20 May 2021, Reykjavik, Iceland
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.
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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.
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Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, certain health protocols will have to be observed prior and upon arrival in Iceland. Please find the most up-to-date information on entry regulations and quarantine here: https://www.covid.is/english
Health protocols the Ministerial meeting
All media representatives are expected to undergo a PCR test on arrival at the border. As vaccinations provide less than 100% protection and persons with antibodies can possibly still transmit the virus, this requirement applies to everyone.
Delegates who can present a valid attestation of vaccination, of having antibodies or present positive PCR-test results older than 14 days (proof of prior infection) may be able to enjoy less severe quarantine restrictions, provided their PCR test result at the border proves negative.
The Reykjavik Ministerial meeting will be held in modified quarantine according to Icelandic legislation. That entails special arrangements with respect to arrival and stay in Iceland from 18 May until 21 May for official delegations and supporting staff. These arrangements will include special rules for transport organized by the host, limited mobility outside of the designated hotel and meeting places, and a strict ban on interaction with the general population in Iceland.
All media not travelling with official delegations, will have to adhere to regulations in place for general travel. In addition to the aforementioned requirements, current regulation requires all passengers arriving in Iceland from high-risk areas (all countries except Greenland) to self-quarantine for five days and undergo a second PCR-test at the end of their quarantine. 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 upon arriving at the meeting venue. Fully vaccinated individuals (with vaccines approved by the Icelandic Health Authorities) and those who can show proof of prior infection are fully exempt from quarantine measures, if they test negative for the virus at the first PCR test at the borders.
To ensure the safety of all delegates and the local community, the Icelandic Chairmanship will continue to work with Icelandic health authorities to define a set of health protocols for the Ministerial meeting. These are likely to include but may not be limited to, the following: strict social distancing protocols, temperature screening, protocols on the use of face masks, and protocols for interaction between delegations. Further details on the modalities for the modified quarantine applicable to the Ministerial meeting will be provided closer to the meeting.