to welcome eligible Americans — for real this time

Mar 17, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Update 3/17/21: Iceland has updated its document requirements, so CDC-issued certificates and U.S. laboratory results should now be accepted for entry.

Back in the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, Iceland famously tossed out the welcome mat to American tourists before quickly rolling it back up.

The country’s flag carrier, Icelandair, listed and sold flights to a large variety of U.S. cities, but never actually operated most of them, leaving customers to fight for refunds — which, in my case, only came after I filed a complaint with the Department of Transportation (DOT).

This time, things feel a bit more official. Beginning tomorrow, March 18, 2021, eligible U.S. Citizens will officially be permitted to enter the country.

Entry permission will be granted to any eligible visitor who can present proof of full vaccination against COVID-19, including vaccinations manufactured by AstraZeneca, Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech.

Visitors can present an official paper or electronic vaccine certificate, and Iceland’s requirements have now been updated to match what’s listed on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) certificate. Iceland removed a previous requirement that a nationality and passport number be listed, which do not appear on the CDC card.


Additionally, visitors who were previously infected with COVID-19 will be able to enter Iceland without a requirement to quarantine. Acceptable documentation there includes a positive PCR test result that’s older than 14 days or a positive antibody test. Note that rapid tests are not accepted.

This is a notable improvement from Iceland’s previous entry restrictions, which required visitors to be citizens of EU/EEA countries, present a negative test result before departure, a second negative result upon arrival, quarantine for five days and then test negative a third time before being permitted to venture out from their hotel.

U.S. flights are incredibly limited at the moment, but could be expanded soon. (Photo courtesy of Icelandair.)

One remaining challenge is actually getting to Iceland. Currently, Icelandair is only operating flights between Keflavík International Airport (KEF) and Boston (BOS), departing the U.S. on Monday and Thursday evenings at 9:00 pm and arriving in Iceland at 6:05 am the following morning. Return flights are scheduled on Sundays and Wednesdays, departing Iceland at 5:15 pm and arriving in Boston at 7:05 pm.

Assuming a surge in demand follows the country’s relaxed entry policy, it’s likely that Icelandair will expand its flight schedule significantly, and return to other U.S. cities as well. Additionally, Delta and United previously flew to Iceland — if demand recovers quickly, we could see those carriers return to KEF as well, perhaps as soon as this summer.

Featured photo by ronnybas/Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.