Travel column with Katie Butler: All Covid travel restrictions lifted in Iceland

As rules relax around the globe, we continue to see a steady stream of new bookings.
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Katie Butler writes: The awful events in Ukraine are closely monitored by the FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office), and at present this has not impacted travel to countries other than Russia and Ukraine, although several cruise companies are likely to review their itineraries in the coming weeks.

Which destinations are the latest to ease Covid-19 travel restrictions?

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Perhaps the biggest easing in travel restrictions to date was the announcement from the Icelandic authorities who last week advised that from February 25, all travel restrictions would be removed.

ICELAND: Tourists walk around Skogafoss waterfall. Photo: Getty ImagesICELAND: Tourists walk around Skogafoss waterfall. Photo: Getty Images
ICELAND: Tourists walk around Skogafoss waterfall. Photo: Getty Images

Prior to this date, Iceland required all travellers to be fully-vaccinated and present a negative Covid test before arrival.

The tourist board of Iceland confirmed that all restrictions have been removed for both fully-vaccinated and non-vaccinated arrivals. This means that you can travel to Iceland without the need to complete an outbound passenger locater form, no testing requirements and no requirement to prove any form of vaccine status.

In response to the announcement from the Icelandic government, Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2holidays, described the move as “an enormous step towards normality”.

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“We applaud the Icelandic government for leading the way when it comes to re-opening international travel and we are confident that other nations will follow suit”, he added.

Cyprus has also eased restrictions significantly. In response to the Omicron variant the country introduced the requirement to test prior to travel and also test upon arrival. From March 1 for fully-vaccinated arrivals the Cypriot government has advised these test requirements will be removed.

Italy has also lifted the requirement for vaccinated travellers to take pre-departure tests, in line with the new EU recommendation.

What are the new EU recommendations for UK travellers?

The EU council has a new recommendation to allow fully-vaccinated British visitors to enter the EU without the need for Covid tests from March 1.

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The recommendation is not binding for all member states. However, it suggests that restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU should be lifted for fully-vaccinated travellers.

Under the recommendations, children aged between six and 18 should be allowed to travel if they meet the adult requirements, or should be required to show a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure if not.

The council said in a statement: “The amendments introduced respond to the evolution of the pandemic, the increasing vaccination uptake and administration of booster doses, and the recognition of a growing number of certificates issued by third countries as equivalent to the EU digital Covid certificate.”

We are expecting announcements soon around the return to UK passenger locater form. Hopefully this will be removed completely… watch this space.