I traveled to Iceland as a vaccinated American and the entry and exit process was tedious, but easy if you understand the rules
Icelandair ticket booth at New York-JFK Taylor Rains / Insider
I traveled to Iceland as a vaccinated American and the process was simple but tedious.
Vaccinated US travelers are required to present their vaccination card, negative COVID test, and form prior to arrival.
Reykjavik has a number of test sites where Americans can take a COVID test before heading back to the United States.
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Americans are longing for a vacation, and the introduction of the vaccine has given travelers more freedom to travel abroad.
TSA checkpoint at JFK Taylor Rains / Insider
Iceland is one of the many European countries that allow vaccinated Americans entry without quarantine, so I made the jump across the pond in early September.
Baggage for Island Taylor Rains / Insider
The entry and exit processes were tedious and there were certain steps I had to follow including a negative Covid test, my vaccination card and filling out the papers before arriving.
Vaccine card and negative Covid test Taylor Rains / Insider
Accepted vaccines are Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac and Sinopharm BIBP and Covid tests must be either PCR or rapid antigen. Travelers who fail to show a negative Covid test will be fined 100,000 ISK ($ 781 US) at the border.
I flew Icelandair from New York's JFK International Airport to Keflavik Airport in Reykjavik. Icelandair is very transparent about the entry requirements for Iceland on its website.
Signs at JFK Terminal 7 Jeff Greenberg / Getty Images
To travel to Iceland as a vaccinated American, visitors must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least 14 days after the last dose, receive a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the first leg of the trip, and pre-register their arrival.
Passport, COVID vaccination card and Evgenia Parajanian / Shutterstock mask
At the border, a certificate of previous infection dated between 14 and 180 days from arrival in Iceland is also acceptable. These travelers do not have to present a negative Covid test to enter without quarantine.
The pre-arrival form must be completed online. I had to fill in my departure and return dates, personal details, and confirm that I would receive a COVID test prior to travel. After sending it, I received a barcode in my email to check that it was complete.
Barcode received after completing the form prior to arrival at Taylor Rains / Insider
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, I was unable to check in online or via the mobile app and was instructed by Icelandair to collect my boarding pass at the counter.
Icelandair check-in email Taylor Rains / Insider
When I arrived at JFK, I went to Icelandair's check-in counter, where signs reminded passengers to fill out the online form prior to arrival. You couldn't check in without them.
Reminders to fill out the form prior to arrival Taylor Rains / Insider
You can find the pre-registration form online.
At the counter, I was asked to show my negative COVID test, vaccination card and form prior to arrival. The agent checked the date of my test and the result and confirmed that my vaccination card was legitimate before handing me my boarding pass.
Icelandair check-in counter Taylor Rains / Insider
For those who forgot or didn't know about a COVID test, JFK has a few options including Adams Medical in Terminal 1, Xpresscheck in Terminal 4, and NYC Test & Trace Corps in Terminal 5. The test must be a PCR test, not a rapid test Antigen.
COVID test site at JFK Terminal 5 Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock
Until landing in Iceland, I no longer had to show any COVID-related entry documents.
Icelandair Boeing 757 cabin Peter Gudella / Shutterstock
Upon arriving in Reykjavik, I got off the plane and went to Customs, where airport staff split passengers into two lines - one for those entering Iceland and a second for those arriving on connecting flights.
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