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June 3, 2020updated 21 Aug 2020 11:57am

Iceland to carry out Covid-19 testing for arriving passengers

Iceland has announced that it will test all the arriving airline passengers at its airports for Covid-19, effective from 15 June.

Iceland has announced that it will test all arriving airline passengers at its airports for Covid-19, effective from 15 June.

This move is expected to help the country’s tourism, which was affected due to the global health crisis.

The Government of Iceland made the decision after consulting with the chief epidemiologist of the country. It also entered into a deal with DeCODE Genetics, which will aid in the Covid-19 testing.

The passengers who arrive at the Keflavik Airport will directly undergo testing.

BloombergQuint quoted that the testing for the first two weeks is estimated to be Ikr160m ($1.2m). Passengers will not have to pay for the testing in the first two weeks of trial operations.

International travellers at other border crossing points will have to also get tested. They can also present a Covid-19 negative certificate.

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Alternatively, they may be asked to undergo a two-week quarantine. Children do not need to be tested.

Chief epidemiologist Thorolfur Gudnason said: “The intention is to safeguard the progress we have made so far when travellers start returning to Iceland.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have aimed for moderate but targeted measures based on the best available information. Primary schools have remained open and no lockdowns have been imposed. Now that there are almost no cases in Iceland, we see this as a normal next step as the world is slowly opening up to travel again.”

Cabinet of Iceland said that the Prime Minister of the country set up a coordination team across ministries and agencies which will aid in the project preparation and implementation.

Iceland currently has two active cases of Covid-19 and has ten deaths so far.

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