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Capital: Reykjavik

Time Zone: is local time. No daylight savings time in 2008.
Tel. Country Code: 354
USADirect Tel.: 0
Electrical Standards: Electrical current is 220/50 (volts/hz). European Style Adaptor Plug. Grounding Adaptor Plug D.

Travel Advisory - Iceland

Europe, Russia and former the Soviet Union countries vary widely in travel risks and adequacy of health care delivery. Water- and food-borne illnesses such as travelers' diarrhea, typhoid and Giardia are threats outside of Western Europe. Insect-transmitted diseases, such as Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis are common in wooded, rural areas in most countries, including Western Europe.

Dr. Rose Recommends for Travel to Iceland

Resource Links

World Health Organization
Travel Health Services
Country Insights
Travel Warnings
Consular Information
Foreign Commonweatlh Office


• U.S. Embassy
Laufasvegur 21
Tel: [354] 562-9100
Fax: [354] 562-9110

• Canadian Embassy
Tungata 14
Tel: [354] 575-6500
Fax: [354] 575-6501

• British Embassy
Laufasvegur 31
101 Reykjavik
Tel: [354] 550 5100
Fax: [354] 550 5105

Entry Requirements

HIV Test: Not required.

Required Vaccinations: None required.

Passport Information

Passport/Visa: Iceland is a highly developed, stable democracy with a modern economy. The national language is Icelandic, but English is widely spoken, especially in the capital city of Reykjavik. Read the Department of State Background Notes on Iceland for additional information.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A valid passport is required. U.S. citizens do not need visas for tourist or business stays of up to 90 days. That period begins when entering any of the following countries which are parties to the Schengen agreement: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. For further information in English concerning entry requirements for Iceland, please contact the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration via their web site at

Vaccinations: Recommended and Routine

Hepatitis A: Consider for all travelers >1 year of age not previously immunized against hepatitis A.

Hepatitis B: Recommended for all non-immune travelers who might be exposed to infected blood or body fluids from unprotected sex; from injecting drug use with shared/re-used needles and syringes; from medical treatment with non-sterile (re-used) needles and syringes; from unscreened blood transfusions; from contact with open skin sores. Recommended for any traveler requesting protection against hepatitis B infection.

Influenza: Vaccination recommended for all travelers >6 months of age who have not received a flu shot in the previous 12 months.

Routine Immunizations: Immunizations against tetanus-diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella (MMR vaccine) and varicella (chickenpox) should be updated, if necessary, before departure. MMR protection is especially important for any female of childbearing age who may become pregnant.
• The new Tdap vaccine, ADACEL, which also boosts immunity against pertussis (whooping cough) should be considered when a tetanus-diphtheria booster is indicated.

Hospitals / Doctors

Excellent medical facilities are available in Iceland. To obtain emergency medical assistance anywhere in the country, dial 112. To obtain non-emergency medical assistance in the Reykjavik metropolitan area dial 544-4114 during business hours and outside of normal business hours, dial 1770. The nurse who answers will offer advice on how to handle the problem, suggest that the patient come to an after-hours clinic, or send a physician to make a house call. For information on after-hours dental care, call 575-0505.

All travelers should be up-to-date on their immunizations and are advised to carry a medical kit as well as antibiotics to treat travelers diarrhea or other infections. Travelers who are taking regular medications should carry them properly labeled and in sufficient quantity to last for the duration of their trip; they should not expect to obtain prescription or over-the-counter drugs in local stores or pharmacies in this country - the equivalent drugs may not be available.
• Travelers are advised to obtain comprehensive travel insurance with specific overseas coverage. Policies should cover: ground and air ambulance transport, including evacuation to home country; payment of hospital bills; 24-hour telephone assistance. Healthcare facilities in Iceland are of a high western standard. However, the distances between facilities can be great and while most towns have a health center or basic hospital, serious cases generally require ground/air transfer to a hospital in either Reykjavik or Akureyri.

For a guide to physicians, dentists, and pharmacies, go to the U.S. Embassy website at:

Destination Health Info for Travelers

AIDS/HIV: Primary risk groups include men having sex with men (MSM) and intravenous drug users. Adult HIV prevalence in Iceland is 0.1% or less. According to UNAIDS estimates, the largest numbers of people living with HIV in Western Europe in 2006 were in Italy and France, where the prevalence is about 0.4% to 0.6%. (Source:
• Transmission of HIV can be prevented by avoiding: sexual contact with a high-risk partner; injecting drug use with shared needles; non-sterile medical injections; unscreened blood transfusions.
• The threat of HIV/AIDS should not be a primary concern for the traveler. However, there may be a concern for a subset of travelers who may be exposed to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, through contact with the body fluids of another person or their blood. Although travel has contributed in a general way to the global spread of AIDS, fear of traveling because of this disease is not warranted.

