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Information on entry restrictions and quarantine regulations in Germany

Travellers in front of a corona Test-center at an airport.

Free corona tests at German airports., © dpa / Sven Simon

02.02.2021 - Article

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions are in place for entry into Germany from a large number of countries. Those entering Germany from risk areas must complete a digital entry registration form, be tested for coronavirus and, depending on the regulations of the Land in question, self-isolate.

Entry restrictions

Restrictions on travel from countries with coronavirus variants

A travel ban has been imposed on countries with widespread occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 virus variants of concern (referred to as “areas of variant of concern”). Transport companies, e.g. air carriers and railway companies, may not transport any persons from these countries to Germany. There are only a few, strictly defined exceptions to this travel ban, namely for:

  • Persons who are resident in Germany with a current right to reside in the country
  • Persons on connecting flights, who do not leave the transit zone of an international airport
  • Few other special cases

According to the explanatory memorandum on the law, transport shall not be denied to German citizens who are not resident in Germany and their accompanying family members.

All those who qualify for the above-mentioned exceptions are equally required to complete an online registration form and must present a negative COVD-19 test result prior to entry. Further information is provided below.

Travellers can find more information about the travel ban on the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior. The list of “areas of variant of concern” is published on the website of the Robert Koch Institute.

General Entry restrictions

For Germany, travel restrictions apply for entry from a large number of countries. These are issued by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community. Please check with the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI) prior to your trip to find out what regulations apply specifically with regard to the country from which you plan to enter Germany.

In principle, entry is possible from:

  • EU member states
  • states associated with Schengen: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein
  • Other countries, from which entry is possible due to the epidemiological situation assessment by the EU.

Entry from any other country is only possible in exceptional cases and is conditional on there being urgent need.

Digital entry registration

Travellers who have visited a risk area, high incidence area or virus variant area in the last ten days before entering Germany must register at www.einreiseanmeldung.de before arriving in Germany and carry proof of registration with them upon entry.

This obligation always applies to those entering the country who have previously stayed in virus variant areas. Certain exceptions apply for previous stays in other risk areas and high incidence areas. In particular, those who have only passed through a risk area and have not had a stopover there are exempt.

If, in exceptional cases, it is not possible to complete a digital entry registration, travellers must instead fill out a substitute registration on paper.

Travellers can find more information in a fact sheet as well as on the website of the Federal Ministry of Health.

Test requirement on entry

Travellers aged six years or older who have been in a high incidence area or in a virus variant area in the past ten days prior to entry into Germany must carry proof that they have been tested for infection with SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus with them upon entry and present it to the competent authorities upon request and, if necessary, to the transport company prior to travelling.

Travellers who have visited any other risk area (neither high incidence area nor virus variant area) during the ten days prior to entry into Germany must be in possession of a test result no later than 48 hours after entry and present it to the competent authorities upon request.

The lists of high incidence areas, virus variant areas and other risk areas are published on the website of the Robert Koch Institute.

The test must have been performed no more than 48 hours prior to entry (time of swabbing). Proof of the test result must be on paper or in an electronic document in English, French or German. Travellers can find details regarding the test requirements on the website of the Robert Koch Institute. The test result must be kept for at least ten days after entry.

No exceptions can be made for entry from virus variant areas. Those in transit from high-incidence areas and other risk areas are exempt from registration, testing and quarantine requirements under certain circumstances. This includes transit through a risk area without a stopover prior to entering Germany as well as transit through Germany via the fastest route, e.g. with a confirmed onward flight to a third country.

Regardless of the test result, there is a quarantine obligation in accordance with the regulations of the respective Land.

Travellers can find more information on entry regulations and testing requirements on the website of the Federal Ministry of Health.

Quarantine regulations

In Germany, the individual Länder are responsible for quarantine regulations. The Länder have put in place their own regulations on the basis of a specimen regulation.

Because the new specimen regulation contains significant changes, we ask that prior to entering a Land you read the regulations on quarantine and testing carefully that apply to your specific destination. By entering the post code of your destination you can find the contact information of your competent local health office using the following Website: https://tools.rki.de/PLZTool/en-GB

Quarantine regulations

According to the new specimen regulation, the following applies as a rule:

Upon entry to Germany following a stay in a risk area, high incidence area or virus variant area within the last ten days, you must

Travellers can find further information on the website of the Federal Ministry of Health.

Exception: transit

The obligation to self-isolate at home does not apply in the case of transit through Germany. In this case, however, you are obliged to leave Germany immediately. The specific regulations of the Länder apply.

Exception: negative test result after 5 days

The ten-day quarantine can, according to the applicable regulations of the Länder, be terminated at the earliest after the fifth day following entry with a negative test result for infection with coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

How to conduct yourself when in Germany?

Mouth and nose must be covered aboard any public transport, in stores and busy outdoor places, where the minimum distance to others cannot be kept at all times. Masks must fulfill the requirements of FFP2, KN95/N95 or surgical masks.

If travellers develop symptoms associated with COVID-19 (coughing, a runny nose, sore throat or fever) they should get in touch by phone with a doctor or contact the hotline 116 117. Often travel guides or hotels can also help in such cases. Travellers should keep the contact details of their home country’s embassy or consulate in Germany in case they need to contact them.

Information by the Federal Ministry of Health in english can be found here.

Extensive information in English and other languages on current regulations is available here.

A short overview on what to do to help protect yourself and others is available here:

Coronavirus – Informationen and practical advice.

Watch out for local regulations

Measures for fighting the spread of COVID-19 are subject to local regulation. This may include quarantine measures in the case of a confirmed infection.

The international advice on reducing the spread of COVID-19 should be followed. This includes washing hands regularly and thoroughly with soap for 20-30 seconds, sneezing into the elbow or the quick disposal of handkerchieves or tissues, keeping a distance from other people and avoiding shaking hands. Further information and details can be found on the World Health Organization’s Website.

Where possible, travel should be reduced and public transport avoided to further reduce the risk of infection.

Where to find more information

More information is available from the following institutions:

Information on coronavirus and regulations in English and other languages

Ministry of the Interior

Ministry of Health

Ministry of Transport

The World Health Organization

Robert Koch Institute

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