The COVID-19 pandemic is causing uncertainty in global travel, including in Germany, which has been imposing 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 have imposed restrictions based on the travelers’ country of residence, and have decided to allow unrestricted entry into some EU/Schengen area countries and several others.
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 the 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.
In addition, on the recommendation of the European Union, people from Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand are also allowed to enter Germany.
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.
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.
Passengers from the following countries and regions are allowed to enter Germany without restrictions:
Austria: only Jungholz and Mittelberg/Kleinwalsertal Australia China Faroe Islands Greenland Finland, excluding Päijät-Häme region Iceland, Ireland, excluding Dublin, Middle East and Midland regions, Israel Malta New Zealand Norway, excluding Oslo, Viken, Agder, Vestfold og Telemark Portugal, excluding Madeira and Azores, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, excluding Andalusia, Aragon, Asturias, Canary Islands, Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla and Leon, Catalonia, Ceuta, Extremadura, Madrid, Melilla, Navarra, Basque Country, and La Rioja Thailand
On the other hand, the following EU countries are considered regions with high incidence: Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, France, Lithuania, Netherlands, Slovenia and Sweden. Travelers from these areas must register online, submit a negative COVID-19 test result obtained within 48 hours of arrival and remain in self-isolation for ten days. In addition, they are only allowed to enter Germany if they have an urgent need to travel.
People from severely affected countries
In order to simpler distinguish between countries affected by COVID-19, Germany has created a system that separates countries and regions into three different regions, more precisely into variable regions of the virus, regions of high infection, and minor risk regions.
What countries are considered severely affected by COVID-19?
Areas of high infection consist of countries with more than 200 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 three countries are part of Germany’s list of high infection areas: Egypt, Argentina, Bahrain, Bolivia, Cabo Verde, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Georgia, Iran, Qatar, Colombia, Kuwait, Maldives, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Seychelles, Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, and Tunisia.
Variable regions of viruses consist of countries where COVID-19 mutations are widespread and transmitted at a rapid rate, and include Botswana, Brazil, Eswatini, India, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Uruguay and Northern Ireland.
The UK is also placed on this list, which means that arrivals from the UK are prohibited from entering the country due to COVID-19 variants.
“There is a ban on transport to countries where virus mutations are widespread (the so-called virus-changing regions). Transport companies, such as airlines or train companies, are not allowed to transport people from these countries to Germany,” the Foreign Ministry statement said. .
Entry rules for those coming from high-infection areas and virus variants
All people who wish to enter Germany after staying more than ten days in a high-infection area or virus variant are required to provide 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-infection 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 complete a digital check-in form and carry the confirmation code received.
Minor danger zones in Germany
Except for the two regions mentioned above, Germany has also categorized countries in another list, known as simple risk areas, including countries with a high risk of contracting COVID-19 that are not mentioned in any of the above lists.
Recently, Lithuania, Sweden and Turkey have moved from the list of high risk to the list of low risk areas, which means that arrivals from these countries are exempt from the strict requirements. The Norwegian regions of Troms, Finnmark and Trondelag are also considered minor risk areas.
“The federal government is constantly checking the extent to which areas are classified as risk areas. Therefore, changes can be made in a short time, in particular, this list can be expanded,” says the Robert Koch Institute statement.
Furthermore, the following countries and regions are no longer considered risk areas:
Italy, Czech Republic, Vatican, France: Corsica, Mayotte, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna, French Polynesia and New Caledonia Croatia: Dubrovnik-Neretva, Istria, Karlovac, Krapina-Zagori, Pozija-Slavonia and Split-Dalmatia Netherlands: Curaçao, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, Saba Switzerland: cantons of Aargau, Basel-Stadt, Baselland, Graubünden, Solothurn, Ticino, Zug, and Zurich.
When deciding to travel to Germany, it should be noted that the entry conditions depend on the country from which the tourists are traveling.
The quarantine requirement in Germany applies to all people who have stayed in a high-risk area, a high-infection area, or a different area for the virus 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.
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 a high-risk or high-infection area without making any stops. Those traveling using the territory of Germany as a transit country People who have stayed in a dangerous area for 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.
The insurance 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 EU passport for COVID-19 vaccination was created by the European Union in order to restore freedom of travel within the bloc.
What is open in Germany?
There are a few places currently open in Germany, including some hotels. However, one-night stays for tourists are not yet allowed. Only those traveling for essential purposes are allowed to stay in the hotels.
Museums, architectural sites, galleries, zoos, etc. are slowly starting to reopen in several parts of Germany. Since March 8, attractions in areas with less than 50 infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days have been allowed to resume operations.
Hence, restaurants can be opened in these areas for al fresco dining. However, if people from different families sit at the same table, they must have a negative test result with them.
On the other hand, attractions in areas with less than 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants can only be reopened with appointment reservations.
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 June 14, Germany has recorded 371,969 cases of COVID-19 and 89,834 deaths.
Germany has given at least 60,105,411 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and is running at a rate of about 737,242 doses per day. Thus, from December 2020 through June 7, 2021, about 46 percent of the total population was vaccinated.
Vaccines offered by German authorities include Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.