Health and Safety Guidelines for COVID-19:  Summer 2020 multi day tours in huts & hotels

The following guidelines are based on information presented by the ATTA[1] and by the Icelandic Directorate of Health [IDH][2].   

These guidelines take into account the expectations of our foreign guests, whilst taking consideration of the risks COVID-19 is posing in Iceland. Guests and the local population alike must keep their guard by following measures to help continue to suppress the spread of COVID-19.

The first line of defence for Iceland is border testing where deemed necessary and effective for international arrivals by the Icelandic Authorities.

On our tours, our staff members have a responsibility to enforce safety measures to minimise the possibility of spreading COVID-19, benefiting themselves, our guests and the local population.

In order to do this they will:

  • Encourage those that feel at risk to keep a distance of 2m from others and make sure that they can do so to the extent that it is possible.
  • Any route selection, briefings or information stops should be conducted so that each group member has the ability to keep a distance of at least 2m should they choose to do so.
  • In addition to regular cleaning we are surface cleaning and using sanitisers on all our transport vehicles after each tour.
  • Hand sanitisers are made available on all busses and during meals. Our guides carry hand sanitiser and biodegradable soap on all hikes. 
  • Performs regular surface cleaning and sanitation on buses as often as possible.
  • While our staff and guides are happy to see you, we ask them to greet you with a smile, not a handshake.
  • Bothy bags (emergency shelters) are only used in emergencies – not for comfort e.g. in case of rain etc.
  • Please note that the use of protective gear when working in close proximity is optional unless advised other ways by IDH.
Shape Jan Zelina
The hut at Landmannalaugar

Huts:

  • At the huts it is not possible to guarantee a 2m distance at all times – but we will do our best to accommodate those wanting to as well as possible.
  • Disinfectant spray is to be used frequently on tables and other contact surfaces, and always before meals and meal preparation. Hand sanitiser is made available to all guests in meal areas and toilets.
  • Dishtowels and tablecloths are swapped out daily.
  • Hand soap available and guests encouraged to clean hands regularly, after WC and before meals.
  • Should any guest or staff member show symptoms he/she should be quarantined in the best possible way given the conditions, supplied with a mask and gloves and in cooperation with the nearest healthcare, evacuated or tested.

Additional measures following new regulations set out by the Icelandic Government, still in effect since July 31st:

  • Wearing a mask will be mandatory on any transportation where the 2-meter rule cannot be respected.
  • Capacity in huts will be limited to facilitate social distancing. Masks should be worn wherever the 2-meter rule cannot be respected.
  • If needed, our team will wear a face mask and gloves when in close proximity.
  • If you do not have a single use mask with you, you can purchase one from Icelandic Mountain Guides and/or hut wardens.
  • Customers may be charged a small fee for masks if they do not bring their own.

Hotels:

  • The hotel is responsible for maintaining clean facilities. Any concern about cleaning standards should be communicated to the guide who will then make sure with hotel staff that the standards are met.
  • During meals the guide should make sure that those wanting to keep a 2m distance are able to do so while being as much a part of the group as possible.
  • It is not possible to guarantee a 2m distance at all times – but we will do our best to accommodate those wanting to do so as well as possible.
  • Should any guest or staff member show symptoms he/she should be quarantined in the best possible way given the conditions, supplied with a mask and gloves and in cooperation with the nearest healthcare, evacuated or tested.

More about our response to Covid-19

Useful information:

https://www.covid.is/english

COVID-19 hotline tel.: 1700

References

[1] ATTA Guidelines for COVID-19 19 issued on the 23rd of June 2020.

[2] https://www.COVID-19.is/