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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
World
William Mata

Is it safe to travel to Iceland? British foreign office advice after volcano eruption

Several houses have been destroyed by lava from a volcano erupting in Iceland, causing towns to be evacuated

The eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula on Sunday morning led to fires in the fishing town of Grindavík, in the country’s south-west. 

The main road has been cut off by lava and, while barriers built in December to protect residents have helped to stop the flow, they have been breached in places. 

A British couple on holiday in Iceland said it was “alarming” to see. The eruption follows fires that spread in the country before Christmas due to previous eruption. 

The developing situation has worried tourists, many of whom visit Iceland in the winter for its famous countryside and scenery. 

This is the latest on the situation as of Monday, January 15. 

Billowing smoke and flowing lava during the volcanic eruption on the outskirts of the evacuated town of Grindavík (Icelandic Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management / AFP via Getty Images)

Is it safe to travel to Iceland?

The eruption site at Fagradalsfjall is closed due to ongoing eruption in the vicinity.

Authorities have warned against travel to the Reykjanesbraut area and Grindavík. 

Despite this, Keflavik International Airport is operating as normal, and Reykjavik and the rest of Iceland have not been impacted. 

Reykjanes is in the south-west of the country but only one small part of the entire country is currently a no-go zone. 

What is the current advice from the UK Foreign Office?

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has not listed Iceland as a country that Britons should avoid. 

However, the ministry has given a warning and encouraged tourists to check the situation before embarking on a holiday. 

“All roads to Grindavík are closed and you should stay away from the area,” a statement reads. 

“Reykjavik and the rest of Iceland have not been impacted. You should monitor local media for updates and follow the authorities´ advice.”

Good sites to check are the Icelandic Met Office, Safe Travel Iceland, and the Almannavarnir page on Twitter

A helicopter of the Icelandic Coast Guard flies over an area with glowing lava (Halldor Kolbeins / AFP via Getty Images)

Is the volcano in Iceland still erupting?

After the initial eruption, volcanic activity in the area has slowed down significantly, according to the website Nordic Visitor

Authorities said on Monday that no casualties have been reported.

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