The 12th Arctic Council Ministerial meeting

Information for media representatives

The 12th Ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council will mark the end of the two-year Icelandic Chairmanship term. The meeting will be held on 20th May 2021 in Reykjavik, Iceland. It provides an opportunity to review the Council’s activities and accomplishments under Iceland’s Chairmanship. It will also see the Russian Federation assume the role for the next two years.

Organizing a Ministerial meeting during a pandemic is of course a challenge and it is a top priority for the Icelandic Chairmanship to provide a safe and secure environment and to minimize any risks associated with in-person gatherings. Therefore, Iceland has invited only Ministers and Heads of Delegations of the Permanent Participants to attend the meeting in person with as small delegations as possible, while other delegates are cordially invited to participate in the meeting through an online platform.

The Icelandic Chairmanship, however, welcomes media representatives to Iceland – following the national regulations as outlined below. A program for media representatives is currently under development. Media interested in covering the meeting from Iceland are welcome to submit their details for accreditation in the registration form. The Arctic Council Secretariat will follow up with more detailed information as this becomes available.

All journalists travelling independently from a national delegation will need to show one of the following; a) valid certificate of vaccination, b) valid certificate of prior infection, or c) proof of date of arrival and test results from second screening five days after arrival, in addition to a valid press card, a badge or a mandate issued and signed by the media that you represent, plus an official identity card when you pick up your badge.

Meeting arrangements under pandemic restrictions (updated 16 April)

Travel restrictions apply to all third-country nationals, i.e. persons who are neither citizens of EEA/EFTA nations, nor nationals of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, or the Vatican—regardless of whether they require a visa or are permitted travel within the Schengen area without a visa.

All media representatives traveling to Iceland to cover the Ministerial meeting should on arrival in Iceland be prepared to meet at least one of the three following criteria:

  • present a negative PCR test result not older than 72 hours on departure to Iceland,
  • present a valid certificate of having antibodies or previous Covid 19 infection (positive PCR test older than 14 days) or
  • present a valid certificate of vaccination.

All arriving passengers must be tested at the Icelandic borders. Those passengers carrying a vaccination certificate, or a certificate of prior infection must wait for the result of the test at their place of residence and follow quarantine rules until the result is available (normally within six hours). Those passengers who do not have certificates of vaccination or prior infection must quarantine for five days and undergo a second test upon finishing.

The Icelandic Chairmanship will continue to work with Icelandic health authorities to define workable set of health rules for the purposes of the Ministerial meeting. These are likely to include, possible further PCR testing, limited contact with the local population, strict social distancing protocols, protocols on use of face masks and protocols for interaction between delegations and media representatives. You can find detailed information on, including answers to frequently asked questions. In particular, the following page has important information for travelers to Iceland:

As health measures are constantly being revised and modified, please note that this information is likely to change before the Ministerial meeting. This page is regularly updated, thus please check back closer to the meeting.

Title photo: Harpa by Marco Nürnberger