The COVID-19 pandemic is causing uncertainty in global travel, including in Germany as well, which has imposed strict lockdown measures since December 16.
Although lockdown and strict entry restrictions remain, Germany’s borders are open to essential travel from third countries and EU/Schengen area countries.
Germany has started allowing entry from several countries since July 2020. However, at the moment, it is not possible to enter the territory of the latter for tourism purposes for citizens of non-EU countries.
The German authorities imposed restrictions based on the traveler’s country of residence, and decided to allow unrestricted entry into a certain EU/Schengen area and several other countries.
On the contrary, the country continues to impose severe restrictions on hundreds of countries due to the epidemic situation.
Travelers from which countries are allowed to enter Germany?
Based on data provided by the German Federal Ministry of Interior, Construction and Home Affairs, entry into Germany is allowed to EU member states and Schengen-associated countries, including Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
Travelers from EU and Schengen area countries listed as “high infection areas” must register online and submit a negative COVID-19 test result within 48 hours prior to arriving in Germany. In addition, they will be required to remain in self-isolation for ten days.
Travelers from EU countries and the Schengen area located in “risk zones” are subject to the same restrictions mentioned above.
However, travelers from these areas who provide evidence of COVID-19 vaccination or evidence of recovery are allowed to skip the testing and quarantine requirements.
For those who are required to submit a negative PCR test, the result must be no more than 72 hours old. The test certificate is recognized if it is available in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish.
>> Germany imposes mandatory COVID-19 testing requirements on unvaccinated people
For the vaccinated, the vaccination certificate is recognized in the same languages. Germany-approved vaccine doses include Comirnaty, Moderna, Vaxzevria and Janssen, TheSchengen.com reports.
In addition, on the recommendation of the Council of the European Union, travelers from the following third countries and regions are allowed to enter Germany without restrictions:
Australia Canada Chile Hong Kong Kuwait Jordan Macau Moldova New Zealand Qatar Rwanda Saudi Arabia Singapore South Korea Taiwan Ukraine Uruguay China (subject to reciprocity)
“Residents of other countries outside the European Union are only allowed to enter Germany if they play an important role, if they have an urgent need to travel or if they have been fully vaccinated,” the ministry’s statement notes.
Although Germany is now allowing more unvaccinated travelers from third countries into its territory for tourism purposes, the United Kingdom has been excluded due to the prevalence of variable delta.
As such, the German government has called on other EU member states to ban British tourists from entering the EU
People from severely affected countries
In order to make a simpler distinction between countries affected by COVID-19, Germany has created a system that separates countries and regions into different regions, more precisely into virus-changing regions and high-risk regions.
As of August 1, 2021, only risk areas distinguish between two categories: areas of high risk and areas of variables of concern. The “basic” danger zone category no longer applies. Discontinuation of the “essential” risk area category does not mean that there is no longer any risk of infection while living in these areas. A significantly increased risk of infection currently exists worldwide, as stated in the German authorities’ statement.
Which countries are considered severely affected by COVID-19?
The list of high-risk areas consists of countries with more than 100 infections per 100,000 population over the past seven days. Thus, strict rules are applied to those coming from the countries on this list when entering Germany.
The following EU/EEA countries are currently part of Germany’s high-risk list:
France, including Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Martin, Saint Barthelemy, French Guiana, French Polynesia, New Caledonia Ireland Lithuania Netherlands Norway – Oslo, Viken Romania Seychelles, Slovenia
Virus changing regions consist of countries where COVID-19 mutations have spread widely and are being transmitted at a rapid rate.
“There is a ban on transport to countries where virus mutations are widespread (the so-called variable regions of the virus). Transport companies, such as airlines or train companies, are not allowed to transport people from these countries to Germany,” the Foreign Ministry statement said. , although no countries are currently included in this category.
Since the list of variable regions for viruses in Germany currently does not include any country, except for the countries mentioned above, the list of high risk includes all other third countries.
Entry rules for those coming from high-risk areas and virus variants
All people who wish to enter Germany after staying more than ten days in a high virus prevalence area are required to submit a negative COVID-19 test result, evidence of vaccination against the virus, or evidence of recovery. However, some exceptions apply to people who have traveled through high-risk areas without stopping.
