Testing times to get to Iceland !!

When I last posted on 17th June, Jackie’s knee operation had been cancelled at short notice. She had grazed her knee a few days before, trying to lift a heavy Buddha in the garden, and we thought nothing of it. The Surgeon had other ideas, and after having one look at the miniscule graze on her knee, refused to operate and cancelled on the day.

Driving back home from the hospital, we decided to resurrect our trip to Iceland, which we had cancelled a few weeks before, as there was a possibility that She could test positive for covid-19 on returning to the UK and have to isolate for 10 days. Anyway, we rebooked the same BA flights (June 22-29) and booked another hotel in Reykjavik on the waterfront. Although Iceland is on the green travel list, proof of full vaccination is required, and a requirement to quarantine until the results of a free PCR test at the airport are known. For those interested, here is the link for the online pre-registration for visiting Iceland, which is very efficient – click https://www.covid.is/english

The next problem was having adequate proof of vaccination for the Iceland authorities. All we had was our hand-written vaccination cards, and although I had read somewhere that this was sufficient, we really needed formal certificates from the Welsh government. If we still lived in England, we could have got our vaccine records on the NHS app, but living in Wales, we had to apply for a paper vaccine record. We duly applied for these 5 days before the trip, even though they said to allow 10 working days to them to be processed, although might arrive sooner.

Nagging worries continued and we decided to get a covid fit to fly test at great expense £80 each), so we could get on the flight to Iceland and take a chance on the vaccine record card. Tested negative so we were set fair to get to Iceland, even if we had to quarantine for 5 days if they didnt accept the card. Anyway, someone suggested contacting our GP surgery to see if they could provide an official record of our vaccine records. E mailed the surgery on the Sunday evening (June 20th), and bingo, we picked up our immunisation records on the Monday lunchtime, and headed to London Heathrow that afternoon for our early morning flight the following day June 22nd.

Mask wearing at terminal 5 and throughout the uneventful 2hour 45 minute flight, and we arrived in Reykjavik on Tuesday morning, and sailed through immigration with our surgery records – a huge relief. We then had a PCR test at the airport, and told to quarantine at our hotel until the results came through. In the event, we picked up the rental car and drove the long scenic route to Reykjavik via the erupting volcano and a lake, without visiting anywhere and keeping ourselves to ourselves. We checked into our hotel mid afternoon and settled into our quarantine, and checking out arrangements for food to be delivered to our room. In the event, we received our negative results by text late afternoon, 6 hours after arriving in the country – very efficient !….and left our hotel to explore downtown Reykjavik and get something to eat.

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