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information about testing in Reykjavik

I am taking a cruise in August which will end in Reykjavik. I am required to pay the full amount by mid April.

If testing is still required, my cruise ship will test me before I get off the ship.

I am hoping to spend two nights in Reykjavik before flying home.

If I need to retest before flying home, is it easy to find a place to test?

How long are test results good for? My ship would be testing me on August 25th and I would be flying back to the United States on the 27th?

Posted by
247 posts

For the US, you now need a test that is taken no more than one day before your flight. So you would need to retest in Reykjavik. Luckily, testing in Iceland is very simple and streamlined. There are labs in Reykjavik and you can book an appointment and pay online. When I went last year, the line was out the door and wrapped all around the parking lot and it still only took 30 minutes from the time I got in line to being back in my car. It was about $35 for an antigen test.

Posted by
705 posts

Your trip is six months away. Things can change ten times between now and then. I suggest that you check back much closer to your trip. And the official website for information on covid requirements in Iceland is www.covid.is/english You'll be able to find testing information there.

When we traveled last year, we got rapid tests on the day we flew back to the US.

Posted by
1949 posts

Well, my trip is 6 months away but I am required to pay in full by mid April. I am purchasing insurance but I am not going to get my money back if I decide I do not want to go only because of masking or testing requirements.

A lot is hopefully going to change between May and August but I will already be required to have paid in full.

I think it is better to try and understand how testing works before I pay off my cruise.

I have not traveled at all, even domestically, since 2019.

I booked my cruise over a year ago and thought that COVID would be a thing of the past.

Posted by
705 posts

Phil, you asked some specific questions that might have different answers by August. You asked if it is easy to find a place to test, and what applies today might not be the same in August. You also asked how long test results are good for and, again, that may be changed by the time of your trip.

Iceland has done a very good job of providing testing sites, which can now be found in both downtown Reykjavik and near the airport. If testing procedures stay the same, then these two sites will probably be the same since they are the only two sites in the country.

How long test results are good for depends on the kind of the test you will be required to take to return to the US. When we went, the rapid antigen test was acceptable, and we were able to take the test near the airport, then went directly to check-in because we got the results back in 20 minutes.

Posted by
272 posts

Hi, bostonphil,

Iceland has a great website for instruction on what is needed to enter the country (covid.is), and the Icelandair website has all of the current requirements for boarding flights in Iceland. I'm sure both of those websites will stay up to date should requirements change prior to your return to the US. I was in Iceland in December, and in addition to the testing sites mentioned by the previous post, there were testing sites at both Harpa and at the BSI bus terminal.

Posted by
1949 posts

Because I have not traveled since pre COVID, I had very little understanding of testing for travel.

Now I realize that testing is determined by the country that you are going to not the one that you are leaving. (Let me know if I am wrong)

For instance the USA is requiring a test within 24 hours of my leaving Iceland. Iceland is not making this decision. The USA is.


A question about the app on my smart phone and the QR code.

I will not have an international calling or data plan. Will that be a problem?

I will have an iPad with me but can only use it on wi fi. Will wi fi be available at the testing sites. And can I download an app on my iPad? Can I get a QR code for my iPad

Posted by
2134 posts

Bostonphil--I am far from a techie, but I can tell you that wifi is readily available in Reykjavik. We tested twice at Harpa, right in town. We arrived home just last night. We tested earlier in the week after we had been around a lot of people, and then tested again yesterday morning before we flew home. I do not have an iPad, so can't help with that, but we had no issues with getting the covid results on our iPhones so I would assume the iPad is the same. As others have mentioned, who knows what the requirements will be even a month from now, so just keep an eye on covid.is and that will keep you up to date.

Posted by
3 posts

We tested at Harpa on March 4, 2022. No wait and got results emailed to us in 1 hour. It was a great reason to get inside of that magnificent building. Fast and efficient.

Posted by
2134 posts

The "free" testing that Iceland washing is not free anymore. I read that it is $55 now. With that in mind,I would take an eMed Binax NOW test kit and do that myself. We used those in August and they worked great. Right now the rules are that you can test the day before you fly, so not 24 hours, but anytime the day before. So that is at least another option for you, but who knows what the rules will be in August:)

Posted by
1949 posts

Thank you all for the helpful information.

So right now, I still have to test before flying back to the United States?

What is Harpa?

I think that if we still have to test in August, I would prefer to do an in person test. Can I still get one at the BSI Terminal? Is it easy?

What do I need? Is it a rapid test?

Posted by
15 posts

Greetings Boston Phil 7,
We are leaving for Iceland this Saturday 02 APR 22 and I have our return Covid tests booked through these folks https://www.testcovid.is/. Unfortunately, they are no longer free, so we had to pay $50.00 USD per test. The place we are going to is just one of many places where you can get tested, so I don’t think you’ll have a problem.

Enjoy your trip,

Michael Blair

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Posted by
1949 posts

Hi blairjoy,

I think that I will be able to get tested at BSI easily enough although I do not like the additional $50 fee but what can you do.

However, I only have two nights in Reykjavik, one free day. I was hoping to use that one free day to go to one of the pools and sightsee and relax, not go to BSI to get tested.

Posted by
2134 posts

Right now at least, you do not need to go to BSI to get tested. Harpa is right smack in downtown Reykjavik and they have testing there,. Harpa is the huge concert/events hall on the water, you can't miss it. So you can do your last day of sightseeing and get a test without having to waste any time.