Accidents & Medical Insurance: Accidents and injuries are the leading cause of death among travelers under the age of 55 and are most often caused by motor vehicle and motorcycle crashes; drownings, aircraft crashes, homicides, and burns are lesser causes. Important safety rules to follow are 1) Do not drive at night, 2) Do not rent a motorcycle, moped, bicycle, or motorbike, even if you are experienced, and 3) Don't swim alone, at night, or if intoxicated.
• Heart attacks cause most fatalities in older travelers.
• Infections cause only 1% of fatalities in overseas travelers, but, overall, infections are the most common cause of travel-related illness.
• MEDICAL INSURANCE: Travelers are advised to obtain, prior to departure, supplemental travel health insurance with specific overseas coverage. The policy should provide for direct payment to the overseas hospital and/or physician at the time of service and include a medical evacuation benefit. The policy should also provide 24-hour hotline access to a multilingual assistance center that can help arrange and monitor delivery of medical care and determine if medevac or air ambulance services are required.

Food-Borne Disease: Between 14 September and 20 October 2007, an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157 simultaneously occurred in the Netherlands and Iceland. A total of 50 laboratory-confirmed cases were reported with a STEC O157 infection caused by the same clone. The most probable cause of this international outbreak was contaminated lettuce, shredded and pre-packed in a Dutch food processing plant.
Read more:

Hepatitis: There is a low risk of hepatitis A in Iceland. All travelers not previously immunized against hepatitis A should consider being vaccinated. Sporadic outbreaks of this disease have occurred in developed countries. Travelers who are non-immune to hepatitis A (i.e. have never had the disease and have not been vaccinated) should take particular care to avoid potentially contaminated food and water. Travelers who will have access to safe food and water are at lower risk. Those at higher risk include travelers visiting friends and relatives, long-term travelers, and those visiting areas of poor sanitation.
• Hepatitis E may be endemic, but levels are unclear. Sporadic cases may be underdiagnosed or underreported. Transmission of the hepatitis E virus (HEV) occurs primarily through drinking water contaminated by sewage and also through raw or uncooked shellfish. Farm animals, such as swine, and also deer and wild boar, may serve as a viral reservoirs. (HEV is one of the few viruses which has been shown to be transmitted directly from animals through food.) In developing countries, prevention of hepatitis E relies primarily on the provision of clean water supplies and overall improved sanitation and hygiene. There is no vaccine.
• The overall hepatitis B (HBsAg) carrier rate in the general population is estimated at <1.0%. Hepatitis B is transmitted via infected blood or bodily fluids. Travelers may be exposed by needle sharing and unprotected sex; from non-sterile medical or dental injections, and acupuncture; from unscreened blood transfusions; by direct contact with open skin lesions of an infected person. The average traveler is at low risk for acquiring this infection. Vaccination against hepatitis B is recommended for: persons having casual/unprotected sex with new partners; sexual tourists; injecting drug users; long-term visitors; expatriates, and anybody wanting increased protection against the hepatitis B virus.
• Hepatitis C is endemic a prevalence of <1.0% in the general population. Most hepatitis C virus (HCV) is spread either through intravenous drug use or, in lesser-developed countries, through blood contamination during medical procedures. Over 200 million people around the world are infected with hepatitis C - an overall incidence of around 3.3% of the population of the world. Statistically, as many people are infected with HCV as are with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Legionnaires' Disease: Twelve cases were reported in 2007. The Legionella bacteria cause Legionnaire’s disease which is a serious illness that can lead to death. Legionnair’s disease does not transmit from person to person but has its origin in the environment. The bacteria thrive in humidity and outbreaks are often traced to air-conditioning and other aerosole
producing equipment in people’s environ-ment.

Travelers' Diarrhea: There is a very low risk of bacterial or parasitic-caused diarrhea in this country. Tap water is potable throughout Iceland. A quinolone antibiotic, or azithromycin, combined with loperamide (Imodium), is recommended for the treatment of acute diarrhea. Diarrhea not responding to treatment with an antibiotic may be due to a parasitic disease such as giardiasis.