Even though the lockdown and stringent entry restrictions remain in place, Germany’s borders are open for essential travel from third countries and the EU/Schengen Area countries.
Germany has started to permit entry from several countries since July 2020. However, at the moment, it is not possible to enter the latter’s territory for tourism purposes for citizens of non-EU countries.
The German authorities have imposed restrictions based on the travellers’ country of residence, and have decided to permit restriction-free entry for certain EU/Schengen Area and several other countries.
Conversely, the country continues to keep in place strict restrictions for hundreds of countries due to the pandemic situation.
Travellers From Which Countries Are Permitted to Enter Germany?
Based on the data provided by the German Federal Ministry of Interior, Building and Home Affairs, entry to Germany is permitted to European Union Member States and Schengen-associated countries, including Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.
Travellers from the EU and Schengen Area countries placed on the “high incidence areas” list must register online and provide a negative COVID-19 test result carried within 48 hours before arrival in Germany. Additionally, they will be required to stay self-isolated for ten days.
Travellers from EU and Schengen Area countries placed in the “risk areas” are subject to the same restrictions as those mentioned above.
Nonetheless, travellers from these areas who provide proof of vaccination against the COVID-19 or proof of recovery are allowed to skip testing and quarantine requirements.
For those who are required to provide a negative PCR test, the result should not be older than 72 hours. The testing certificate is recognised if available in either German, English, French, Italian, or Spanish.
For vaccinated persons, the vaccination certificate is recognised in the same languages. The approved vaccine doses by Germany include Comirnaty, Moderna, Vaxzevria, and Janssen, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Travellers from the following countries and regions are allowed to enter Germany restriction-free:
On the other hand, the following EU countries are considered as high incidence areas: Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, France, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Slovenia, and Sweden. Travellers from these areas must register online, provide a negative COVID-19 test result obtained within 48 hours of arrival and stay self-isolated for ten days. Additionally, they are only allowed to enter Germany if they have an urgent need to travel.
Arrivals From Highly Affected Countries Travel to Germany
In order to make a simpler distinction between COVID-19 affected countries, Germany has established a system that separates countries and regions into three different areas, more precisely into virus variant areas, high incidence areas, and simple risk areas.
Which Countries Are Considered as Profoundly Affected by COVID-19?
High incidence areas consist of countries with more than 200 infections per 100,000 inhabitants during the last seven days. Consequently, stringent rules apply to arrivals from countries placed on this list when entering Germany.
The following third countries are part of Germany’s high incidence areas list: 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.
Virus variant areas consist of countries in which COVID-19 mutations have widely spread and are being transmitted at a fast rate, and it includes Botswana, Brazil, Eswatini, India, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Uruguay, and Northern Ireland.
The United Kingdom is also placed on this list, meaning that arrivals from the UK are banned from entering the country due to the COVID-19 variants.
“There is a ban on transport to countries in which virus mutations are widespread (so-called virus variant areas). Transport companies, e.g.Airlines or train companies, are not allowed to transport people from these countries to Germany,” the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reads.
Entry Rules for Arrivals From High-Incidence & Virus Variant Areas
All persons wishing to enter Germany after staying for more than ten days in a high incidence or virus variant area are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result, proof of vaccination against the virus, or proof of recovery. Nonetheless, certain exceptions apply to persons who have travelled through high incidence areas without making a stop.
If travelling using air transportation, a negative Coronavirus test result should be provided before departure and another one upon entry. The airlines are responsible for checking the negative test result documentation before departure. The same rules also apply to those travelling by train, bus, or ferry.
Travellers who have stayed in a risk area are also required to fill in a digital entry registration form and carry the received confirmation code.
Germany’s Simple Risk Areas
Except for the two above-mentioned areas, Germany has also categorised countries in another list, known as simple risk areas, including countries with increased COVID-19 infection risk that were not mentioned in any of the lists indicated above.
Just recently, Lithuania, Sweden, and Turkey moved from the high-risk list to the simple risk area list, meaning that arrivals from these countries are exempted from strict requirements. The Norwegian regions of Troms og Finnmark and Trøndelag are also now considered simple risk areas.
