By Emma Dooney
Iceland will open its borders to all vaccinated individuals on Thursday in the hope of rebuilding its crippled tourism industry.
The North Atlantic country was already fully accessible to EU residents who had received the Covid-19 shot but is now on a mission to attract visitors from the UK and the US.
Tourists flying into Iceland will need to prove they have been vaccinated by a jab approved by the European Medicines Agency before they can enjoy the plethora of pleasures this glacial island has to offer. The Scandinavian country is known for its stunning landscape of volcanoes and glaciers, as well as its rich history of mythology and folklore. Often called the 'Land of Fire and Ice,' Iceland promises breathtaking views unrivaled by its neighboring countries.
Tourism in Iceland has been badly hit by the Covid-19 epidemic. As one of the country's main industries, its decline has greatly damaged its economy. Since last year, the number of tourists dropped by over 75%, with only 486,000 people holidaying on the island in 2020. Iceland's government is now determined to restore the nation's businesses.
“The world has been through a lot in the past 12 months, and we are all hoping for a slow and safe return to normalcy. This also includes the resumption of the opportunity to travel, which is valuable to culture, trade, and enterprise,” said Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir.
Tourists who are vaccinated and looking for an invigorating getaway after this difficult year are unlikely to be disappointed by the destination. Iceland is heaving with must-see natural wonders, including the sea arch of Dyrhólaey, the black sand beach of Reynisfjara, and of course, the geothermal spa at the Blue Lagoon. There's also plenty of hiking spots if you're in the mood for something more vigorous, as well as unmissable opportunities to watch whales in their natural habitat.
That's our first vacation post-pandemic sorted then.
Emma is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.