If you are traveling using air transport, a negative coronavirus test result must be submitted before departure and another on entry. Airlines are responsible for checking negative test result documents prior to departure. The same rules also apply to those traveling by train, bus or ferry.
Passengers who have stayed in a danger zone are also required to fill out a digital check-in form and carry the confirmation code received.
In addition, all travelers from high-risk and virus-infected areas must register online and prove their registration upon arrival in Germany. They are also required to download the Corona-Warn app and will undergo a health check once they enter German territory.
Who is required for quarantine?
When deciding to travel to Germany, it should be noted that entry requirements depend on the country from which the tourists are traveling.
The quarantine requirement in Germany applies to all people who have resided in a high-risk area, or a virus-changing area within the past 10 days. Every person coming from these areas is obliged to go to his residence immediately upon arrival and to stay in self-isolation for ten days. However, those coming from different areas of the virus have to stay self-isolating for 14 days instead of ten.
The quarantine period can be terminated early for those entering Germany from a high-risk area if they present a negative COVID-19 test result taken on or after the fifth day of self-isolation.
During the period of self-isolation, no one is allowed to leave their place of residence or receive visitors.
However, the following categories of people are exempt from the quarantine requirements:
Those who have traveled through high-risk or high-risk areas without making any stops. Those traveling using the territory of Germany as a transit country People who have stayed in a dangerous area less than 24 hours or who leave Germany within 24 hours of entry
It should be noted that travel restrictions in individual states in Germany differ from each other, and can change at any time. Hence, the authorities suggest that everyone do their own research before deciding to travel to different parts of Germany. Entry requirements and quarantine requirements are also applied differently in other parts of the country.
Travel Insurance: A MUST HAVE when traveling to Germany
It is suggested that all people who wish to travel to Germany or any other country during the COVID-19 pandemic purchase an extended travel insurance package that covers epidemic and epidemic situations.
Travel insurance in Germany ensures that in the event of a flight cancellation due to the coronavirus, most of the money spent making reservations is saved.
You can buy medical travel insurance protection for Germany at a very low cost from MondialCare, AXA Assistance or Europ Assistance.
German COVID-19 European Digital Passport
Germany joined the EU portal successfully on May 10 after passing technical exams. Weeks before the start of the July cross-block program. On June 1, Germany began issuing the first vaccination certificates to travelers.
EU citizens are looking to travel again, and they want to do so safely. EU Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said in this regard that obtaining a certificate from the European Union is a crucial step on the way.
The European Union has created the European COVID-19 vaccination passport in order to restore freedom of travel within the bloc.
What is open in Germany?
Currently, the majority of places, including various attractions, restaurants and hotels, are open to tourists in Germany. However, since each German federal state has its own COVID-19 rules, it is suggested that everyone do their research before deciding to travel to Germany.
A large share of attractions such as museums and other historical sites are open to tourists. However, everyone should keep in mind that masks are required indoors.
Currently, restaurants require diners to provide proof of vaccination, recovery, or a recent COVID-19 test result.
Masks must be worn at all times when entering or leaving restaurants, and everyone must maintain a distance of two metres.
Germany’s leading and busiest airports, including Berlin-Brandenburg, Frankfurt, Munich, Dusseldorf and Hamburg, are open and international flights are beginning to operate.
Currently, there is no national curfew, but it is up to the federal states to impose and maintain individual curfews. In addition, everyone is asked to keep their masks in public and respect the rules of social distancing.
In 2020, the travel and tourism sector in Germany suffered a loss of 161 billion euros due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The current situation of COVID-19 in Germany
As one of the European countries hard hit by the pandemic, Germany has managed to keep the coronavirus situation under control by imposing strict measures when needed.
As of October 5, Germany has identified 4,255,388 cases of COVID-19, of which only 3,088 have been reported in the past 24 hours. In addition, the country has so far recorded 93,793 deaths.
According to figures provided by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Germany has given at least 10,645,2342 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Vaccines offered by German authorities include Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.
Planning to visit other EU countries soon? Here’s what to expect
If you are planning to visit other European countries this summer, the following guides explain everything you need to know before booking your trip:
Note: This article was originally published on July 13. Since then, it has been constantly updated with the latest changes. The last changes to the article were made on October 5, in line with the latest updates from the German authorities.