“The Federal Government is continuously checking to what extent areas are to be classified as risk areas. Therefore, changes may be made at short notice, in particular, this list may be expanded,” Robert Koch Institut’s statement reads.
Furthermore, the following countries and regions are no longer considered risk areas:
- Italy, Czechia, Vatican City
- France: Corsica, Mayotte, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna, French Polynesia and New Caledonia
- Croatia: Dubrovnik-Neretva, Istria, Karlovac, Krapina-Zagorje, Požega-Slavonia and Split-Dalmatia
- Netherlands: Curaçao, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba
- Switzerland: cantons of Aargau, Basel-Stadt Basel-Land, Graubünden, Solothurn, Ticino, Zug, and Zurich
Who Is Required to Quarantine?
When deciding to travel to Germany, it should be noted that entry requirements depend on the country tourists are travelling from.
The quarantine requirement in Germany applies to all persons who have stayed in a risk area, high incidence area, or a virus variant area within the last ten days. Everyone coming from these areas is obliged to go to their accommodation immediately after arrival and stay self-isolated for ten days. However, those coming from virus variant areas have to stay self-isolated for 14 days instead of ten.
During the self-isolation period, no one is allowed to leave their accommodation or receive visitors.
Nonetheless, the following categories of people are exempt from the quarantine requirement:
- Those who travelled through high risk or high incidence area without making any stopovers
- Those travelling using the territory of Germany as a transit country
- Persons who have stayed in a risk 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 of Germany differ from one another, and they can change at any time. Thus, the authorities suggest that everyone does their own research before deciding to travel to different parts of Germany. Entry conditions and quarantine requirements are also applied differently in other parts of the country.
Travel Insurance: A Must When Travelling to Germany
It is suggested that all persons wishing to travel to Germany or any other country during the COVID-19 pandemic purchase an extended travel insurance package that covers pandemic and epidemic situations.
The insurance ensures that in case the trip gets cancelled due to the Coronavirus, most of the money spent to make reservations is saved.
Germany’s EU Digital COVID-19 Passport Travel to Germany
Germany joined the EU gateway successfully on May 10 after passing the technical tests. Weeks ahead of the July roll-out programme across the bloc. On June 1, Germany started issuing the first vaccination certificates for travellers.
“EU citizens are looking forward to travelling again, and they want to do so safely. Having an EU certificate is a crucial step on the way,” Commissioner of EU Stella Kyriakides said in this regard.
The EU COVID-19 Vaccination Passport has been established by the EU in order to restore freedom of travel within the bloc.
What Is Open in Germany?
There are just a few places that are currently open in Germany, including some hotels. However, overnight stays for tourists are not allowed yet. Only those travelling for essential purposes are allowed to stay at hotels.
Museums, architectural sites, galleries, zoos, and so on have slowly begun to reopen in several parts of Germany. Since March 8, attractions in areas that have registered less than 50 infections per 100,000 inhabitants during the last seven days have been allowed to resume with their businesses.
Consequently, restaurants in these areas can open for outdoor dining. However, if persons from different households are seated at the same table, they must have a negative test result with them.
On the other hand, attractions in areas that have registered less than 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants can only reopen with appointment bookings.
Currently, there isn’t any national curfew in place, but it is up to the federal states to impose and keep individual curfews in place. Additionally, everyone is required to keep their mask on in public areas and respect the social distancing rules.
In 2020, Germany’s travel and tourism sector suffered a loss of €161 billion due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Current COVID-19 Situation in Germany
As one of the European countries that the pandemic has hardly hit, Germany has managed to keep the Coronavirus situation under control by imposing strict measures when needed.
As of June 14, Germany has registered 3,714,969 COVID-19 infection cases and 89,834 deaths.
Germany has administered at least 60,105,411 COVID-19 vaccine doses and is going at a rate of around 737,242 doses per day. Consequently, from December 2020 until June 7, 2021, around 46 per cent of the entire population has been vaccinated.
The vaccines offered by the German authorities include Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson.