Is it safe to travel to Iceland as state of emergency is declared? Latest advice

Thousands have already been evacuated as a precaution.

Is it safe to travel to Iceland as state of emergency is declared? Latest advice
Fissure eruption in the Geldingadalur valley on Mount Fagradalsfjall near the town of Grindavik on the Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland. Volcano in Geldingadalur valley, Iceland - 24 Mar 2021
Mount Fagradalsfjall previously erupted in July this year (Picture: Shutterstock)

A state of emergency has been declared in Iceland after a series of earthquakes raised fears about a volcanic eruption.

Thousands living in the southwestern town of Grindavík have been ordered to evacuate as a precaution.

Large amounts of magma – molten rock- is spreading underground and could surface there, according to the Icelandic Met Office (IMO).

Over recent weeks thousands of tremors have been recorded around the nearby Fagradalsfjall volcano.

This has been concentrated in Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula, which had remained dormant to volcanic activity for 800 years before a 2021 eruption.

The famous Blue Lagoon landmark is closed due to an increase in seismic activity in the area – with more than 20,000 tremors recorded in southwest Iceland since late October.

But is it still safe to travel to Iceland? We look at the current government advice below.

Is it still safe to travel to Iceland?

According to the foreign office, it is still safe for tourists to travel to Iceland for now but a variety of warnings have been issued.

It says: ‘Earthquakes and indications of volcanic activity have increased above normal levels on the Reykjanes peninsula, southwest of Reykjavik.

‘The Icelandic authorities continue to monitor the area closely, particularly the area northwest of Mt Thorbjörn near the Svartsengi power plant and the Blue Lagoon.

‘On 10 November, a Civil Protection Alert was declared after an intense swarm of earthquakes.

‘The town of Grindavík was evacuated as a precaution.

Blue Lagoon, geothermal spa, in Reykjavik, Iceland,
The Blue Lagoon has been closed as a precaution (Picture: Shutterstock)
The access road to Blue Lagoon has been closed to avoid incidents in the area in the event of a possible volcanic eruption.
The access road to Blue Lagoon has been closed to avoid incidents in the area in the event of a possible volcanic eruption (Picture: Shutterstock)

‘Some roads have been closed and visitors are advised to stay away from the area.

‘Keflavik International Airport is operating as normal.

‘While there is no current eruption, it is increasingly possible that one could occur.

‘You should monitor local media for updates and follow the authorities advice on travel to the area.’

People are advised to check with the Icelandic Met Office, Safe Travel Iceland and Almannavarnadeild Facebook page for the latest updates.

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